Capital Pride (Ottawa)
The Ottawa Capital Pride Festival (French: Fierté dans la capitale) is the annual Pride event in Canada's National Capital Region, which includes the cities of Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. It has been held annually since 1986.
The mission of the Ottawa Capital Pride organization is to create an environment for advocacy, education, and the fostering of a strong and vibrant Rainbow Community within the Nation’s Capital region. It does so through the annual Fierté dans la Capital(e) Pride festival, where it welcomes everyone to participate, celebrate, and experience being a part of the Rainbow Community.
Events are held throughout the year in partnership with other community groups, businesses and sponsors to help educate and promote the issues and interests of the GLBTTQ community, culminating in an entertaining and professional festival at the end of August.
Ottawa’s first gay pride celebration was a picnic in Strathcona Park in June 1986, attended by about 50 people. In 1989, the pride celebration became a week of activities: dances, exhibits, films, sporting events, and receptions.
In May 1997, the Pride Week Committee was incorporated as the Pride Committee of Ottawa–Gatineau and the festival received their first official proclamation from Ottawa City Council. In 1998 the Pride Week Committee received a letter of support from Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
The annual festival was held at Festival Plaza at Ottawa City Hall until 2002, when it was moved to Bank Street. In 2005, the festival was moved from Bank Street back to Festival Plaza and the dates of the festival were changed from July to August. In 2008, the Pride Committee of Ottawa–Gatineau was rebranded as Capital Pride. It has evolved into a city-wide 10-day festival of over 20 events, complete with a Pride Parade, Dyke March and other events that appeal to families, athletes, artists and all members of the GLBTTQ community.
In 2010, Pride Week included a rugby match between Canada's only two predominantly gay rugby teams, the Muddy York and the Ottawa Wolves. The historic match was played on the main lawn of Parliament on August 28, 2010.
In 2014, Capital Pride ran into financial troubles after 'accounting irregularities' kept the organization from paying vendors over $100,000. The organization declared bankruptcy in December 2014. Early in 2015, a new organization, Ottawa Capital Pride, formed to save the festival and ensure there would be a celebration for the 30th year in Ottawa. The new organization's governance structure consists of the Community Advisory Committee which is responsible for overall direction and policies, and the Festival Operations Committee which is responsible for the execution of the annual Fierté dans la Capital(e)Festival.
With the goal of being inclusive, Ottawa Capital Pride has opted for using the term Rainbow Community to identify members across gender and sexual diversity scales and their allies. Often used acronyms like ([LGBT|LGBT]) or LGBTTQ* give recognition to individual segments within the sexual and gender diversities however leave out members of the community that aren’t easily defined by one term.
The Ottawa Capital Pride Historical Gallery
2004's parade on Bank Street
Alex Munter heading the 2005 parade
2007's parade passing in front of parliament buildings on Wellington Street
2007's parade on Elgin Street
2007's street party at the Festival Plaza on Ottawa's City Hall grounds
The B-girlz performing at the 2007 Capital Pride
- McCann, Marcus. "A queer's history of Ottawa Pride". Xtra!. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Egale Canda. "Obtaining Pride Proclamations". Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- "CTV Ottawa: The first gay rugby match on Parliament Hill". CTV. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-31.[dead link]