The Auckland Pride Board have announced the appointment of Joel Walsham into the newly created role of Festival Coordinator, with the aim of working alongside the community in putting together “a vibrant festival,” a reinvented Gala, and working towards a “grassroots-led Parade,” of a different “shape or form” compared to previous years.
According to a press release from Auckland Pride, Walsham’s new position will replace the previous role of the Festival Director and will be reviewed following the completion of the Festival in March, based on performance and the needs of the community.
Auckland Pride’s Press Release which was released following a Community Hui held last night, which Auckland Pride say “approximately 100 members of the community were present to help us vision what a community-led Pride will look like.”
“At the Community Hui, participants strongly emphasised that they wanted a Pride that was about visibility, engagement with communities that haven’t always felt represented by the event, as well as celebration,” explain organisers.
Along with announcing the appointment of Walsham into the newly created position, the Auckland Pride Board also confirmed that any such Pride Parade would not be the same “shape or form” as in previous years.
“With a more community-based funding model, we have the challenge and opportunity to be creative on what the actual proceeding will look like.”
“We will be working with our Festival Coordinator and Parade Director to finalise the Parade details, based on the information gathered at the Community Hui, and will continue keeping our membership up to date. Nevertheless, the Auckland Pride Board will put all of its efforts in ensuring that there is a space for our community to march and be visible during the Pride season — a community-led vision for a relaunched Parade.”
The board also stressed that the Pride Festival is “going ahead,” and that they intend to work with “groups across Auckland to promote the festival events and ensure they receive the visibility they deserve.”
The Board also added that they plan to “reinvent the Gala” stating that the Gala will represent the “community vision for Auckland Pride.”