Just like any small, hard-working non-profit organization, Brantford PRIDE would not be where they are today without the on-going support of other local groups, dedicated to reaching a similar goal. Below you will find some information on these groups. Together we hit the ground running with our direct approach to finding success.
Brantford Pride Committee
Brantford Pride is an organization consisting of community members committed to promoting peace, diversity and equality for the LGBTQ+ population in Brantford and Brant County.
We will work together as a unified team in collaboration with community partners to support programs for education, awareness, support and advocacy for all.
We are committed to creating a safe, inclusive environment in our city.
History of Brantford Pride
In 2010, a group formed to promote the presence of the LGBTQ+ community in Brantford/Brant County which became known to the community as The Bridge. The Bridge works to identify and address inequalities that are experienced by the diverse sexual and gender identified communities within Brantford and Brant County. In 2011, Brantford Pride developed out of The Bridge. Brantford Pride is made up of community members and allies who aimed to bring awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate acceptance. The Bridge and Brantford Pride brought the first annual flag-raising ceremony to Brantford by approaching the Mayor and Council. From then on, the third week of June became know as Brantford Pride Week.
Brantford Pride Week has grown, continuing to gain support. In 2012, 70 people participated in the Pride Walk from the Grand River Community Health Centre on Colborne St. to Mohawk Park and approximately 100 people joined together at City Hall to watch the 2nd annual pride flag raising. At the busiest time, over 150 people participated in the day’s activities at Mohawk Park which included food, entertainment and presentations. The Heritage United Church also had a non-denominational service for those in the community which touched the lives of the LGBTQ+ community to know they were accepted. In 2013, Brantford Pride was becoming more well received by Brantford. Although only about 40 people participated in the Pride Walk that year, approximately 250 attended the day’s events at Mohawk Park and Brantford Police as well as many businesses in Brantford raised their own Pride Flags to show their support.
In 2014, Brantford Pride was proud to introduce the Youth for PEACE (Pride, empowerment, acceptance, courage and equality); which is a social group for LGBTQ+ youth for ages 16 to 24. This group allows for youth to connected to other LGBTQ+ youth in the group and the community. They hold dinners and have guest speakers to talk about the topics the Youth for Peace wish to hear about.
2015 is a year that Brantford Pride was most excited about. That year, events would extend for an entire week in Brantford rather than just for one day. Brantford Pride also announced and recognized the establishment of several LGBTQ+ peer groups and continuation of Safe Space Training for the community. 150 people turned out for the 5th annual flag rising ceremony. It was this event Mayor Chris Friel announced that he was warned five years ago that acknowledging gay people living in the community would be the ‘end of Brantford’ and ‘divide the community’ but was proud to see that the Brantford Pride week had connected people together and made the community stronger.
Last year (2016), was Brantford Pride’s largest turnout since it started 6 years ago. Over 200 people attended the flag raising ceremony at City Hall which was double from last year. All events had seen an increase in attendance; 50+ more people participated in the Pride walk, 60 people attended open mic night where people were spilled out onto the street since the Café could not seat that many people and all 120 tickets sold out for the Grand River sunset cruise which was double from last year. The acceptance and hope for not only themselves but for children/future children has been apparent and thriving in the City of Brantford. Change is happening.