The power of peer and community support was on full display, at this year’s Ride Don’t Hide and WorldPride events.
Ride Don’t Hide 2014
On June 22, 2014, communities from all across Canada participated in the Canadian Mental Health Associations (CMHA’s) annual Ride Don’t Hide bike-a-thon. Through this event, bikers and community members were able to increase awareness about mental illness, and also raised funds, which will make a significant impact in various communities across BC, Alberta and Ontario. In addition, Ride Don’t Hide provided participants with the opportunity to improve their fitness, and to support a great cause, while being cheered on by enthusiastic volunteers, friends, and family.
For one amazing week Toronto hosted WorldPride 2014. The event was organized by Pride Toronto, “the not-for-profit organization that hosts Pride Week, one of the premier arts and cultural festivals in Canada” (Pride Toronto, 2014). According to Pride Toronto, Pride Week is “one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, with an estimated attendance of over 1.2 million people celebrating the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA communities”.
From June 20 – 29, 2014 Toronto welcomed the international community, to celebrate WorldPride. Leading up to the event, there were visible displays of solidarity, all over the city. There was support from the for-profit sector, from the non-profit sector; and from local event participants. Businesses decked out their website logos, and store front signs, in rainbow hues. In addition, a large number (and a diverse range) of businesses, groups, associations, and political parties, participated in the various pride parades. The streets were filled with life infused music; and everywhere you turned there were vibrant colours, and exuberant displays of love and support. Community support matters, and at this year’s WorldPride it was all around!