Your WorldPride Toronto Itinerary
The folks putting on WorldPride Toronto promise the biggest and most diverse arts and cultural programming in the history of the WorldPride organization. Visitors will be greeted with everything rainbow — from chalk-colored sidewalks to flags flying en masse to everything LGBT you can imagine. There's also plays, discussions, dancing, and a who's who of pop music, DJs, and drag performers. Here are the must-see events for the rest of World Pride:
Until JUNE 27
World Pride Human Rights Conference 2014
While presentations and policy talk are not the first thing that come to mind when you think of Pride, the Human Rights conference brings together a fascinating mix of policymakers, journalists, educators and activists into a global dialogue of LGBT rights. Notable speakers include Fidel Castro's niece/trans rights champion Mariela Castro Espin, lesbian former Prime Minister of Iceland Johanna Siguroadottir, and the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, Frank Mugisha, who is one of the leading voices for LGBT rights in Uganda.
Where: University College, University of Toronto, 15 King College Circle
Cost: $275 plus tax
Thursday, JUNE 26
Starry Night: Love is in the Hair
The higher the hair, the closer a drag queen is to heaven. Fresh off from her Drag Race win, Bianca Del Rio and her fierce competitors Adore Delano, Courtney Act and Darienne Lake star in this production at the Green Space Festival. The star-studded lineup also includes Montreal's circuit DJ drag dame Mado Lamotte and more.
When: 6 p.m.-midnight
Where: The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church Street
Friday, JUNE 27
Trans Pride March and Rally
Trans activists and supporters march down Yonge Street, as they rally and advocate inclusivity in the greater LGBT community. Deaf, disabled, black, queer, femme, trans dyke Kylie Brooks is scheduled to speak.
When: 7-10 p.m.
Where: North Stage, Church Street at Isabella Street
Saturday, JUNE 28
Aqua: Massive WorldPride T-Dance Edition
DJs Chus and Ceballos and Kitty Glitte join Steven Meisel-muse Carmen Carrera as soaked party revelers dance over 22 water fountains in one of World Pride's biggest and wettest dance parties ever.
When: noon–8 p.m.
Where: Yonge and Dundas Square, Yonge Street at Dundas Street
Vagina-obsessed up-and-coming video artist Rusiko Lomtatidze performs her latest visual offering, which deals with the spectacle and discourse of femininity and how society views the female sex organ. Expect animated clitorises projected outdoors, accompanied by video clips.
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Clean and Sober Stage, Paul Kane Parkette, 58 Wellesley Street East
Around the World Revue
You don't have to get on a plane to experience the fantastic cabaret revue of Toronto's golden boy Ryan G. Hinds. Spanning influences from four different continents, the ever-colorful master of provocation, armed with two amazing backup dancers, Nicole Rose Bond and Marco Placencio, promises fabulous choreography and glamorous costumes among various musical numbers.
When: 9 p.m.
Where: Air Canada Village Stage, Church Street at Wellesley Street
Cherry Bomb Pride: Out of This World
Toronto's favorite lady DJ Denise Benson and her loyal following will claim the biggest party for queer women at World Pride 2014. The Official Dyke Day After-Party will feature four DJs on two levels with a breathtaking midnight performance from Circo Theatre's Diana Lopez on high-level sexy silks.
When: 10 p.m.
Where: Virgin Mobile Mod Club, 722 College Street West
Cost: $20 at door
Blockorama 16: Still We Rise
One of the top outdoor events during Pride, this event features multiplatinum artists such as homegrown chanteuse Deborah Cox, newly out Jamaican reggae and dancehall queen Diana King, and '90s pop fave Crystal Waters. Delectable local acts also include DJ and beat mixer Blackcat, choreographers Ill Nana DiverseCity Dance Company, and the musical political heavy weights LAL.
When: Noon–11 p.m.
Where: Yonge and Wellesley Parking Lot, adjacent Wellesley Subway Station
Sunday, JUNE 29
Put on some glitter, don your booty shorts, and arm yourself with a water gun as a flurry of some of the wildest, skimpiest and costumed outfits are displayed. Of course, we also remember how far we've come, and what's left to achieve.
When: 2 p.m.
Where: Yonge Street in downtown Toronto
Sunday Night Fever
Catapulted to fame by his smash club track "Bitch You Look Fierce," DJ Relentless, aka Alphonso King Jr., has already thrown his weight around NYC's top clubs. But the Tampa-native now calls Toronto home, thanks in part to a Canadian husband, graphic artist and HIV activist John Richard Allan. DJ Relentless throws a Pride bash called Sunday Night Fever, with a return to the traditional Tea Dance.
When: 5–10 p.m.
Where: Zipperz/Cellblock, 72 Carlton Street
Cost: Free but $2 donations at the DJ booth will all go to the People With Aids Foundation
Until JULY 13
Angels in America
Considered one of the most defining LGBT stories ever written, Angels is getting a Canadian makeover just in time for World Pride. Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America humanizes the struggles and strife of a diverse cast of New York characters that will leave you with a roller coaster of emotions.
Where: Soulpepper Theatre, 50 Tank House Lane
Until SEPTEMBER 7
Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography
See queer identity through the eyes of iconic famous fashion photographers like Herb Ritts and Robert Mapplethorpe, whose raw and homoerotic images captivated the art world. Curated by Jon Davies, the exhibition also taps into the subversive, questioning and challenging gender identity norms.
Where: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West
Cost: $19.50 for adults, $16 for seniors, $11 for students with valid ID