Cairns will no longer host a yearly pride festival after Cairns Tropical Pride announced its doors would close after 12 years of operation.

Cairns Tropical Pride held an annual general meeting early in February, where the organisation’s board voted to close the association, FNQ Magazine reported.

“There appeared to be a consensus that the community is no longer engaged with Pride at this time,” said Cairns Tropical Pride President Kevin Scott.

Scott said a lack of community support, willing volunteers and becoming ineligible for Tourism Queensland funding put the festival in an untenable position.

“We are ineligible for funding from Tourism Queensland this year because we’ve had grants from that source for 3 years – the maximum number of consecutive years allowed,” Scott said.

“Currently we have $36 in the bank with approximately $450 outstanding of which we are likely to receive approximately $250.”

In an email newsletter, FNQ‘s editor Jay Horne said there had been a downshift in the community following the postal survey result in 2017.

“Having been a pride committee board member myself in 2018 I was able to witness first hand a surprising shift in our community after the YES vote in November 2017,” Horne wrote.

“It was almost like now we had achieved our equality goal, we lost our passion to fight for continued visibility and ongoing acceptance.”

Cairns Tropical Pride began in 2006, running for two years under the name Tropical Mardi Gras.

The 2018 edition of the festival featured Matthew Mitcham and Karen From Finance, alongside regular events like Fair Day, art exhibitions, pool parties are more.

Cairns Tropical Pride’s board had the option of electing a new committee to continue the festival, but were unable to do so.

“Most of us who have participated in the planning and running have done it with no commercial interest or self-serving gains,” said committee member Vyvyen Wong.

“We have put ourselves out with countless unpaid hours (including time away from our loved ones) to ensure that we have an event(s) to celebrate who we are and to show our visibility.”

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