2 min

Toronto Pride season begins

Corey Hart, night march and more

Corey Hart to headline Pride
The 1980s pop star Corey Hart, known for his hit “Sunglasses at Night,” will make his first Canadian appearance in a decade at this year’s Toronto Pride festival.
Hart’s 1988 song “Truth Will Set You Free” was recently remixed and re-released as a “gay anthem.” Hart, who left the music industry in the ’90s to raise a family, says he wrote the song about a friend who was struggling with coming out. 
Hart will perform Saturday, June 30 at 8:15pm at a free, open-air gig on the South Stage.
Night march
Since so much violence directed at queer and trans people takes place after dark, a night march is planned for Monday, June 25. 
Organized by the newly formed group Queers for Social Justice, the march will begin at Nathan Phillips Square at 8:30pm and follow an undisclosed route through the downtown. 
Organizers are actively looking for marshals. A training session is planned for Wednesday, June 20, 5:30 to 7pm, at the 519 Church St Community Centre. 
Pride kickoff party
The Pride Toronto 2012 kickoff party and international grand marshal reception will take place Friday, June 22 from 6 to 10pm at the Courtyard Marriott hotel. The event is a chance to meet the volunteers and sponsors of this year’s festival. 
Last year’s reception included buff male eye-candy (though, sadly, no sexy women), speeches from former mayor Barbara Hall and the Pride Toronto co-chairs, as well as a glow-in-the-dark drag number by Sofonda Cox.
Dyke March/ Libido
A circus-themed party is planned for Libido, a night of queer arts and sexy performances on Wednesday, June 27 that will raise funds for the Dyke March. Held at the Gladstone, the event will feature a chorus of 100 vagina puppets by queer artist Coral Short and the Hole-y Army project. The colourful vaginal puppets will also be part of the Dyke March on Saturday, June 30.
Libido begins at 8pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Toronto Women’s Bookstore and online at


Pride Toronto launches Trans Space
For the first time ever, this year’s Pride celebrations will include an entire stage devoted to trans and gender-variant performers and artists. 
Those slated to perform at the Trans Space include Rae Spoon, Bach Social and Olive-or-Oliver.
Located next to the North Stage, across from the 519 Community Centre, the Trans Space will provide information, workshops and support to members of the trans community who are questioning or simply curious. 
The safe and inclusive space will be open for the entire Pride weekend.
Trans artists will also be performing at many other Pride stages and events.
The Trans March takes place June 29, beginning with a rally at Norman Jewison Park at 6pm. 
The march kicks off at 7:30pm and will head down Church St.