Halifax Pride in crisis again

2023-01-11 • Halifax • Dan MacKay

Halifax Pride needs a new board. Most of the Board elected in November has resigned; the remaining Board members seem to disagree about everything, including how many Board members actually remain. There is no Executive Director or staff, who are the people who actually run the festival.

The level of conflicts and disorganization will affect sponsorship and funding for this year's festival, which is going to look very different, and without swift action by new and dedicated people, may not happen at all.

Although their statement below accuse "Pride Festival of years prior" (it's unclear whether they mean Board or staff) the Board elected just over a month ago itself, clearly has severe and intractable internal conflicts. One Board member, in deleted instagram posts, has suggested it is their job to end the society which has run the festival since 1999 and thus the Festival. Several former staff have noted specific and general conflict with Board members as the reason for leaving or not returning.

The degree of internal hostility is evidenced by ill-considered, angry, accusatory public Instagram messages from one boardmember to another at the end of December.

Community members interested in the festival happening should register and show up at the Special General Meeting on January 23rd, which is mentioned in Halifax Pride's statement of January 9, below, issued on Instagram.  

The registration link is here.


Dear Queer Community of Halifax:

We are undergoing significant changes following the recent departures of board members and staff. Last Fall, the remaining members of the board hosted our Annual meeting and a Special General Meeting and elected new board members to the organization.

On Thursday, December 29, 2022, social media posts raised the awareness of allegations regarding the former festival staff and volunteers. These are allegations we do not take lightly, and despite our initial response (which has been rescinded), we recognize how these allegations, the statements and the subsequent responses deeply affected community members, (which is still healing from a recent history of turmoil) as well as Halifax Pride's standing within the queer community, and we would like to sincerely apologize.

On behalf of the Halifax Pride organization, we would like to apologize to all of the individuals who were impacted by the working conditions of the Halifax Pride Festivals in years prior.

Over the course of the last year a Strategic Audit, brought to the attention of the Board sitting at that time, the outcomes of this endeavour were presented at this past Special General Meeting and are being implemented moving forward to ensure we can build and maintain an operating structure that is truthfully and genuinely committed to being diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible, with programming that matches and reflects these values for you, our community. Implementation also means a healthy balanced and respectful work environment for staff and volunteers supporting the festival.

Additionally, we would like to clarify our current organizational standing. We are still an operational board and we do intend on hosting events this year that are reflective of the communitys' needs. On January 23rd we will be hosting a virtual Special General Meeting.

Lastly, we are looking for members to join the board, and the immediate need for a new Executive Director to provide leadership and guidance to the organization is clear and steps will be taken to find the right person this position as soon as possible. We will be posting a link to the registration on the HalifaxPride.com website early next week for individuals wishing to attend / register for the meeting.

We have received messages from many of you offering support for the year ahead, for this we are extremely grateful.

For those interested in helping in any capacity, please email us at board@halifaxpride.com. A feedback form will also be published to the HalifaxPride.com website early next week as well.

Sincerely,
The Halifax Pride Board

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