Friday, May 30, 2014

Vancouver Pride Announces its 2014 Grand Marshals

Vancouver, BC (May 30, 2014) – The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) is proud to announce director Gwen Haworth, activist Dean Nelson, and the late ted northe as Grand Marshals for the 2014 #Vancouver Pride Parade.

Grand Marshals are local, national, or international heroes who have done great things to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and create safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ community. Grand Marshals inspire us with their courage, conviction and dedication. Each year, up to three outstanding individuals from the LGBTQ community are recognized and celebrated during Pride Week and lead our entries during the Pride Parade, occurring on August 3rd, 2014.

Gwen Haworth is a queer trans* filmmaker and community activist best known for her feature documentary She’s a Boy I Knew. Recently, her video work has included social equity projects for RainCity Housing and Support Society, installations for the Museum of Vancouver, and a new short film about local poet Antonette Rea entitled a woman with a past, which premiered at the 2014 Berlinale Film Festival.
Gwen works at Vancouver Coastal Health as the educator for Prism Services, facilitating LGBT2Q+ inclusion workshops within non-profit housing, social service and health care settings. She has volunteered with the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre and the Vancouver Parks Board's Trans* and Gender Variant Inclusion Working Group. She currently volunteers on the City of Vancouver's LGBTQ Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors for Out On Screen, and the Advisory Committee for Safe Choices, a program within the Ending Violence Association of BC.

In addition to producing the Whistler Ski and Pride Festival and co-founding the Mr. Gay World mentorship program, Dean Nelson co-founded the first Olympic Pride House at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Olympic Pride House is a pavilion that celebrates diversity and creates a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) athletes. The Olympic Pride House shines a light on homophobia in sports, and has expanded to the 2012 Olympics in London Olympics, 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Rio FIFA World Cup 2014 and the PanAm Games in Toronto 2015.

ted northe, a local LGBTQ legend, contributed over 56 years of activism before unfortunately passing away this past spring. ted northe organized the first Pride March in Canada (1963); created the Courts of Canada (1964), the first Gay Businessman's Guild (1970), the first gay sports league in Canada (1974); and co-founded the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society (1975), the first LGBT First Nations Group in the country. He held the title of Empress of Canada for 50 years. In his lifetime, northe was a leader in the fight against the AIDS Epidemic and dedicated himself to the advancement of rights for the LGBTQ community. He was a driving force in defining the modern LGBTQ Community and Human Rights Movement in Canada.

This year, the annual Vancouver Pride Parade will occur on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 along the streets of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Pride Parade is the largest single-day celebration in western Canada, with over 650,000 spectators coming out to watch 4,000 participants march along the streets of downtown Vancouver in a celebration of the diversity and spirit of the LGBTQ community.
The Pride Parade will begin at the intersection of Robson Street and Thurlow Street, travel west along Robson Street to Denman Street, turn left on Denman Street, travel south to Beach Avenue where it will turn left before ending in the Dispersal Area, located on Pacific Street from Jervis Street to Thurlow Street.

About the Vancouver Pride Society
The VPS is a not-for-profit organization that brings together members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirited and Queer (LGBTQ) community, their friends, allies and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of our community by producing quality, inclusive events. The VPS strengthens the sense of community and contributes to the vibrancy, health and overall well being of all persons in the LGBTQ community.

Vancouver Pride Events
In addition to the Pride Parade, the VPS will produce a full roster of exciting events this summer, including:
East Side Pride, Grandview Park, Saturday, June 28th from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm.
Gay Day @ Playland, PNE Grounds, Saturday, July 19th from 11:00 pm - 6:00 pm.
Pride Run & Walk, Brockton Oval, Saturday, July 26th from 8:00 am - 11:00 am.
Picnic in the Park, Brockton Oval, Saturday, July 26th from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.
Davie Street Block Party, Davie Street Village, between Jervis Street and Burrard Street, Friday, August 1st, 4:00 pm - 12:00 pm.
Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast, Davie St. and Bute Street, Saturday, August 2st, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Sunset Beach Pride Festival, Sunset Beach, Sunday, August 3rd, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Pride Parade, Downtown Vancouver, Sunday, August 3rd, 12:00 pm. 

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