Toronto to host World Pride 2014
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Toronto will host the World Pride event in 2014 after winning a vote
among gay delegates at the international InterPride Conference in Florida.
Toronto beat its main rival for the event, Stockholm, on Sunday to win the hosting duties.
Tracey Sandilands, executive director of Pride Toronto, told Toronto television station CP24 that
Toronto captured 77 votes to Stockholm's 61 in the first round of voting, eliminating Stockholm.
But that wasn't enough for the two-thirds majority needed to win the right to host the political
and cultural event, she said.
A second vote of yes or no gave Toronto a 78 per cent endorsement, said Sandilands.
Pride Toronto officials said that this summer's Pride Week drew an estimated one million people
to Toronto and contributed $136 million to the city's economy.
"World Pride is going to be about five times bigger," said Sandilands.
A delegation of 10 people went to Florida to present Toronto's bid, including representatives
from Pride Toronto, Tourism Toronto and Toronto police.
The Toronto event will be the fourth scheduled World Pride since the event's inception in Rome
World Pride promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues on an international level
through parades, festivals, and other cultural activities.
The next one is set for just prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, England in
!(http://tracker.gaytorrent.ru/bitbucket/pride re sized.jpg)
Toronto is already planning the festivities for when it hosts the World Pride event in 2014.
The city beat out Stockholm to host the international political and cultural event that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Mark Singh, chair of the city's World Pride committee, said the festival will highlight the acceptance of the gay community by Canadians.
So far the program calls for an opening ceremony with a parade of nations and an international human rights conference. There will also be an AIDS candlelight vigil along with three parades including a Trans March, a Dyke March and Pride Parade.
The 2014 events will replace the city's usual Pride Week, and will be scheduled to celebrate Canada Day and the U.S. Independence Day.
Toronto resident Matthew Middleton celebrated Sunday's announcement on Church Street. "This is fantastic for strictly gay tourism, and for showing how accepting a city we are," Middleton said.
Toronto a 'gay-friendly' city: Rae
Organizers estimate that it will cost $10 million to host the international event. Coun. Kyle Rae said he hopes Ottawa will help cover part of the cost.
"I would expect the federal government would get on board and highlight our achievements as an equity-seeking society," Rae said.
Rae said the decision to give the event to Toronto is a reflection of the city's reputation as a gay-friendly city.
"I think people in other jurisdictions recognize that there's something speical in Toronto," Rae said.
Pride Toronto officials said last summer's Pride Week contributed more than $100 million to the province's economy. Organizers said World Pride could contribute five times that much.