BRISBANE’S annual Queen’s Birthday Ball will make history this year with the event, touted as the world’s longest-running LGBTI cultural event by organisers, to be held at City Hall.
The announcement made this week by Brisbane Pride Festival sees one of the community’s most-loved events — now in its 53rd year — held for the first time in the heritage-listed main auditorium in Brisbane City Hall on June 8.
Acknowledging the support that council has offered the organisation and the LGBTI community in general, Pride president Peter Black spoke on behalf of “very grateful” festival organisers.
“This grant is in addition to the funding Brisbane Pride received last year from the council and is further recognition of not just the festival but also of the broader contribution LGBTIQ people make to the city of Brisbane,” Black said.
Cr Vicki Howard also said that she was proud of the announcement.
“I am pleased to be able to work within council to deliver results for the LGBTIQ community,” she said.
Highlighting the current council’s achievement to be the first to offer financial support to Pride, Howard said that offering City Hall along with some funding was an important way to show they supported the LGBTI community.
“I am delighted to have sourced these extra funds for Queens Ball 2014 because it’s important that City Hall continues to hold events that promote an inclusive Brisbane, and raise funds for worthwhile causes,” she said.
Black added: “Brisbane Pride had been in discussion with City Hall and council about Queen’s Ball since early January. The decision of City Hall to support the Queen’s Ball continues the strong working relationship (Pride) has had with the council over the past few years.”
With recent news involving council and a Brisbane Queer Film Festival promotional poster plus the fallout for deciding not to raise the rainbow flag at City Hall for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, members of the city’s LGBTI community have questioned whether this was an attempt by council to repair relations with the community.
However, Black believed that actions taken by council over the past few years speak to the authenticity of their self-declared inclusive approach to the community.
“I think it’s fair to say that over the past few years council, and Cr Howard in particular, has been very supportive of (Pride) and the role it plays in the LGBTIQ community,” he said.
The theme for this year’s Queen’s Ball celebrates all things The Great Gatsby with Brisbane Pride encouraging people to dive into the fashions of the 1920s and brush up on the Charleston.
Nominations for awards will open in April and voting will start in May. Further information about prices and the entertainment line-up will be announced shortly.
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