Vladimir Putin

What Will WorldPride Mean to Toronto

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

View Photos
Watch Live Webcast

The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.

A panel featuring Scott Mullin, Rev. Brent Hawkes, Gavin Crawford and Kevin Beaulieu in discussion with Kristyn Wong Tam

Toronto is the first North American city to host WorldPride. For ten days in June this city will be the focus of international LGBTQ communities. There are very few facets of Toronto life that won’t experience an impact from WorldPride, including tourism, finance, arts and politics. Scott Mullin, TD Canada Trust; Rev. Brent Hawkes, Metropolitan Community Church; Gavin Crawford, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Kevin Beaulieu, ED Pride Toronto discuss What Will WorldPride Mean to Toronto, with moderator Kristyn Wong Tam, City Councillor Ward 27. Biographies: Scott Mullin joined TD Bank Group, TDBG in May 2000 as Vice President, Government Relations. In his current role as Vice President, Community Relations he is responsible for TDBG’s community giving and sponsorships, and corporate social responsibility agenda and programs in Canada and the US. He is also actively involved in TDBG’s diversity and environmental agendas. Prior to TDBG, Mr. Mullin spent two years with the Canadian Bankers Association as Vice President, Public Affairs where he was responsible for the industry’s association’s communications, advocacy and government relations activities. After graduating from Carleton University with a BA in Political Science in 1977, Mr. Mullin spent 19 years with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He served in a variety of assignments including as Canada’s Senior Trade Commissioner in Hong Kong from 1993 to 1997 and Spokesperson for the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1991 to 1993. In 1989 he re opened Canada’s embassy in Tehran and was Canada’s senior diplomatic representative in Iran until 1991. Mr. Mullin also served in Nairobi and Beirut. Mr. Mullin has served on several boards including the Board of Governors of Carleton University, the Youth Challenge Fund, setup by the Ontario government to address youth issues in priority neighborhoods in Toronto, and Casey House, Toronto’s AIDS hospice. He is currently Chair of the City of Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square Public Advisory Group. Mr. Mullin was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012 for his efforts in support of diversity in Canada. Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes is a native of Bath, New Brunswick and a graduate of Mount Allison University. He later received a Masters of Divinity degree from Trinity College, University of Toronto and a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Trinity College. Rev. Hawkes has been the Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto since 1977. As the Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Rev. Hawkes has been at the forefront of ministry to the Gay and Lesbian Community in Toronto. He serves as spiritual leader to a faith community of more than 600 congregants at regular Sunday worship. As well, he has served the community at large with distinction, championing several Human Rights initiatives, especially benefiting the Gay and Lesbian Community. In 1994, Rev. Dr. Hawkes received the City of Toronto Award of Merit, the highest civilian award given by the City of Toronto. In 1995, he received a Global Citizen Award from the United Nations Toronto Association, for his work in advancing human rights in Canada. Rev. Hawkes has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Community Churches in 2001 and the Access, Equity and Human Rights Award from the City of Toronto in 2003. On January 14th 2001 Rev. Hawkes officiated at the first legal marriage of a gay or lesbian couple in the history of the world. The province refused to recognize the marriages, so the church sued the city, the province and the federal government. Their court case was filed jointly with the case for 8 couples who had tried to get a marriage license from city hall. Ultimately these court cases would be successful, making Canada the first county in the world to have had a legally wedded gay and lesbian couple. In 2007 Rev. Hawkes was appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada for his stand on Social Justice and Human Rights within the LGBT communities, the highest award a country has bestowed on a gay activist. In 2009 Rev. Hawkes was presented with an award from the American Psychological Association for exemplifying the values of freedom, fairness and equality under the law and clarity of leadership in advocacy for LGBT people and their families. The New Brunswick Human Rights commission bestowed the honour of Pioneer of Human Rights Award for his historic contribution to the advancement of human rights. In 2009 York University presented Rev. Hawkes with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree for his continuing work in activism and human rights in Canada. In 2010 he was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Mount