On May 14, 2019, people across Canada celebrated the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality. This was an ideal opportunity to highlight the importance of the LGBTQ2+ community in Canada, and all that it has accomplished.

Standing By Our Colours in this anniversary year, the NPO Grand Canadian Events, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage launched a project to celebrate, commemorate and raise awareness about the LGBTQ2+ cause in Canada under the banner Standing by our Colours - Affichons nos couleurs , which is reflected in two components:

Raising of LGBTQ2+ flags

Adopted in 1978 as the official flag of the LGBTQ2+ community, the rainbow flag is a powerful symbol of support for the LGBTQ2+ cause. In order to mark both the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada on May 14 and International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, the producers of the Standing by our Colours - Affichons nos couleurs project organized over 50 flag raisings in as many communities across Canada during those 3 days of celebration. 

All Canadians were invited to participate in the commemoration day by attending a flag-raising event in their community. 

Presence in Pride parades

The Standing by our Colours - Affichons nos couleurs project was featured in 6 pride parades across Canada in 2019. It included a float marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada and an exhibition set up in the sidelines.

For this project, Grand Canadian Events relied on numerous people:

  • an advisory committee representative of the LGBTQ2+ community, composed of distinguished members representing youth, sports, the arts community, the business community, the Indigenous communities and active retirees;
  • a network of coordinators on the front lines in different parts of the country; and
  • a national coordination team with solid major national project experience, based in the National Capital Region.

In order to raise public awareness about the LGBTQ2+ cause across Canada, the Standing by our Colours - Affichons nos couleurs project was reinforced by a vast national media campaign in both official languages, as well as a Web site listing all LGBTQ2+ activities across the country.

Advising committee


Xavier Gould

After bursting onto the Acadian cultural scene with his colourful Jass-Sainte Bourque character, Queer-Acadian artist Xavier B. Gould managed to find his place and to shine the spotlight on Queer issues in Acadie.

Propelled by his online success, Xavier outdid himself by plunging into his imaginary Queer-Acadian and bringing him to life on stages around New Brunswick. The artist was deeply touched by the sold-out halls filled with loud laughter, and the lineups filled with Petits Mooses. There is no doubt whatsoever that Xavier lived up to his title as 2018 cultural personality of the year (Acadie Nouvelle).

While there is no mistaking his skills as an entertainer, his talents go well beyond his flamboyant humour. His exploration of Queer onscreen and in poetry is phenomenal. With his two short films, CLAY and POSY, which are being shown at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA), and his visceral poetry, which he shares online, this versatile artist clearly has more than one brand to his name.

Xavier is not only a portrait of an open and creative generation, but also evidence that the future of Acadian culture lies in unexplored waters.


Paulete Poitras

Paulete Poitras is a Dakota/Cree from Muscowpetung First Nation. She was raised with culturally enriched values of both positive morals and ethics. Thirty-four years of age living a sober and healthy lifestyle. Self-identified 2spirit jingle dress dancer. Paulete’s many passions are to bead, sew, fashion, art, participate in ceremony, advocate/promote Indigenous Peoples inherit rights and 2Spirit issues. Paulete is currently engaged to Cheryl Prosper since Dec 21 2018. Currently an undergraduate student of the First Nations University of Canada in applied studies in Human Justice.

Paulete is currently the 2Spirit Ambassador for YXE 2018/2019. This opportunity allowed Paulete to work further in her role as 2Spirit Ambassador as it has given her the ability to advocate for safe space in any circle that hosts 2Spirit people. Paulete was asked to sit on 2Spirit Keynote Panel at the 2018 Interpride Conference in Saskatoon, SK. She was given many opportunities to create 2Spirit Advisory Council for Fierté Canada Pride, that provides opportunities to have pride communities to connect with 2Spirit people. Currently Paulete has been asked to sit on Advisory Board for project standing by our colours; 50 years celebration.


Gary J . Paterson

He was the Moderator of the United Church of Canada from 2012–2015. He was the first openly gay person to take the post since the church was formed in 1925 and the first in the world to lead a major Christian denomination. He was born in Whitehorse, Yukon in 1949, and as an "army brat", lived in Toronto, Ontario and Germany before his family settled in Vancouver, British Columbia.

He earned two degrees in English literature and became a sessional lecturer at University of British Columbia.

Paterson studied theology in Boston and the Vancouver School of Theology before being ordained by the United Church of Canada in 1977. He served as minister at several rural and urban churches, became a staff member of the British Columbia Conference of the United Church, then served as minister at three churches in Vancouver: Ryerson United Church, First United Church, and his current church, St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church, where he is Lead Minister. He also received an honorary doctorate from the Vancouver School of Theology in 2012.

