Press Release

August 9 to 19, 2018

An Ombudsperson and a Renowned Chef to Enhance The 2018 Montréal Pride Festival Team!

Montréal, July 25, 2018 – With the aim of constantly enhancing its offer and in response to festival goers’ feedback on opportunities to improve it, the 2018 Montréal Pride Festival will be relying on the added expertise of an Ombudsperson and of a renowned chef! “We are both honored and proud to welcome Steve Bastien as our Ombudsperson and Marissa Leon-John as our Chef to our 2018 Festival team. These two new functions within our organisation will certainly contribute to the success and smooth functioning of this 12th edition!” says Éric Pineault, Montréal Pride’s founding president.

2018 Ombudsperson: Steve Bastien

The role of the ombudsperson involves receiving complaints from festival goers, employees, volunteers or residents on conflict situations where an impartial third party’s intervention is required. Steve will therefore be available through e-mail to listen to the various points of view, to check the facts and make recommendations to the festival management to solve the conflicting situation and avoid others in future. The Montréal Pride Festival is pleased to count on his expertise in this area.

About Steve Bastien

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has been active in this field for over 20 years. Studies in Anthropology and in Theatre completed his training. A psychosocial worker at Lionel-Groulx College for some 15 years, Steve has acted as a mediator between students and adults along with his individual and group interventions. He has also been active in community adult education, in support to arriving immigrants and in the prevention of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) and of HIV/AIDS.

An actor and a professional MC and facilitator, Steve has worked in theatre as well as in TV and film. He played Jean-Baptiste on the French CBC TV series “30 vies” and was part of the cast of the film comedy “Ego Trip” alongside Patrick Huard and Guy Jodoin. He co-hosted two editions of the Gala Arc-en-ciel (Rainbow) evening for the Conseil Québécois LGBT (Quebec Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans Council). In 2017, he acted as facilitator of the Canada Pride international “Equality and Legality” conference.

In the early 2000s, he was Chairman of the Board of the Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique (African Rainbow) organisation. In 2010, Steve received the Commitment Award during that year’s edition of Black History Month.

His professional practice and his commitment within the LGBTQ+ communities, including young people and people of color, have convinced Steve that dialogue, listening and the arts are what, no matter what our diverse identities and sense of belonging; make us all more alike than different.

Chef: Marissa Leon-John

With over 2.7 million visitors expected to attend our various activities, we need to be ready to feed the multitude of employees and volunteers who will invade the Montréal Pride festival site as well as the VIQs (Very Important Queers) who will be hosted in the VIQ tent where food and beverages will be served free of charge. On the menu for 2018: Marissa Leon-John, a contestant in the 2018 edition of the “MasterChef Canada” TV competition. Recognized for her delicious recipes and her ability to work under pressure— “Pressure is fun!” she says, — Marissa in our kitchens is a welcome addition!

About Marissa Leon-John

Marissa Leon-John is an incredibly passionate, self-taught home cook with a love for all flavors and who prides herself in being a chameleon in the kitchen. For her, no type of cuisine is too complex or obscure!

Born in Montréal and raised there by Caribbean parents, she was introduced to a wide variety of flavors at a very early age. Growing up, exposure to culinary treats from many cultures including Greek, Italian, Filipino, and of course the traditional flavors of St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines shaped her culinary landscape. Diversity in the kitchen helped refine her palate and made Marissa want to know how to create all these different types of food on her own.

Having a curious mind and being a natural perfectionist drives her desire to master cooking everything that catches her eye. Anytime she uncovers a new dish or flavor combination, she wants to know every ingredient and the technique to replicate it, pay homage or improve it. Her journey into cooking started with this and developed into a passion that, until recently, had only been shared with family and friends.

Now, after honing her skills and putting them on full display for the country to see via “MasterChef Canada”, she is ready to share her passion with the masses.

All are therefore invited to come and dine with Marissa for a unique flavor exploration and culinary experience!

About the Montréal Pride Festival

Since 2007, at the initiative of Montréal’s LGBTQ+ communities, the Montréal Pride Festival has promoted their rights and celebrated their cultural wealth and social advances. The largest gathering of the communities of sexual and gender diversity (SGD) in the Francophone world works locally on a daily basis while serving as a beacon of hope for people living in regions of the globe hostile towards our communities. In 2017, the festival generated a total attendance of 2.7 million visitors. In 2018, the festivities will be held from August 9th to 19th. More information is available on the web page, the Facebook page, as well as Twitter and Instagram accounts.

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François Laberge
Communications Director
[email protected]
Telephone: 514 903-6193, ext. 3523

Interview Requests :
Nathalie Roy
Consultant, media relations
Telephone : 514 889-3622
[email protected]

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