NEWS

Pride gets city funding

06/08/2012 10:05 EDT | Updated 08/08/2012 05:12 EDT

Pride Toronto is going to get its regular grant from the city of Toronto. But this year the money comes with a warning.

Councillors voted unanimously on Thursday to provide the festival with about $125,000.

Deputy mayor Doug Holyday and other councillors also voted to condemn the words 'Israeli apartheid.'

Holyday said if the organizers allow the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) to cause problems in the Pride Parade he'll lead the charge to remove the city's funding.

"The controversy has arisen because of one group, sure," said Kevin Beaulieu, the festival's executive director. "And that controversy does distract from the fact that we have upwards of 150-160 groups in the parade and 250 artists on our stages. There's so much more that goes on and this (QuAIA) draws so much attention it does distract from the overall purpose and celebration that we have."

Participation of QuAIA has sparked controversy in the past and led to threats to withdraw the city portion of the festival's $1.6 million budget.

QuAIA has applied to take part in the 2012 parade.

The Pride Festival takes place from June 22 to July 1.

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