Pride un­funded?

Pride P.E.I. chair­man crit­i­cizes Char­lot­te­town for not pro­vid­ing fund­ing for up­com­ing event but city of­fi­cial says no re­quest has been made yet

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - THE GUARDIAN dstew­art@the­guardian.pe.ca

City of Char­lot­te­town says it has not re­ceived fund­ing re­quest from Pride P.E.I.

Char­lot­te­town’s events de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer says Pride P.E.I. hasn’t got­ten any money from the city be­cause Pride Week or­ga­niz­ers didn’t ask for it.

Tyler Mur­naghan, chair­man of the lo­cal LGBTQ or­ga­ni­za­tion, claims the City of Char­lot­te­town turned down a fund­ing re­quest for the up­com­ing Pride P.E.I. week.

Mur­naghan is­sued a news re­lease Mon­day crit­i­ciz­ing the city for turn­ing down a fund­ing re­quest only to learn that the city was spend­ing money to ad­ver­tise at the Pride fes­ti­val in Hal­i­fax.

The truth is, the City of Char­lot­te­town isn’t advertising at Hal­i­fax Pride but Dis­cover Char­lot­te­town is, pro­mot­ing the P.E.I. cap­i­tal as LGBTQ-friendly. Dis­cover Char­lot­te­town is a sep­a­rate en­tity from the city cor­po­ra­tion and is not funded by the city.

But Dis­cover Char­lot­te­town does op­er­ate with fund­ing through the tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion levy col­lected by the ho­tels and uses that money to pro­mote the city.

Mur­naghan said his group sends a spon­sor­ship re­quest ev­ery year but was told this year the city didn’t have any funds.

Mur­naghan said he’s look­ing for $500 to help with Pride Week ac­tiv­i­ties.

“They said they didn’t have any funds, right around when they came out with the bud­get,’’ Mur­naghan said.

Wayne Long, the city’s events de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, said Mur­naghan may have com­mu­ni­cated with some­one with the city, but his of­fice is where such fund­ing re­quests go to. Long says no such re­quest was made this year.

“As of to­day, we have not re­ceived any fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion through the events de­vel­op­ment di­vi­sion and that’s where the fund­ing ( for this event) nor­mally falls,’’ Long said. “Tra­di­tion­ally over the years the city has been a fund­ing part­ner of Pride Week.’’

Pride Week takes place July 26 to Aug. 1.

The City of Char­lot­te­town will host a flag-rais­ing cer­e­mony on July 27 to for­mally rec­og­nize Pride Week but Mur­naghan said get­ting fi­nan­cial help has been a chal­lenge lately.

“Spon­sor­ships re­ally aren’t com­ing as easy this year as they have in the past,’’ Mur­naghan said.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s chair­man said there is a greater ac­cep­tance now of the LGBTQ com­mu­nity and he would like to see more Pride events held across the province.

“Things have been mov­ing for­ward on Prince Ed­ward Is­land as far as ac­cep­tance. I think it would help if we were to start fund­ing projects.’’

HEATHER TAWEEL/THE GUARDIAN

Tyler Mur­naghan, chair­man of Pride P.E.I., is­sued a news re­lease on Mon­day in which he crit­i­cized the City of Char­lot­te­town for not pro­vid­ing fund­ing for Pride Week ac­tiv­i­ties later this month. How­ever, the city’s events de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer told The Guardian that they have al­ways pro­vided fund­ing in the past through the events de­vel­op­ment di­vi­sion but that a re­quest for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance hasn’t been made to his of­fice yet.

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