“Sometimes you read newspapers like Xtra Ottawa or Xtra Toronto and you see these names and organizations doing things, but you never get to meet them,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for everybody to meet up and to discuss whatever piques their interest and find some common ground.”
The Ontario Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (OGLCC) has scaled down its conference on supplier diversity because of low registration.
Originally spread over two days, the conference, co-presented with the Quebec Gay Chamber of Commerce, will now take place March 15. Titled Bridging the Shores, the conference is now free.
Denis Schryburt, OGLCC’s director of regional development says the lack of interest is disappointing.
“There’s so much going on that sometimes these things happen; no fault to anyone,” he says. “We planned a great summit, and we had some great people who wanted to come and take part.”
The one-day event will still feature a roundtable discussion on supplier diversity featuring representatives from Toronto Canada Trust, Telus and Ernst & Young.
Roundtable participants will engage with queer business owners and entrepreneurs on accessing supplier diversity programs, OGLCC president Ryan Tolofson says. “[When] you get certified as an LGBT-owned business, you are able to access new sources of supplier funds from large corporations.”
Similar programs are currently in place in the US, Tolofson says.
A cocktail reception with Fierté Canada Pride, whose joint conference with InterPride runs until March 17, is still on the agenda.
“We wanted to bring the two groups together,” Schryburt says. “We’re really excited about that. It’s going to be a huge success.”
Additionally, WorldPride 2014 co-chairs Francisco Alvarez and Sean Hillier will discuss business opportunities arising out of the international queer celebration, which takes place in Toronto next year.
Although many of the summit’s planned events, including a discussion on the merits of the .gay domain, have been dropped, Schryburt says it is still a fabulous networking opportunity.