Montreal’s Pride festival unveiled its programming for the upcoming annual event, including the much-anticipated parade that was stopped last summer due to security concerns.
After last year’s catastrophic last-minute cancellation, organizers say they are poised to launch the 17th edition of the Montreal Pride festival without a hitch this summer.
The non-profit group unveiled its list of festivities Thursday for the annual celebration of sexually and gender-diverse people.
“My team and I are geared towards the consolidation of our work so that we can ensure the development and delivery of all Montréal Pride initiatives – particularly the highlight of the festival, the Pride parade,” Montréal Pride executive director Simon Gamache said.
In August last year, the culminating event, which sees thousands of people march down Rene Lévesque street, was cancelled due to a lack of organization and security, according to a city report.
The city investigation authored by Philippe Schnobb, the former head of Montreal’s public transit agency, mentions several internal communication issues that would have led within a few minutes to the cancellation of the Pride parade.
The investigation recommends more thorough logistics management and improvements to information sharing.
This year the organizers say private security professionals will be hired instead of relying on volunteers.
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The annual celebration of LGBTQ2 culture is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators and 12,000 participants, according to Gamache.
The majority of the festivities, which include free shows and performances, will take place in the village, downtown and at the Olympic Park Esplanade.
The 10-day event will run from Aug. 3 to 13.
“Pride cannot screw up again because Pride is a movement,” Gamache said.
“That is the biggest lesson and we need to step up and I think we did that over the past nine months. We worked really hard on getting this right and this will not happen again.”
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