Toni Vere is a local musician who has been selected as the 20th anniversary Calgary Pride Parade marshal. For more information, visit www.pridecalgary.ca.

So you’re a local musician, tell me about your music?

I started writing songs when I was 12. That’s the one constant in my musical life, not that I’m 12, but that I’ve continued to write songs. I still feel like I’m 12 some days, though. I’ve played in a few cover tune bands and toured most of Western Canada up until a little over 10 years ago. I needed to take a break, get off the road, and be closer to my family.

You have been selected as Pride Parade marshal, how exciting is that?

It’s extremely exciting and something I’ll always cherish. It’s even a greater honour to be the Grand Marshal for the 20th anniversary Pride!

What kind of events will you be involved with this weekend and week?

I’m part of the organizing committee for the first annual Calgary Dyke March, which takes place at noon on Saturday. Sunday is the big event, the 20th anniversary Gay Pride Parade, which starts at noon. I get to ride shotgun in a swanky car and lead this year’s parade.

How have Pride celebrations in Calgary grown over the past 10 years?

Pride activities have grown in quality and in quantity. From the outside looking in, I see a group of people who have taken real ownership of Calgary’s Pride celebrations with a passion and commitment that continues to raise the bar for future Pride celebrations in our city. Visibility and attendance also grows every year.

What do you do in your spare time?

Spare time, that’s funny. All fun aside, I love camping, watching movies, and I am a crazy woman in the kitchen. I love cooking with no recipes. My family mostly puts up with my inventions. We have a will.

What’s next?

We’re doing lots of shows, recording a song and hoping to shoot some videos. Just trying our best to stay out of trouble, but with this group of girls sometimes that’s hard. We’re also planning a tour later this winter and doing some more writing as a group. And my dream
is to make it on the Ellen show.