Mathieu Chantelois quits top job at Pride Toronto

Resignation comes a month after Black Lives Matter protest

Mathieu Chantelois has resigned as the executive director of Pride Toronto.

Pride Toronto made the announcement on its Facebook page, on Aug 10, 2016.

Chantelois, a former Canadian reality TV star and magazine editor, has been at the helm of Pride Toronto since January 2015.

His sudden resignation comes after he came under intense scrutiny for how he handled Black Lives Matter Toronto’s protest during last month’s Pride parade. Chantelois, along with Pride Toronto co-chair Alica Hall, initially agreed to all of the demands that BLMTO put forward during their 30-minute sit-in that brought the parade to a halt.

The demands included excluding official police floats from future parades and more funding and autonomy for community stages during Pride.

However, the following day, Chantelois rolled back his promise.

“My priority yesterday was to make the parade move,” he told CP24 the following day. “Frankly, Black Lives Matter is not going to tell us that there are no more floats anymore in the parade.”

Chantelois has been criticized for both backtracking on his promise to BLMTO and for making the promise in the first place.

When reached by phone, a spokesperson for Pride Toronto declined to comment beyond the issued statement. Chantelois has not yet responded to a request for comment from Daily Xtra.

Mathieu Chantelois meets with Black Lives Matter protesters during the 2016 Toronto Pride Parade. (Rob Easton/Daily Xtra)

“I decided it was time for me to move on and I wish Pride the best in the future,” Chantelois wrote in post on his Facebook page.

He will be leaving the position to return to Cineplex Media, where he worked for 11 years under Salah Bachir, the wealthy businessman and philanthropist. Bachir was named grand marshal of this year’s Pride parade while Chantelois ran the organization.


Chantelois’s resignation comes at a sensitive time for Pride Toronto, which is still negotiating the fallout from the BLMTO protest during this year’s parade.

Pride Toronto will be hosting two town halls at the end of August to gather feedback from the community on how to “create a safe and inclusive Pride festival in 2017 and beyond.”

Read More About:
Power, News, Toronto, Pride

Keep Reading

Job discrimination against trans and non-binary people is alive and well

OPINION: A study reveals that we have a long way to go to reach workplace equality for trans and non-binary people

The new generation of gay Conservative sellouts

OPINION: Melissa Lantsman’s and Eric Duncan’s refusals to call out their party’s transphobia is a betrayal of the LGBTQ2S+ community

Over 300 anti-LGBTQ2S+ bills have been introduced this year. This doesn’t mean we should panic

OPINION: While it’s important to watch out for threats, not all threats are created equally. Some of these bills will die a natural death

Xtra’s top LGBTQ2S+ stories of the year

The best and brightest—even most bewildering—stories from a back catalogue brimming with insight