Pride parade and rally called off, replaced by hybrid events

·2 min read

Pride week 2022 will not feature a main rally or parade, central events that have been the signature hallmarks of the celebration of Timmins' 2SLGTBQ+ community in previous years.

Fierté Timmins Pride cites a lack of necessary staff for the cancellation, hoping it can rally from the setback to issue a call to action for new volunteers.

"A celebration of this size takes a lot of resources that we just don't have this year. Unfortunately, due to a lack of volunteers, the board has determined that it cannot safely host a rally and parade in 2022," said Matthieu Villeneuve, president of Fierté Timmins Pride.

While the organization has enough temporary general volunteers on the ground, it does not have enough board members. As a result, the events of Pride Week are being shifted to a mix of in-person events and virtual learning opportunities.

"We would need three to four more board members to help with the planning," said Villeneuve.

He added that the existing four-person board has been stretched thin trying to keep up with both the planning of a major event like Pride Week and the usual efforts of advocacy and education it is involved in.

"This is a lot to put onto four people," he said.

The organization has also sent a message to Timmins cancel to cancel their request for Third Avenue to be closed on June 11 for Pride events.

"A lot of people are concerned about time commitment, but it's usually meetings once or twice a month via Zoom, and smaller tasks like booking activities," he said, noting the busier times are generally April and May.

While it is no longer possible to stage a parade or rally this year, Villeneuve is still hopeful that the cancellation can be turned into a moment of awareness that will bring in new board members. For him, Timmins Pride is an organization with a great deal to contribute for support and advocacy for their community.

"If the community would like to see more and new activities, if they would like to see Timmins Pride make a difference, they should join," he said.

Villeneuve points to services he wants to encourage through Timmins Pride, including helping people connect with trans and queer inclusive doctors. He wants new voices to provide fresh perspectives on efforts at social services, community activities and running Pride to its full potential.

"Timmins Pride is needed. We're doing our best to create an inclusive, safe space for the community," he said.

Anyone interested in applying to volunteer for Fierté Pride Timmins can find an application on their website or contact the organization at info@timminspride.com

Mark Kay, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com

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