Kevin Beaulieu’s largest Pride celebration was also his last as executive director of Pride Toronto.
Pride Toronto announced Aug 19 that Beaulieu, who led the organization for three years, has resigned effective Aug 31.
Sean Hillier, the co-chair of Pride Toronto’s board of directors, tells Xtra that the organization has been aware of Beaulieu’s intention to resign, declining to say why Beaulieu is leaving the job. Beaulieu has not yet responded to requests for comment on this story.
“He’s really helped to make Pride and WorldPride what it is today,” Hillier says.
Before joining Pride Toronto, Beaulieu worked as Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s executive assistant. In 2010 he ran for the Ward 18 council seat but was defeated by Ana Bailão.
He joined Pride Toronto months after city council had considered a motion to defund the festival over the involvement of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA). Though that motion failed, council would again debate whether the controversial group should be in the parade and, by extension, if Pride Toronto should be funded.
However, the festival has grown considerably in the last three years. During his tenure, Beaulieu oversaw the organization of WorldPride, which brought thousands of visitors to Toronto from across the world and featured the longest Pride parade ever.
“He’s put the organization in a good place where a new executive director could definitely come in and hit the ground running,” Hillier says.
Hillier says that Pride Toronto is now in the initial stages of the search for a new executive director but it is not yet decided whether an interim executive director will be put in place or assume the responsibilities until a new person is hired.