Here at APEX, we are encouraged to volunteer and give back to the community in any way that we can. Volunteering not only provides with a chance to meet new people, but also gives you the opportunity to support a cause that you are passionate about.
This year I decided to lend my skills to one of the city’s largest premier arts and cultural festivals – Pride Toronto. I acted as one of two media relations team leads during this year’s festival planning. I was able to help develop and nurture existing media relationships helping promote Pride Week’s festivities in the media.
My responsibilities included celebrity announcement pitching, interview requests and media accreditation – just to name a few.
But, what made this volunteer experience really unique were the people I was able to meet and work with during the festival.
The Opening Party
On Friday, June 19 we launched the 35th edition of Pride in the heart of the village. The diverse lineup included
- host Ryan G. Hinds,
- vogue dance group 10s from House of Monroe,
- music from DJ Black Cat, and,
- YouTube sensation from Hollywood, Todrick Hall.
The team and I helped provide photo opportunities and facilitated interviews with media such as CBC, CP24 and Daily Xtra!
On Friday, June 26, I was the media team lead at the Molson Canadian Yonge-Dundas Square for the Transforming Pride celebration. This venue marked the ending spot of the Trans* Pride March, one of the largest annual events of the Trans* communities in Canada.
This celebration was graced with artists and admirable activists including
I helped facilitate media interviews with available musical acts and Pride spokespeople.
The Pride Parade
Naturally it would not be Pride without the Parade. I helped monitor and aid the designated media area located at Church and Bloor providing close and personal photo opportunities for the present media.
This year’s festival consisted of 150 participating groups and included
- International Grand Marshall’s Celina Jaitly,
- Pussy Riot,
- Cyndi Lauper,
- Grand Marshall David Furnish, and,
- Youth Ambassador Brendan Jordan.
The most important thing I will take away from this experience is learning how to work with other professionals who are not within the communications field. When you work in a PR agency everyone tends to speak the same industry language.
While working with Pride Toronto I collaborated with many different teams, such as accessibility and weekend volunteers. With everyone’s passion and hard work I helped throw one of the largest summer celebrations in the city.