June marks celebrations for both the Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ communities, but there are numerous ways to experience, learn and support, anytime of year.
Toronto celebrates Pride with an estimated 1.7 million people participating in special events, street activations, art exhibitions, performances and educational programming. The spectacular Pride Parade roars back this year with anticipated 200,000 marchers and supporters in the hundreds of thousands.
Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village, the historic home to Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ communities, is a popular gathering place during Pride month festivities. Take time to explore the neighbourhood’s dynamic creative and cultural diversity anytime of year, including Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, a catalyst for queer voices and stories, drag bars like Crews & Tangos, neighbourhood pubs such as Hair of the Dog, and the weird and wonderful Storm Crow Manor, an eclectic, fantastically-themed restaurant housed within a century-old mansion.
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Meeting and event venues around the city aren’t shy about getting everyone into the Pride spirit. Event organizer, Pride Toronto, officially kicked off June 8 festivities with a Fierce!-themed event at the iconic El Mocambo concert venue, which recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation.
Stackt Market, an ever-evolving mix of shops, event spaces and community programming, supports 2SLGBTQ+ businesses, creators and artists throughout the year. During Pride month, Stackt’s Hot T Pride Edition Party, featuring Canada's Drag Race star Eve 6000, was presented by Dooley Noted Productions, a queer events company specializing in production, design, promotion and tour management.
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National Indigenous History Month
June shines a spotlight on the distinct cultures, contributions and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.
This year, National Indigenous Peoples Day falls on June 21 and is marked by a Sunrise Ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square. Did you know that the 3D Toronto sign in front of Toronto City Hall features a traditional medicine wheel—an emblem of North American Indigenous cultural values and spirituality?
Toronto experiences its first ever 2-Spirited Pow Wow this year, hosted by 2-Spirited People of the First Nations, and, after a two-year hiatus, Fort York National Historic Site is again home to the Indigenous Arts Festival. The event features the Na-Me-Res Traditional Pow Wow showcasing traditional and contemporary Indigenous music, dancers, drummers and performers, as well as an Indigenous Artisans Market. The Indigenous Food Market will continue every Wednesday through the summer, serving Indigenous and Indigenous-fusion foods, along with music, talks and performances.
On an ongoing basis, Fort York provides space for community art that explores Indigenous identities, such as the Queering Place Earth Art Installation, which engages 2SQTBIPOC Artists in Residence to plant and tend a nurturing and healing medicine wheel garden.
Get to know these trailblazing artists and creators: Sage Paul, executive and artistic director, Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival; artist Jordan Bennett; filmmaker Tim Myles; artist Nanook Gordon; and Aria Evans, artistic director of dance theatre group Political Movement. The Art Gallery of Ontario’s J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art showcases contemporary Indigenous and Canadian artworks while igniting conversations about identity, the environment, history and sovereignty.
Resources for keynotes and education:
Destination Toronto EDGE Event Series: Beyond the Land Acknowledgement
Join Destination Toronto for a virtual webinar discussing why and how to develop a meaningful land acknowledgement and ways to work in solidarity with Indigenous nations. Guest speakers: Kevin Eshkawkogan, CEO, Indigenous Tourism Ontario and Billy Alexander, director, programs, Culinary Tourism Alliance.
June 28, 9:30 – 10:30 am
Click for more information and to register