Pride Winnipeg is the proud recipient of a 2014 Manitoba Human Rights Commitment Award. On Tuesday, December 9th, 2014, the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Manitoba Human Rights Commission awarded the recognition to Pride Winnipeg at a reception in downtown Winnipeg.
Pride Winnipeg was recognized for its ongoing commitment to affirm the lives of LGBTTQ* people and their allies, supporters, friends and family by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of the community.
Pride Winnipeg began on August 2, 1987 when approximately 250 people gathered at the Manitoba Legislative Building to await the results of the provincial government’s decision to include sexual orientation in the Manitoba Human Rights Code. The consensus was that if the government voted in favor of including sexual orientation in the code they would march in celebration, if the government voted against including sexual orientation in the code they would march in protest. The government voted in favor, which sparked the first ‘Pride Parade’ in Winnipeg as the 250 people marched in the streets of downtown Winnipeg in celebration.
Over the years the Pride Winnipeg Festival has grown significantly and last year attracted about 35,000 people. It has expanded to include a 2-day festival at The Forks and even branched out to rural areas by providing support to establish a Pride festival in northern Manitoba.
“Our former Community Liaison Director, Jason Douglas, spearheaded the idea for a Pride festival in northern Manitoba,” explained president, Jonathan Niemczak. “He assisted with establishing Pride North of 55, which was a resounding success and saw an estimated 500 people out of an 11,000 person community take part in the festivities.”
Pride Winnipeg has also rallied support around Bill 18 and the Gold Medal Message, and has raised funds in support of LGBTTQ* refugees entering Canada. Presently, the organization continues to work with Canadian Blood Services in lobbying Health Canada to abolish the MSM Policy.
Pride Winnipeg will continue its commitment to the community and will be revealing the 2015 Pride Winnipeg Theme and topics at the end of January 2015.