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Toronto Pride Week 2010 shifts dates

Will incorporate Canada Day & Independence Day next year

INDEPENDENCE DAY. The 2010 Pride Parade will fall on Jul 4. Credit: Peter Bevan photo

With Toronto Pride 2009 over and done with, Pride Toronto has already begun planning next year’s 2010 festival, starting off with one significant change — moving the festival one week later.

Pride Week 2010 will run Fri, Jun 25 to Sun, Jul 4, as opposed to the last week of June, as it has been scheduled in previous years.

Tracey Sandilands, executive director of Pride Toronto, says the decision to move the festival one week later was made to accommodate the G8 Summit taking place in Toronto next year.

The G8 Summit is an annual forum for government leaders from eight wealthy countries — France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada — and is often the scene of large scale protests.

The idea to move Toronto Pride one week was recommended by Toronto city officials and Toronto Police Services, who warned that hosting Toronto Pride and the G8 Summit at the same time would put a strain on the city’s resources, like police services, says Sandilands.

“The police will be busy taking care of the dignitaries,” says Sandilands.

From a tourism standpoint, moving the festival one week has advantages. For one, Canada Day will fall in the middle of Pride Week (rainbow fireworks, anyone?). And Toronto Pride may also bring in more Americans. Under the new festival schedule, the 2010 Pride Parade will fall on Jul 4, Independence Day in the US. The following Monday, Jul 5, is also a US public holiday since Independence Day falls on a Sunday next year. “[Americans] coming up will have a day to travel back,” says Sandilands.

Sandilands says it’s too soon to paint an accurate picture of what Pride Week 2010 will look like. She says those details will be clearer this fall at Pride Toronto’s AGM on Thu, Sep 17 at a venue to be announced.