Cairns Pride rises from the ashes

Rainbow Flag Crowd APNThe Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) has announced it will auspice the Cairns Pride Festival this October after the region’s long-running festival shut down last year. In December, the committee of Cairns Tropical Pride made the difficult decision to close the festival’s association after 12 years.

Janet Wilson, QuAC Northern Region Board Member, paid tribute to “the tremendous work and commitment by Cairns Tropical Pride Inc. and the many dedicated volunteers.”

She said QuAC CEO Rebecca Reynolds hosted a number of community consultations to find out if the community wants a festival this year. “The answer was an overwhelming yes! We want to build on the solid foundation and great reputation of the Cairns Tropical Pride festival,” said Wilson.

Since those community consultations QuAC’s Cairns office has sent surveys to over 600 community members and received an excellent response. QuAC has also been in negotiation with Cairns Regional Council for continued support and some funding towards the festival.

“This is a major undertaking by QuAC for and on behalf of the LGBTI, Brotherboy and Sistergirl communities,” said Wilson.

The festival will include an Opening Ceremony, Art Exhibition including a Sistergirl art workshop, Pride Fair Day and Closing Ceremony. But first, QuAC wants to hear from interested artists, performers, volunteers, stallholders, and food and beverage vendors.

“We hope to engage many of our allies and the broader community to attend the festival so we’ll be asking that elements are family friendly,” said Wilson. “Those who want to host a party, lunch, dinner, sporting event or other events during the Pride Festival month of October should also engage with QuAC to coordinate.”

She said QuAC is aiming to deliver a safe and inclusive pride festival “visibly celebrating the Far North region’s vibrant, colourful culture, diversity and talent.”

“QuAC’s values of courage, justice, innovation and celebration will be a common theme throughout the Festival,” she said. “We acknowledge and thank everyone involved in previous Pride Festivals and look forward to walking this path together in 2019.”

To find out how to get involved, follow the QuAC North Queensland Facebook page or email: cns@quac.org.au.

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