2 min

Kevin Beaulieu says he loved his time with Pride Toronto

Politics not part of the plan yet for resigning executive director

Kevin Beaulieu, who has served as executive director of Pride Toronto for three years, has resigned effective Aug 31. Credit: Andrea Houston

Kevin Beaulieu isn’t saying what’s next, but he is proud of what he’s done.

Pride Toronto announced Aug 19 that Beaulieu, the executive director of Pride Toronto for the last three years, is resigning effective Aug 30. He’ll spend his last few days at the organization wrapping up projects and preparing the transition for the staff that will take over his duties when he leaves.

The successful completion of WorldPride provided Beaulieu with the perfect chance to make his exit from the organization.

“We always knew that was going to be a really significant milestone,” he says, adding that he knew it would be a good opportunity to assess the future, for both him and the organization.

Beaulieu remains tightlipped about his future plans, saying only that he will make them clear in the next few months. Before joining Pride Toronto, Beaulieu was active in city politics, running for the Ward 18 council seat in 2010 and working as Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s executive assistant.

His political resumé gave rise to some Twitter speculation that he might throw his hat in the ring for the 2014 city council election. However, Beaulieu says politics aren’t in the cards — for now. “I have no plans to run at the time,” he says.

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 one of the longest Pride parades to date.

“He’s put the organization in a good place where a new executive director could definitely come in and hit the ground running,” says Sean Hillier, the co-chair of the Pride Toronto board of directors.

For his part, Beaulieu says he won’t soon forget the team at Pride Toronto, who has worked with him through the ups and downs of the last three years. “I loved my time here,” he says. “I’ve worked with so many wonderful, talented people. I take that with me when I move on.”

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.