Jun 20, 2014

By Scott Walker

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The World Pride Festival kicks off in Toronto tonight.

It’s the first time the event has been held in North America. And it is expected to benefit Toronto in a number of ways.

Pride has always been a big boost for the local economy. Last year visitors spent $286-million while they were here. And that number is expected to be significantly higher this year. Two million people will take part in World Pride, many of them visitors from around.

One of the highlights of the festival is an exhibit at the Elgin and Wintergarden Theatres of couples who have moved to Canada because our country recognizes same-sex marriages. Premier Kathleen Wynne says World Pride will “shines a light” on the fact that there are parts of the world where people live in fear, and “we need to be a beacon in Ontario for inclusiveness and acceptance.”

Wynne is Canada’s first openly-gay Premier. During the recent election campaign, she was accompanied on her tour bus by her partner, Jane Rounthwaite. She says they were accepted as a couple in every corner of the province.

Wynne will take part in the official opening of World Pride this evening at 7:00 at Nathan Philips Square.

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