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Much-anticipated local Pride week pushed to September

With new people stepping up to volunteer on the board, president says Fierté Timmins Pride is now in a 'stable state'
2021-07-8 rainbow crosswalk DB
The colourful crosswalk is back downtown Timmins again this summer.

Though delayed, the much-anticipated Timmins Pride Parade 2022 is back with colourful events in September.

After being cancelled for two years, the Fierté Timmins Pride week will start with a flag-raising ceremony on Sept. 6. The 'hybrid event' is expected to last until Sept. 10.

Earlier in May, the organization cancelled this year's Pride Parade because there weren't enough board members.

"We are very proud to announce that we have gained five new board members since our announcement back in May. As such, we are on track to hold a whole Pride week in September," said Mathieu Villeneuve, Fierté Timmins Pride president.

Usually, volunteers are not an issue for the group because they can pull from the Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSA) at local high schools and community members reach out to help out.

"Unfortunately, we were often lacking board members. It's the board members who organize the planning and execution of events. These are the key people who organize volunteers and help run events smoothly," he said.

"Thankfully, with a large influx of board volunteers, we are now in a stable state."

The organizers plan to begin the event with a flag-raising on Tuesday, Sept. 6. The plans also include a virtual education session, a social night, a Pride parade and a drag show.

As there has been no Pride Parade in Timmins for the last two years, the organizers are not sure how many people will participate.

"We normally see up to 100 people who attend our nightly events. And for the parade, we normally see about 300-500 people. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, we have not seen a parade in about two years, so it will be interesting to see how many patrons attend," said Villeneuve.

Cancelling Pride Week because of the lack of volunteers is expected to be an eye-opener for the community.

"Many members of the community were obviously disappointed, but I believe the community, now, understands the amount of work and time required to do the planning, and it is not possible to do the work with a very small group of planners," Villeneuve said.

About the Author: Jinsh Rayaroth

Jinsh Rayaroth covers diversity issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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