Pride Week has become one of the country’s leading arts and cultural festivals and kicks off with the Rainbow Flag Raising and Proclamation.

The Rainbow Flag Raising, taking place today at Toronto City Hall’s Podium (100 Queen St. W.), is the official start of 10 days of world-class arts and cultural programming, community activities, one of the world’s largest street festivals, Pride Parade and Dyke March, family programming and much more.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free event and join Mayor David Miller, Deputy Premier George Smitherman, City Councillor Kyle Rae and other local politicians and community leaders.

“The mayor will make the official proclamation that will recognize Pride Week in the city,” says Enza Anderson, Metro columnist and this year’s grand marshal at the parade.

“But more importantly, raising the Pride flag is a symbol of a community that has and continues to work to gain simple equality for all, but it’s also a symbol of the struggles that LGBT community has faced throughout the years to gain acceptance.”

Together with the thousands of individuals, community groups, businesses and participating sponsors, the flag raising and Pride Week Toronto is about celebrating the lives and stories of Toronto’s queer communities.

Miller says besides it being a fun event, the flag raising symbolizes equality and acceptance of everyone’s differences.

“It’s symbolically very important because it’s at Toronto City Hall, it symbolizes that we’re all together, we all respect each other, we respect our differences and we celebrate them,” Miller tells Metro.

“Secondly, it’s symbolically important because there was a time that there wasn’t the kind of acceptance that there is today and it’s very important to show that our public institution supports the human rights of everybody in Toronto.”

>> For more information about the flag raising or other events happening this week as part of Pride Week, visit

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