Event Category: Festival

AIDS Candlelight Vigil

A black background with the words AIDS Candlelight Vigil in white and red

The Candlelight Vigil is an event many in our community look forward to as a place to come together, talk about the people we love and have loved, and honour those we’ve lost. On Tuesday, June 19, join us in commemorating, reflecting, and remembering the remarkable lives that have been affected by HIV/AIDS. They were fighters, advocates, supporters, caregivers, researchers, and lovers. They are the ones who have passed away and the ones who live on in resiliency. Our individual experiences with HIV/AIDS are vastly different, but together we share a story that shapes our community. The theme of this year’s Vigil is Strength in Communities, so take time during your Pride festivities to hold the torch high with your community.


For more information: AIDS Candlelight Vigil at Pride Toronto, AIDS Candlelight Vigil on Facebook and the AIDS Vigil Toronto website.

Gay Day Goes Wet ‘n’ Wild

White background with grey curved lines and the words PFLAG Canada Presents Gay Day Goes Wet 'n' Wild

Now that Pride Month has become an annual staple on the our calendar, we have the absolute pleasure of extending our programming to include even more groups and communities. Gay Day celebrates LGBTQ2S+ families, their allies, and the young at heart, and this year we’re excited to make an even bigger splash, holding this daytime event at Wet ‘n’ Wild water park in Brampton! The water park is located in Brampton and the day starts at 10:30am. Tickets include admission to the park, all-you-can-eat BBQ – featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, salads, and cookies under the sun. Presented in partnership with PFLAG, there will be super fun games and activities for kids, and Big Brother Canada’s Gary Levy – AKA Gary Glitter! – will be there for an exclusive meet and greet. The park serves alcohol that those 19 or older can purchase, it is NOT provided by Pride Toronto.

Tickets for Gay Day Goes Wet ‘n’ Wild

For more information: Gay Day Goes Wet ‘n’ Wild at Pride Toronto

Pride Parade

A smiling person wearing a rainbow tank top and carrying rainbow flags walking down a city street alongside a float with a curved rainbow on it

Costumes, choreography, and colour! Stand loud and proud with more than 120 groups marching in Pride Toronto’s Pride Parade, one of the largest in North America. This is the weekend’s premier event, bursting with performances, floats, marchers with messages, queens, kings, outstanding community groups, and more glitter than you can shake a disco stick at. For the second year in a row, Miss Conception will be calling the play by play at our announcer stage. The procession starts at 2pm at the corner of Bloor and Church and stomps its way down Yonge Street to the Dundas Square stage. Don’t miss this massive street gathering of amazing folks who make our community what it is.

For more information: Pride Parade at Pride Toronto

Deaf Space & Accessibility Programming

Two people on a stage with a black backdrop; one person is holding a microphone and the other is doing ASL interpretation

New this year: a Deaf Space program at Norman Jewison Park.

Pride Toronto strives to make its festival site, materials and events accessible for persons of all abilities. Services offered include, but are not limited, to:

Mobility Services

  • Mobility assistants
  • Wheelchair and walker lending services
  • Charger for electric mobility devices
  • Accessible seating areas and viewing stands
  • Accessible washrooms at each riser and around the festival site

Description and Alternate-Format Media

  • Live audio description at an at-grade viewing area for those who are blind and partially sighted
  • Pride Guide Companion in audio, Braille, and large-print formats at Accessibility Services Hub
  • Downloadable audio Pride Guide Companion on our website
  • Tactile maps posted at Accessibility Services Hub and Welcome Centres

American Sign Language – English Interpreters and UbiDuo

  • ASL – English interpreters at Accessibility Services Hub and selected events
  • Roaming ASL – English interpreters throughout the Pride site
  • UbiDuo communication system for use at Accessibility Services Hub

In addition, the Accessibility Services Hub, located on Gloucester Street at Church Street during the final festival weekend, provides a safe space to escape the crowds, socialize and be comfortable. Pride Toronto Assistants and Team members will welcome festival goers and provide any service needed, along with seating, shade and water. Accessibility programming will take place at Norman Jewison parkette on Saturday June 23rd and Sunday June 24th from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

For more information: Accessibility Programming at Pride Toronto

Fruit Loopz Youth Stage

A person wearing royal blue at a microphone in front of a black background

Another Pride Weekend staple we’re so happy to support is the Fruit Loopz Youth Stage. This is its own mini-festival of arts, words, and ideas for queer and trans youth, by queer and trans youth. Presented by Supporting Our Youth (SOY) in partnership with Pride Toronto, Fruit Loopz has become a festival home base for a vibrant community of young artists from across the gender spectrum, and we’re thrilled to see it shine every year.

Everyone is welcome at this family-friendly, drug- and alcohol-free, youth-focused space.

For more information: Fruit Loopz on Facebook

Night at the Aqueerium

A person wearing wings made of rainbow feathers standing in front of a large aquarium filled with a variety of multicoloured fish

Come celebrate Pride Month with all the colours of the rainbow at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Your vibrant deep-sea adventure awaits with an evening of music featuring DJ Cozmic Cat and DJ Lucie Tic, drag queens, refreshments and a photo booth that will have you feeling like a true sea star! This 19+ event is the perfect way to shell-ebrate Pride Month and have some fun with over 20,000 colourful aquatic animals.

