After a record year for Capital Pride, organizers say that monetary irregularities have come to light upon review of post-festival finances. In a press release sent out Aug 29, the board indicated that it is investigating the issue and that a police investigation may also be pending.
The Ottawa Citizen reported Sept 4 that Guillaume Tasse, who provided tents, tables, chairs and toilets to the festival, has been unsuccessful in his attempts to collect the $42,000 he is owed by Capital Pride. Tasse told the Citizen that he was advised by the board that treasurer Giselle Gardipy is currently in hospital. He also alleged that a $10,000 deposit cheque had bounced and that he was told by Capital Pride that the board would have no further contact with him.
This is not the first time Capital Pride has faced financial woes; in 2013, the organization was still paying down debt it incurred after hosting a 2004 street party. As of May 2013, that debt had been reduced to $34,030, and Capital Pride had reached a settlement with contractor Fleet Pro Sound and Lighting to settle a $14,000 debt. At the time, Fleet owner Mike Feagan confirmed the debt had been settled but said it had not been paid in full.
Reached by Xtra for comment, Capital Pride chair Jodie McNamara said that the board had been advised not to make any further statements regarding the issue but that they will be releasing more information as it comes to light. Media relations coordinator Matt Blenkarn echoed this statement.
“Capital Pride will continue to uphold its transparency with the LGBT community and its allies as details surrounding this situation emerge,” the press release reads.
Xtra is following this story.