Allison University, and in 2011 received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from The University of Trinity College. On August 27, 2011 Rev. Hawkes officiated over the state funeral for the Honourable Jack Layton, Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition and head of the NDP, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. He spoke highly of Layton who had touched the lives of millions of Canadians and had been a vocal supporter of AIDS initiatives and LGBT rights. In 2012, Mate magazine of Amsterdam and Berlin named Rev. Hawkes as one of the 500 most influential gay men of all time, recognizing his work and affirming that you can be both gay and Christian. In 2013, Rev. Hawkes received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his stand on Social Justice and Human Rights within the GLBT communities, and was also honoured and inducted into the Q Hall of Fame for his contributions to LGBT Human Rights in Canada and around the world. Rev. Hawkes has helped thousands of gays and lesbians and their families come back into spiritual relationship with God. He has constantly challenged the church to examine important issues such as prejudice against gays and lesbians, inclusive language as well as ordination of women. He has played a significant role in promoting the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. He was a past co chair for the Campaign for Equal Families. Rev. Hawkes leads numerous workshops on Church Growth and Conflict Management in the church. He is also regularly called upon for comment from the media with regards to various human rights related issues. Rev. Hawkes lives in Toronto, Canada, and has been with his partner, John Sproule, since 1981. Gavin Crawford, is an award winning actor and among Canada’s most sought after comedic and dramatic performers. Originally from Alberta, Gavin made his first appearance at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in 1999. Since then he has performed at numerous showcases and festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; the Vancouver International Comedy Festival; the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Aspen, Colorado; and the Edmonton Comedy Festival. He has also worked with Toronto’s The Second City and the sketch troupe Pale By Comparison. Gavin has produced several one man shows including STANDING/MIS, YOU SHOULDN’T BE WATCHING THIS, and MENAGE. In 2000 Gavin was named Best Comedian by Toronto’s NOW Magazine reader’s poll. He was awarded the 1998 Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award for emerging comedians. Gavin appeared in 8 seasons of This Hour Has 22 Minutes to much critical acclaim both for his performance and writing. He won several Gemini Awards over the years for his work on this show, as well as a WGC Award. Gavin co wrote, with Kyle Tingley and starred in THE GAVIN CRAWFORD SHOW that aired on the Comedy Network from 2000 to 2003, which garnered several Canadian Comedy Award nominations, and the 2003 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Actor. In 2008 he hosted CBC’s HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA? Although the bulk of his work has been on the Comedy side, Gavin also won a 2011 DORA Award for his work in a play titled THE SITUATIONISTS and won a Gemini Award for a guest star role on THE MURDOCH MYSTERIES. Gavin starred opposite some of the most illustrious comedians on both the Anglophone and Francophone sides of our industry in FRENCH IMMERSION, shot in 2010 and released in 2011. He won the 2012 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Performance by a Male in Film for his role in this film. In 2013, CBC aired the pilot GAVIN CRAWFORD’S WILD WEST, which Gavin co created, co wrote, and starred in. The show was nominated for five 2014 Canadian Screen Awards. Kevin Beaulieu is the Executive Director of Pride Toronto, the organization that produces the Annual Pride Festival in Toronto, and WorldPride 2014 Toronto in 2014. WorldPride 2014 Toronto is an international gathering celebrating the global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and Intersex, LGBTQI, communities, arts, and culture, and furthering the cause of LGBTQI human rights worldwide. It is the fourth such event ever held, and the first in North America. The annual Pride festival draws over one million attendees, and in 2013, had an economic impact of $287 million. The festival takes place over 10 days and includes the Pride Parade, Dyke March, and Trans Pride, as well as 10 stages showcasing LBTQI talent and culture. WorldPride partnerships with cultural organizations will see the festival spread across the city with diverse multi disciplinary programming. Councillor Kristyn Wong Tam has an extensive career investing in the City of Toronto through both the public and private sectors. Prior to being elected to City Council in 2010, she was an accomplished entrepreneur and supporter of the arts. Councillor Wong Tam is recognized for her passionate human rights advocacy, business acumen and is a sought after public speaker.