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City of Perth boosts Pride WA funding as Fairday relocates

Pride WA has received a major funding boost from the City of Perth to ensure that the annual Pride Festival remains one of the city’s major events.

Pride WA will now be funded for three years giving the organisation financial security and moving them on to triennial funding for the first time. The three year funding package is $1.05million.

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This year Pride have proposed that the annual festival will be delivered over 10 days in November packed with live music, entertainment, arts, exhibitions, discussions and culture, from the Opening on Friday 15th to the Closing on Sunday 24th.

The support from the City of Perth will see Fairday be relocated from the City of Vincent and back to the City of Perth, and will now take place in Supreme Court Gardens. The space will be renamed the Pride Gardens for the 10 day period, and will also be the setting for the Pride party at the end of the parade.

PrideWA estimates a direct economic impact of $8.5 million for the 2024 festival.

Pride WA Vice Chair Catherine Janssen, committee member Gregory Helleren, Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas, Pride WA Chair Michael Feliz and Councillor David Goncalves.

Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said PrideFEST was an important annual event with strong community participation and sentiment.
 
“The proposal by Pride WA to concentrate PrideFEST into a 10-day festival is a bold vision and will create greater impact and vibrancy, including the event hub at Supreme Court Gardens,” Mr Zempilas said.
 
“Relocating Fairday into the City of Perth and securing this free community event will further position the city as the heart of PrideFEST and a safe, welcoming destination for everyone.” the Lord Mayor said.

Speaking at the meeting Councillor David Goncalves said the Pride Parade had a long history but there had been many ups and downs along the way.

Councillor Goncalves said participating in his first Pride Parade in 2000 had given him a sense of belonging in the city. He also noted that back in July 2000 the city had held a referendum asking rate payers if they were in favour of supporting to Pride Parade, a question that received an overwhelming level of support.

“It was a momentous occasion that the public voted in favour of supporting the Pride Parade resounding, and to support diversity, inclusion and equality.” Councillor Goncalves said highlighting the change in funding from just $10,000 a quarter of a century ago, to the $1.05 million package that was before council.

Pride WA moving into the Northbridge Piazza building, the creation of the Pride Rainbow artwork on the junction of James and Lake Street, and the city’s adoption of an LGBTIQA+ inclusion plan were noted as some of the major developments within the city in recent years.

Councillor Liam Gobbert said it was important to note that the increased funding would allow Pride WA to continue to grow the festival into a series of events that will bring many people into the city.

He also noted that Supreme Court Gardens would be a superior location to Hyde Park as it closer to many public transport options, and near parking options.

Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said he the City of Perth securing Fairday would be “a real coup” for the City of Perth.

“I’m very proud as the Lord Mayor to be able to proudly say that Fairday is now at home in the City of Perth”. Zempilas said.

The proposal was supported unanimously by all councillors at the meeting. Councillors Brent Fleeton and Catherine Lezar are currently on leave.

Representatives from Pride WA made a deputation to the council at the agenda briefing session a fortnight ago outlining their plans for the festival.

“PrideFest is entering a new era.” Pride WA Vice President Catherine Janssen told the council. “Our enriched 10-day program is set to create a vibrant and empowering atmosphere right here in the City of Perth.”

Janssen said three year funding would allow the festival to attract people from interstate and overseas bringing in tourists and international artists.

The updated festival will have a number of live music events, as well as a concert involving the Perth Symphony Orchestra.

Janssen also highlighted that the festival is focused on growing its audience and that includes people outside of the LGBTIQA+ communities.

“A key pillar of PrideFest’s growth is diversifying our audience. In 2024 and beyond we want to see the number of first time attendees significantly increase.

“PrideFest is for everyone. It’s a celebration of love, of being proud of who you are, and coming together as a whole community. We want everyone to come to PrideFest.” Janssen said.

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