After 29 years of putting a glamorous public face on the activities and aspirations of a tiny sexual minority, Ottawa’s Capital Pride event is teetering on the brink of financial collapse, hounded by collection agencies, dissed by creditors and given up for a lost cause by its own organizers.
But the admission by its board on October 20 that it was ready to declare bankruptcy was followed by a hesitant declaration to the contrary by Capital Pride’s new board on November 5. According to news reports, the new board hopes to find a way to avoid bankruptcy.
That usually means finding a way to repay creditors part or all what they have coming to them, usually over time.
There are apparently a lot of them, performers and suppliers reportedly owed tens of thousands of dollars. Among them: Sebastien Provost, who was the first to signal fiscal woes when he complained that a check he was issued to buy liquor for the event had bounced. Later the board claimed Provost had “significantly exceeded the agreed-upon budget” for booze. Still later, he claimed he was owed $24,000, which was paid, he said, only after his lawyer sent a stiff demand letter.
Another was printer Jim Gillespie, who is still owed $8,569 and is unhappy at being put off with vain promises of repayment. “Don’t string me along. That’s the frustrating part,” he told the Ottawa Citizen.
Gillaume Tasse is owed $42,000 for supplying tables, tents, toilets, and chairs for many venues. “For the best year that they ever had, to declare bankruptcy, it gives me more questions than answers,” said Tasse.
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Echoed Gillespie: “Here you are talking about record-breaking attendance and such a great success and there’s money there. Well, where is that money? Who’s being paid?”
It was all a far cry from that glorious day on August 24, when a record 1,100 marchers paraded down Bank Street amidst 127 floats and before a crowd of 110,000 watchers. According to Xtra, “The Ottawa Knights (were) marching while wearing yellow ribbons to honor the reigning Mr Leather Ottawa, Jon Letke.” What, the Ottawa Knights baseball team? No, the Ottawa Knights is also the name of “the Brotherhood which strives to preserve the Leather culture through leadership, camaraderie, education, and Community service.”
Some are concerned that homosexual cause has achieved such an exalted level of political correctness it might be entitled to a bailout.
Tim Bloedow of Christian Governance told LifeSiteNews, “When you see this kind of bankruptcy, you look for loss of support from the base, corruption, or mismanagement. As a believer in limited government, I hope we won’t see the taxpayers having to pick up the tab in either case.”
The same apparently paradoxical problem befell Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade in recent years: record crowds and revenues, but also escalating costs and out-of-control salaries.