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Virtual celebration of Toronto Pride Parade 2020

Toronto Pride Parade Facebook Page

Virtual celebration of Toronto Pride Parade 2020

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 29 Jun 2020, 11:52 pm

Toronto/IBNS: Toronto’s weekend 2020 Pride parade of June 28  was held online for the first time after several decades due to COVID-19 pandemic, media reports said.

The 90-minute-long event was hosted by Toronto comedian Brandon Ash-Mohammed, with an introduction of a history of Pride, featuring archival news footage of marches and protests from Toronto’s recent past.

Various testimonials from members of the community followed, along with applause to Maggie’s and the 519 Community Centre, the two main charities of Pride.

A welcome speech was presented by Toronto's Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who said that it was her infant son’s first Pride parade and that the day would come when the celebrations would be able to return to the streets.

The parade was inaugurated with a ceremonial dance, followed by a greeting from Indigenous elder Laureen-Blu Waters.

The event also featured cameos from Halsey and Alanis Morissette, Cozmic Cat, a Toronto-based DJ, Jully Black, and more.

This year's celebration of Sunday afternoon's Pride Toronto parade, a North American standout, was not deterred by either a global pandemic or local tech issues like occasional technical glitches and hence proved to be a successful substitute for the real parade. It brought together with a mix of dancing, live performances, and montages with the spirit of freedom and inclusion the parade represents.

Women’s College Hospital and other health-care workers and hospitals were well represented with pictures and messages.

There were  Zoom flashes of sponsors, supporters and advertisers wishing participants a happy Pride.

The broadcast included people from every walk of life with many references to Black Lives Matter.

A rally at Nathan Phillips Square, known as “teach-in” event, was organized by the No Pride in Policing Coalition, a group of trans people, which supported Black Lives Matter, demanded half the Toronto Police Services (TPS) budget be cut so that more funds can go to Black, Indigenous and other marginalized communities.

This rally was “a teachable moment for all of us, and the beginning of a larger global change to support the Black and BIPOC communities,” said Pride Toronto on its event page.

The start time of the parade was moved so as not to overlap with the “teach-in” event being held on Sunday at Nathan Phillips Square beginning at 2 p.m.

According to Pride Toronto’s annual report, around 150,000 people attended the parade last year, which made it the biggest on record.

Virtual attendance this year was less than a tenth of that: the Facebook stream of the event peaked at around 500 people, while the livestream, on twitch.tv, had around 800 viewers.

Canadian singer-songwriter Jully Black's surprise performance wrapped up the Pride parade for 2020.

After the wrapping of the Sunday’s parade events, Ash-Mohammed invited viewers to continue watching to witness the rally for defunding the police at Nathan Phillips Square organized by the No Pride in Policing Coalition (NPPC).

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

 

 

Virtual celebration of Toronto Pride Parade 2020

India Blooms News Service
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