Pride Toronto almost bankrupt, thanks to pulled federal funding and QUAIA fiasco

Pride Toronto almost bankrupt, thanks to pulled federal funding and QUAIA fiasco

Toronto Pride parade 2010 (Image: Eduardo Milano)

Last year wasn’t one of the best on record for Toronto Pride. It had the controversy around Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA), which split the city’s gay community and “threatened to bankrupt” the organization. Pride Toronto also had its federal funding pulled, even though Canadian Press reports that it had qualified for federal cash. This year doesn’t seem to be treating the organization any better, with the revelation that it will have to tell its annual general meeting it’s effectively bankrupt.

According to the audited statement that Xtra got:

  • Pride ran a $431,808 deficit with only $322,407 in the bank, meaning it’s currently in the hole for more than $100,000.
  • Pride has a spending problem, not a revenue problem: while the difference in revenue from 2009 to 2010 is only $40,000, the difference in spending is more than a quarter of a million dollars.
  • The loss of the Marquee Tourism program post-QUAIA seems to have been less dire than previously claimed: QUAIA Pride Toronto still got some new federal money, and sponsorships were up by almost as much as grants were down.
  • Meanwhile, there were large increases in salaries and administration.

There are more details here, but in short, it’s no wonder that Brent Hawkes, the head of Pride’s Community Advisory Panel (created in the aftermath of the QUAIA implosion), calls it the “perfect storm” and warns that Toronto could lose World Pride 2014, which would no doubt make some haters happy but would actually be pretty lame.

This audited statement will be presented to the general meeting on Thursday, and no doubt there will be yet more fireworks after that.

• Pride Toronto Audited Financial Statements []
• Pride Toronto to release financials before meeting []
• Toronto Pride passed test for federal funds [Canadian Press]

This post was updated to include Pride Toronto’s (not QUAIA’s) reception of federal money. Toronto Life regrets the error. January 26 at 5:11 p.m.