June 2, 2009: Halifax Pride Festival Wins Hallmark Status in HRM Council Vote Halifax, Nova Scotia!
Halifax Regional Council voted to make the Halifax Pride Festival (July 18 - 26) a Hallmark Event and awarded the Pride Committee $25,000 towards this year’s celebration. This was a recommendation from HRM’s Special Events Advisory Committee (SEAC) and was put before Council by SEAC Chair, Councillor Brad Johns. Councillors DawnSloane and Jennifer Watts spoke in favour of the motion, noting the hard work of the Pride Committee and that Halifax had become a truly welcoming place for the gay community; no councillors spoke against. “This is an extraordinary moment,” said Halifax Pride Chair HugoDann. “This places Halifax Pride in the same category as HRM’s signature cultural events like the Jazz Festival, the Film Festival, and Scotia Festival of Music.”
In 1988, 75 brave men and women marched down Spring Garden Road and into history as the first Pride Parade in Halifax. With no human rights protections in place, many of the marchers had to conceal their identities behind paper masks [This is not exactly right - check the page for this event -- DanielMacKay].
It was only in recent years, under Mayor Peter Kelly, that Halifax Pride Week was officially proclaimed and the Pride Flag flown at Halifax City Hall.
“This year’s theme is Breaking Down Walls; Building Bridges, which is kind of appropriate, when you think of it," said Dann, "There are some municipalities in Nova Scotia that have recently gone to extraordinary lengths not to fly the Rainbow Flag. Halifax Regional Council recognizing Pride as a Hallmark Festival is a major symbolic victory for our whole community. I guess you could say that in our 21st year, we’ve come of age”
Halifax Pride is the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer (LGBTQ) cultural event in Atlantic Canada, and the 4th largest Pride Festival in the country.
As many as 75,000 people now take part in Halifax Pride events. It’s estimated that $2,000,000 is generated for the local economy during Halifax Pride Week. This year’s festival takes place from July 18 – 26th, with the Pride Parade on Saturday, July 25.