In 2012, he was nominated to be Moderator, and at the 41st General Council of the church, he was elected to the position on August 16, 2012, after six ballots, and was installed as Moderator two days later.

In an interview following his election, Paterson acknowledged that the United Church faced many challenges, but while in office, he hoped to bring inspiration and hope during times of change.

Paterson currently lives in Vancouver with his spouse, Tim Stevenson, a Vancouver city councilor who, in 1992, was the first openly gay person to be ordained by the United Church. Paterson has three children from a previous marriage.

Coordination committee

Coordination Team


Charles MacDougall (he/him)

He is the project coordinator for Rivière de la fierté, an LGBTQ+ community organization in south-east New Brunswick. He also works part-time for the Community Based Research Centre on the pan-Canadian on the Avancer / Advance health project for HARSAH (men who have sexual relations with other men). Originally from Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Charles settled in Moncton, New Brunswick in 2012. In 2016, he received his bachelor’s degree in recreation, sport and tourism management from Université de Moncton. This queer Acadian likes to ride his bike, play water-polo and board games, and read novels.


Dan Shier (he/him)

Dan has been involved in various roles within the Gender and Sexually Diverse community for 10 years. Currently serving on the board of Regina Pride Inc as co-chair and Fierté Canada Pride as Communications Director. His passions include graphic design and all things tech. He uses technology to help his organizations communicate, automate, and run more efficiently in the 21st century.


Andrea Arnot

Andrea is the Executive Director at Vancouver Pride Society.  Starting in this role in 2016, she has steered Vancouver Pride Society through a comprehensive community consultation resulting in more inclusive and accessible practices, as well as, created a scoring matrix for both corporate partners and pride parade entries to determine values alignment and accountability. She was recently elected as the Pacific Regional Director on the national Fierté Canada Pride board and also sits on the board of the Lumiere Vancouver Festival. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys attending and producing arts events, tries to keep her costume room under control and showers her baby grandson with kisses.


Bibi Bilodeau (she/her)

Bibi is producer and comedian in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She helps run Positive Space Nunavut, a new organization actively working to make Nunavut's communities safer for gender and sexually diverse individuals and their families. She is the Northern Regional Director of Fierté Canada Pride and volunteers at Iqaluit's Inuksuk High School to run the annual youth Pride Week and Pride Prom. She has produced shows with Deanne Smith, Elvira Kurt, and the El-Salomon's.


Davy Sabourin (he)

Davy is a Francophone member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community born in Montreal, who has been living in the National Capital Region for about 9 years. Professionally, he is a federal public servant working in privacy law compliance. Prior to joining the Public Service, he worked in Ottawa as a Mental Health and Addictions Counselor.

In his pastime, Davy is a 2SLGBTQ+ advocate who, through his community involvement fulfills his passion of being an educator, connector and bridge builder between individuals, groups and communities. He has been involved in the Pride movement on a local, national and international level. Davy wants to be an agent of community engagement and change – for the equality and advancement of 2SLGBTQ+ human rights on a global scale.

Davy holds degrees in Police Foundations, Mental and Addictions, as well as a Bachelor of Social Sciences, in the fields of in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, and Social Work.


Bailey Ady (she/her)

Agent for hope, a passionate supporter for her communities, and fervent promoter of Calgary and Alberta. Bailey has served as various roles within the GSD community over the past seven years and is currently serving as a Vice President Tourism and Marketing for Calgary Pride and as co-rep for the Prairies Region for Fierte Canada Pride. She firmly believes that diversity, education, and open hearts are what helps organizations succeed in making change. Professionally you can find her at Tourism Calgary within Travel Trade. Bailey has a degree in General Humanities from the University of Lethbridge and is currently pursuing her second bachelors.


Muhammad Ahsan

Muhammad is a change agent & a seasoned facilitator on challenging corporate, and social development sector assignments. A strong believer that organizations succeed through “diversity and synergy”.

He has 15 years’ experience as Human Right Activist, Public Speaker, and Presenter including ten years of research, design, development and implementation of training programs, workshop facilitation, post-secondary teaching, and adult education. He commenced his facilitation journey internationally in 2006 and since then has facilitated a wide variety of learning interventions and policy consulting assignments; such as diversity management; team building; leadership retreats, and conferences with numerous clients worldwide such as: U.S. State Department, U.K.-Aid, European Union, Conference Board of Canada, and British Council.

He has a master’s degree with double majors in Human Resource Management and marketing, he also has certificates in training, facilitation, strategic quality management, and adult education.

He is President of Pride Winnipeg Festival, works with Rainbow Resource Centre as Training and Education Coordinator, and also serve on the board of Reaching Out Winnipeg, a LGBTQ+ refugee serving organization.