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Meet the candidates for Pride Toronto’s board

Six candidates vie for five open seats

With a successful (albeit rainy) celebration all wrapped up, Pride Toronto is preparing for another season of parties and parades. But before the planning can begin, it will host its annual general meeting on Oct 22, 2015, where members will vote in five new board members. Six people have thrown their hat into the ring.

Who are they? Let’s find out.

Biko Beauttah
This Kenyan-born woman is a trans activist, a champion of refugee and sexual minority rights, a designer, and a straight up glamazon. Biko moved to Canada in 2006, seeking asylum from her home country, where being LGBT is considered a crime. She is the current trans persons and women representative of George Brown College, where she majors in jewelry arts.

Michelle Cherny
When you look up “business maven” in the dictionary, you’ll find Michelle’s picture. She has a resumé that makes other people feel inadequate. She’s a CPA, a CA, works at Deloitte Canada, is director of Out on Bay Street’s board (where she previously served as the chair for its awards) and serves as a member of the LGBTQ Employees at Deloitte and Allies employee resource group.

Rachel Lauren Clark
Say hello to Rachel. Rachel is a badass. She’s had a 27-year long career in several Fortune 500 technology companies, has a degree in journalism from Morrisville State College and is currently enrolled in the master of divinity program at Emmanuel College. If that wasn’t enough, she’s served in both the US Marine Corps and Navy. Oh, she also holds two technology patents. Rachel, in short, gets things done.

Evan Kirkman Evan has taken Oprah’s advice to heart and is living his best life. With a master’s in art history under his belt, he is now a digital strategist with Shaw Media, where he develops social media strategies for specialty broadcast and digital brands. He’s enthusiastic about LGBT rights, with an emphasis on transgender representation in the media. When he’s not busy being a media guru, Evan hits the gym and is working on a transgender docu-reality series.

 

Paul Saguil
Paul is the old pro on the board. He joined in 2012, and is looking to continue the work he’s done as secretary, chair of the governance committee and co-lead of the strategic planning steering committee. Aside from being on the Pride board, Paul is working as counsel to oppose the opening of Trinity Western University’s law school. Oh, he’s also a member of Toronto Police Services’s LGBTQ community consultation committee, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers and the Roundtable of Diversity Associations. Damn, Paul.

 

Phil Villeneuve
If you haven’t seen Phil around town, you must not be looking. Phil was the final editor-in-chief of Fab Magazine, and currently works as the arts editor of Daily Xtra. But you probably know Phil for his work behind the decks. He’s the mastermind behind Toronto’s gay, French dance party Tapette, helps organize Big Primpin’ and Fit, and is an overall DJ master. Legend has it that if you say his name three times, he’ll appear behind you while filming one of his viral “Dancing Phil” clips.  

(Editor’s note: Since Phil Villeneuve announced his candidacy for Pride Toronto’s board, he is no longer involved in any Daily Xtra editorial matters, decisions or coverage related to Pride Toronto.)

(Pride Toronto’s annual general meeting is on Thursday, Oct 22, 2015.)