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Capital Pride considers adding paid executive director

Capital Pride board members are considering creating a position for an executive director to the board in order to ensure the festival runs smoothly.

Chris Ellis, corporate sponsorship coordinator, says hiring a paid executive director or organizer could alleviate some of the stress suffered by volunteer board members.

“As a working board, the directors often get burnt out because they are doing so much on top of everything else they are doing in their lives,” Ellis says. “I think it would help us a lot if we could perhaps find other ways of contracting out. We are getting to a point where we need more help than a volunteer board can do on its own.”

Concerns raised at the meeting included the length of lines and the absence of debit services at the beer tent, the time it took front-gate volunteers to search bags and the placement of info fair booths.

Producer Sebastien Provost of House of SAS, who staged the Cirque Bizarre events during Capital Pride, travelled to Ottawa from Montreal specifically to attend the Capital Pride town hall held on Sept 13.

“All of the little things that I’ve heard around the table shouldn’t even be issues,” Provost says. “Logistics and sponsorships and all of these things are acquired arts.”

Provost thinks it’s a good idea to hire a professional who specializes in the delivery of festivals.

“It hurts me deeply to see year after year the same types of mistakes being made. I think that we could be a leader, and we certainly should be as the nation’s capital,” Provost says.

Ellis says the decision to add a paid position to the Capital Pride board will hinge on financials and a membership vote.

Chair Loresa Novy says the board will discuss the prospect of adding the new position at its upcoming AGM on Oct 24.

“We are growing so we need to look at the possibility of . . . contract positions or just keep going as we are,” Novy says. “We are having growing pains so we will definitely look into that and see what works best for the festival.”

Treasurer Jonathan Dawe estimated Capital Pride pulled in $30,000 from ticket sales. Dawe plans to present an official financial statement at the AGM.

Robin Duetta was the last Capital Pride executive director. Budgetary constraints forced the board to remove the position after the 2004 festival.