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Halifax Pride December Meeting

About 20 members of the public and 8 Pride boardmembers gathered via Zoom for under an hour on Thursday, December 14, for the Halifax Pride December Community Meeting.

Fiona Kerr, Interim Operations Manager asked rhetorically, "Why are we having a community meeting?" and answered: "We need to re-establish communications with the community. Pride used to have the meetings once a month - they’re a good way to update people, and some people want to hear updates and news in person."

Boardmembers Connor McKiggan and Hayden O’Malley opened the meeting with the agenda and a land acknowledgment; one boardmember monitored the Zoom chat panel for questions, and there was ASL interpretation.

Report from the Interim Operations Manager

Hello! I'm Fiona (she/her); for several years I was fulltime Pride Operations Manager; this will be my 7th festival.  Let's get right into the details!

First of all, financials: people were not satisfied with the financial information at the AGM. The big picture is: the financials are stable and not at all dire as previously communicated. We’re in a good place, but not in a "hire full time staff tomorrow" place.  I have an understanding of the financials and I’m happy with what I walked into.  

Almost all of the outstanding payables from 2022 had already been paid when I took over; since then the few left over have also been paid.  

Parade Registration refunds: I’ve been processing requests for refunds and have also reached out to applicants/registrants and offered them refunds.  We've issued some, but most people are excited to come back next year.  All of the parade registration money was kept separate, so refunds, if necessary, are not coming out of any budget.

Sponsorship: Pride 2023 did not accept any sponsorship except for a long term relationship with TD Bank, so there is no complexity there.

We’re doing a full financial review in the new year including a 3rd party financial review, but the finances are all in a good place. I went into this with concerns - but I do not have any now.

Any questions? [crickets]

The Board has had two full meetings since the AGM; a smaller group meets weekly. Our first order of business was to engage me to do the day-to-day work to get the festival off the ground; this has been good so far and lots of people are super happy to re-engage with Pride. We'll have a planning weekend in January.

We have a really supportive team with diverse skills and interests. Although we're calling them “new” boardmembers, most have long term relationships with Pride. The conversations have been really great.

We’ve engaged the suppliers for 2024; all have been very enthusiastic; all of those relationships are intact.

Sponsorship-wise, all of the sponsors so far contacted are very enthusiastic.  

We have tentative plans for a Halfway To Pride event — maybe a comedy night? winter formal party? dance party? probably in late January, early February.  We’re still doing the design for this event.

Questions? [crickets]

Festival Plans: the schedule is taking shape! It’ll be similar to 2022 but scaled back. The festival dates are July 18 - 28.  In recent years we've been on the Garrison Grounds for 8 days; that’ll be scaled back.

Community Event Planners: the Parade will be on July 20th; that weekend will look a lot like previous first weekends.  

There’ll be a call for performers and also one for contract positions for the festival. There’ll be a Pride Guide/Calendar; it’ll be on line for sure, possibly not printed.

In a couple of months we’ll have the Community Event Funding Program announced as in previous years. The funding for this program comes from our fundraising events.

Q & A

Q: Dykes vs. Divas? A: We’ve started to reach out with the organizers for this.

Greg; I'm producing Atlantic Boylesque, Planet Pride at the Seahorse and Marquis and a daytime DJ session out on the patio -- if we don't have another deluge.

Pride: Usually our schedule isn’t announced until May but by mid-winter the official Pride events will be settling in and we'll share what we can.

Q: What about accessibility planning? A: We’ll be doing things in a similar way as in 2022. We are thinking of doing *some* masked events.

Youth Project reps:. Youth Project events will be fully masked - so there will be some of those.

Q: What about more community events? A: Community events will fill out the Festival; there are often a hundred or more community events, and with a scaled back 2024, there’ll be room for even more.

In summary: we're not in a terrible spot.

Any more questions? Comments? [crickets]

The meeting was adjourned.

The full journal of Halifax Pride 2024 is in this Wayves article.