In 2019 Pride Toronto received a $1,000,000 grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

This is the third federal grant where Pride Toronto used Cree artist Kent Monkman’s name without authorization. In advance of the first grant cheque, Pride Toronto submitted to the Federal Economic Development Agency forged signatures of members of the pride board.

The funds for this grant were used to pay staff salaries and other general operational costs. The current leadership of Pride Toronto tried to cover up these issues by leaving this grant out of the recent KPMG review.

1. $1,000,000 Fed dev grant application

The May 6, 2019, $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant application proposed a variety of activities, including:

  • DIY Spaces
  • Slide deck presentation on communications
  • Research paper on DIY spaces
  • Research paper media plan
  • A fair booth at the 2019 street fair
  • A data collection project
  • Space advocacy development plan
  • Plan for a 2020 Pride Pavilion

2. Using Kent Monkman’s name

Pride Toronto used world famous Cree artist Kent Monkman’s name to secure three federal grants: $250,000 Commemorate Canada grant, $600,000 CSMARI grant, and the $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant. In each case, Pride Toronto used Monkman’s name without authorization.

The $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant application uses Monkman’s name in two places. It states that Pride Toronto would partner with “the Indigenous community and most notably Kent Monkman.”

This application was submitted on May 6, 2019. However, Monkman ended discussions with Pride Toronto a week earlier, on April 29, 2019.

“On April 29, 2019 I ended a year of talks with Pride Toronto due to the continued lack of a contract, disagreements over creative control of various project elements, and lack of confidence in Pride Toronto’s management of the project.”

Kent Monkman as quoted by CBC News, January 26, 2022.

3. Forged signatures of board members
The signatures of Pride Toronto board members were forged on this document submitted in support of the $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant.

On August 1, 2019, Pride Toronto submitted to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario forged signatures of the pride Board of Directors.

The forged signatures were used to empower Pride Toronto staff with sole discretion over the $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant.

Then board member Christin Milloy’s last name is misspelled with an “a” instead of an “i”, her signature also has this mistake.

This officer’s certificate was required before Pride Toronto could begin receiving the grant funds.

4. Funding staff salaries
Immediately after submitting forged signatures of the board, Pride Toronto submitted pay stubs of staff members. Pride Toronto was initially approved to spend $500,000 on labour costs.
On August 27, 2019, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario sent Pride Toronto its first grant cheque: $292,215. This was used to cover staff salaries and other contractor wages.

On August 27, 2019 the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario sent the first grant payment to Pride Toronto.

The cheque was for $292,215 and was used to cover labour costs for Pride Toronto staff and the wages of contractors.

The grant reports do not indicate whether the labour costs were used toward the completion of grant project deliverables.

5. Undelivered projects
On April 23, 2020 Pride Toronto submitted a required grant report. The report indicates project deliverables that were due at the end of 2019 had barely begun.
The final grant payment (minus a $10,000 holdback) was sent to Pride Toronto in May 2020. The approved labour costs were increased from $500,000 to $900,000.

COVID-19 changed Pride Toronto’s plans for the 2020 festival. However, even before the pandemic it does not appear Pride Toronto was working toward the completion of the $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant project deliverables.

In a required grant report filed on April 23, 2020, Pride Toronto indicated that several grant deliverables due at the end of 2019 were barely started.

The final funding cheque was released in May 2020. $900,000 of the $1,000,000 grant was used to pay Pride Toronto staff salaries and other labour costs. $100,000 was used for other non-capital costs including rent and legal fees.

6. Cover up: missing from the KPMG review
The March 16, 2022 KPMG review of Pride Toronto’s grant compliance did not include the $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant. Click here to read the KPMG review.

In response to questions raised about federal grants, Pride Toronto hired KPMG to conduct a review. The review examined the $600,000 CSMARI grant, the $250,000 Commemorate Canada grant, and the $1,000,000 Public Safety grant.

However, Pride Toronto did not include the $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant in the KPMG review, it was left out.

The $1,000,000 Fed Dev grant contains similar unethical conduct as the other grants in this investigation, including the exploitation of Indigenous artists and the use of forgery in obtaining the funds.

Instead of coming forward with this grant in the March 2022 KPMG review, Pride Toronto covered this up.

7. documents

Grant documents were obtained through access to information requests with the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The documents can be downloaded here:

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Part 2
Part 3