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article imageToronto wins bid to host World Pride in 2014

By Stephanie Dearing     Oct 19, 2009 in World
Pride Toronto is a little prouder today after winning a bid to host World Pride activities in Toronto in 2014. Pride Toronto beat out a bid from Stockholm in a landslide vote. This international celebration of gay rights was first held in Rome in 2000.
Ontario's openly gay Deputy Premier, George Smitherman said "In over 29 years of Pride Week celebrations, the world has taken notice of Toronto as a city that celebrates diversity." Toronto beat out Stockholm by garnering 78% of the votes at an Inter Pride conference in St. Petersburg Florida yesterday. It was the second round of voting. Pride Toronto expects that this year's Gay Pride attendance of 750,000 people will be doubled for the World Pride event. This year's Gay Pride brought in about $136 million to Toronto during the festivities that celebrates gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender orientations.
Toronto was represented by a team that included "... officials from Pride Toronto, organizers of the annual Pride Week, the Toronto Police Service, Pride Week sponsor TD Bank and Tourism Toronto," said the Toronto Star.
A Toronto Pride news release said "... WorldPride 2014 aims to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. The provisional program for the festival includes an opening ceremony with a parade of nations, an international human rights conference, a wall of remembrance in honour of the 45th anniversary of Stonewall, and an exhibition and networking fair. A gathering of all Pride Toronto's former International Grand Marshals will take place, an AIDS Candlelight vigil will be held, and three parades including a Trans March, a Dyke March and Pride Parade. Cultural events will be scheduled to celebrate Canada Day and the US Independence Day, and a closing ceremony will be held immediately following the Parade."
The last World Pride was hosted by Jerusalem in 2006. The event suffered from the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Palestine, with the parade cancelled, and the event had been postponed by a year because of the war. The event was not welcomed by Israelis, but organizers remained committed.
World Pride 2012 will be hosted by London, United Kingdom. The 2014 event will be the fourth World Pride.
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