Pride WA to take up residence in the Northbridge Piazza


The City of Perth has entered a new partnership with Pride WA, following the group’s successful bid to occupy Northbridge Piazza.

The announcement comes as the City of Perth increases it’s funding to the annual festival, acknowledging it’s potential to attract international and interstate tourism and provide a positive financial growth to the city.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said he looked forward to welcoming WA’s LGBTQIA+ community to their new headquarters. “The city’s Pride Piazza reaffirms Perth as a national leader for celebrating and championing diversity and inclusion – and I can’t think of a better, more vibrant neighborhood for Pride WA to call home.

“The Piazza is the heart and soul of Northbridge and we’re excited to see rainbow events and activities lighting up the Piazza throughout the year. This is wonderful opportunity for businesses, locals and visitors to enjoy more activations throughout the year” Zempilas said.

Pride WA said the space would create a home for Perth’s LGBTIQA+ community.

“Pride WA is thrilled to have the generous support of the City of Perth in making Pride Piazza a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ and wider Northbridge Community to meet in what we hope will become a globally-recognised LGBTQIA+ landmark,” said Choon Tan, Pride WA CEO.

“Having a ‘home’ for Perth’s queer community is a significant milestone as it means Pride WA and LGBTQIA+ groups and start-ups can access facilities and thrive together.”

In a social media post Pride WA expanded on what the new headquarters would mean for the local community, saying it would become the “queer epicentre of Perth”.

“The last time we gathered in great numbers at this location was to watch the announcement of the plebiscite on marriage equality which ended in an outpouring of love and solidarity. Pride Piazza hopes to be that place all year round.

“Pride Piazza will become the headquarters of Pride WA who will also act as custodians of the space for the benefit of the LGBTQIA+ community and broader Northbridge community.” Pride WA announced on Facebook.
“In the not-too-distant future, LGBTQIA+ groups will be able to access its office and boardroom facilities, as well as performance and gathering spaces.
The new centre will also feature a café which Pride WA describes as a “space where everyone is welcome regardless of their gender, sexual preference, age or socio-economic status is also being discussed.”

City of Perth increases funding to parade and festival

The City of Perth council has also approved to grant $210,000  toward the annual PrideFEST event which will return to its traditional Northbridge home in November this year. The new grant is a funding increase of $80,000 from the previous year.

“We’re excited to see PrideFEST, the annual celebration of our rainbow community, back in Northbridge after a two-hiatus due to COVID,” Zempilas said

In March, the City invited Expressions of Interest from public and private operators to develop and deliver a program of events at the Northbridge Piazza Community Space.

As the successful respondent, Pride WA will be the primary tenant at Northbridge Piazza – using the facility for office space and an event and meeting hub for the LGBTQIA+ community.

The organisation will finalise its program of events following public consultation but will target the LGBTQIA+ community as well as inclusive activities for the whole community. For example it may include market days and films aired on the Piazza’s super screen.

Addressing the council meeting on Monday evening Pride CEO Choon Tan highlighted that the festival is now the second largest celebration of its kind in Australia following the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Choon highlighted that the City of Perth was increasingly asking the annual Pride Festival and Parade to meet world class standards and rising safety requirements, but only classed the festival as a minor event – which limited the city’s support to only 30% of it’s total funding.

Pride WA said they hoped to work with other organisation to put the Perth parade and festival on the global map, and had recently begun working with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and World Pride.

Speaking at the meeting, staff members from the city explained that the festival had not met the criteria of a major event because it did not attract people from interstate and overseas to visit WA, and while it had shown it had a positive financial benefit to the city of $5million, it was comparable to other major events like the Perth Festival or Fringe World.

Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas voiced his support for the increased funding, despite it not being recommended by the city’s administration.

“Pride is an event we believe in. Pride is an event that bring people into our city, and Pride is the sort of event that bring the colour, movement and motion in to our city that we all striving very keenly to achieve.” the Lord Mayor said voicing his support.

After an enthusiastic discussion the council members decided to approve the higher level of funding to the festival, with the motion being passed unanimously.

The festival will run from 4th – 27th Nov 2022 and will have the theme of ‘Shine’.

Graeme Watson

Image shows Andrew Hall (City of Perth LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee), Michelle Reynolds (Pride WA), David Goncalves (CoP LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee), Curtis Ward (Pride WA), Basil Zempilas (Lord Mayor), Choon Tan (Pride WA CEO), Callan Kneale (SVP Pride WA).

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