Tickets at Ripley’s Aquarium website

For more information: Night at the Aqueerium at Pride Toronto and Night at the Aqueerium on Facebook

Til Sunrise: A Toronto Island Party

Two people in bright clothing with neon accents on a stage in front of a crowd of people on a sandy beach with pink beach umbrellas

Toronto’s very first Pride-style celebrations happened on the island in 1971, so we thought, “What better way to celebrate our own history than by heading back to where it all began!” ’Til Sunrise is an all-day dance party and celebration happening at Gibraltar Point. After arriving on the Hanlan’s Ferry, take the vintage bus to our hidden tropical paradise, where you can soak up sounds from Latinx superstar DJ Djon, big anthem expert John Caffery, feel-good house music healer Phillippe. There’ll be even more DJs, special performance and a surprise guest we’re keeping a secret to light up the night sky. You’ll also be able to sip cocktails – including specialty concoctions from our pals at Sauza Tequila – and check out custom art installations. Partygoers will have access to the grounds, the Artscape Gibraltar Point building, and the beach. Bring your bathing suits, towels, and sun hats for this gorgeous day that dips its toes in the past yet full-dives into our queer future! Get your tickets at www.pridetoronto.com.

Tickets: Pride Toronto: Til Sunrise Island Party Tickets

For more information: Til Sunrise at Pride Toronto and Til Sunrise on Facebook

Friday Night Live: Colour ROM Proud

A DJ wearing headphones and pink sequins at the controls of a mixer

ROM Friday Night Live (#FNLROM), is back for its 13th season, but only once a year does the museum get transformed into a massive queer nightclub situation! This is the official Pride Toronto #FNLROM takeover and for the 2018 edition you can expect some of the city’s most fiery DJs, drag queens, performers and artists…all blended bodaciously with yummy pop-up food vendors, drinks, and access to the ROM’s glittering galleries. Partygoers must be 19+ and can purchase tickets online in advance from www.rom.on.ca/fnl or at the door beginning at 7pm (arrive early to make sure you don’t miss out!)

For more information: Colour ROM Proud at Pride Toronto and Colour ROM Proud on Facebook

Chronic: Films by Jennifer Reeves

A woman's face with cloudy abstract imagery superimposed

Hosted in conjunction with Inclusive Arts London, London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA) presents a selection of 16mm films by New York-based artist Jennifer Reeves. Featured is her 1996 film, CHRONIC, an elegiac and transcendent portrait confronting disorder, trauma, tragedy and loss. Both honest and unflinching, this semi-autobiographical portrayal of a young woman’s struggles and experiences with severe mental health issues is conveyed through an impressionistic style, collaging dream and memory while offering a profound message of resilience and catharsis through artistic expression. Accompanying the film are two other shorts by Reeves, exploring themes of queerness, longing and identity.

Admission by donation; $5 suggested, no one turned away.

Total duration: 63 minutes

For more information: Chronic: Films by Jennifer Reeves on Facebook

Content warning: this film may be difficult and/or triggering for some audiences; subjects include trauma, self-harm and suicide.


Monsters in the Closet
1993, 16mm, 15 minutes

Dirty little girl stories, girl gangs, and other tales from the closets of adolescence. (J.R.)

1996, 16mm, 38 minutes

CHRONIC is an experimental narrative about a young woman who began mutilating herself as a girl to cope with a traumatic mid-western childhood. The lush optically-printed scenes take Gretchen’s point of view from her punk youth, a stay in a mental hospital, and her release into the big city. Scripted scenes are inter-spliced with documentary and found footage, illustrating the culture Gretchen lives in, her inner world and relationships from her birth to her final day. (J.R.)

We Are Going Home
1998, 16mm, 10 minutes

Solarized, tinted, and optically-printed, this is a surreal portrait of desire, ghosts and pursuit of the sensual. Rhythmic color shifts in the emulsion bring life to the rural landscape, which seems to embody the terrain of the subconscious. Three women seek pleasure and the beyond in parallel universes, which never quite intersect. When one finds another, she is either buried in the sand or asleep under a tree.

WE ARE GOING HOME was shot at Philip Hoffman’s film retreat in rural Ontario. The film was made in the memory of Marian McMahon, an experimental filmmaker who died of cancer in the fall of 1996. (J.R.)

About the filmmaker:
Jennifer Reeves (b. 1971, Sri Lanka) is a New York-based filmmaker working primarily on 16mm film. Her work has shown around the globe from microcinemas in the US to the Berlin, New York, London, Sundance, and Hong Kong Film Festivals, the Robert Flaherty Seminar, the Museum of Modern Art, and at various universities and arthouse cinemas in the US, Canada, and Europe. She has had multiple-program retrospectives at the San Francisco Cinematheque, Kino Arsenal in Berlin, Anthology Film Archives, the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in the UK and a major 10-screening retrospective at the Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland in 2009.

Reeves has made 20+ film-based works dating back to 1990. Since 2003, she has collaborated with numerous composers, including Marc Ribot, Ikue Mori, Skúli Sverrisson, Elliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Burr and Eyvind Kang for a series of live multiple projection performances that have toured internationally.

She does her own writing, cinematography, editing, and sound design. Her subjective and personal films push the boundaries of the medium through optical-printing and direct-on-film techniques including hand-painting film frames. Reeves has explored themes of memory, mental health and recovery, feminism, sexuality, landscape, music, and politics in her films.

Reeves also teaches film part-time at The Cooper Union in NYC.