Montréal Pride Festival presents Sandy Duperval as official spokesperson and unveils the Grand Marshals of its 360 Edition!
Montréal, July 7, 2020 – The Montréal Pride Festival, presented by TD, is proud to announce that Sandy Duperval will now act as the official spokesperson of the festival and to unveil the personalities who will be Grand Marshals for the 360 Edition of the festival: Simon Boulerice, Debbie-Lynch-White and Marina Gallant, as well as Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis. All these personalities were selected in acknowledgement of their considerable contribution to the recognition of the sexual and gender diversity (SGD) people’s rights.
Sandy Duperval – Official Montréal Pride Festival Spokesperson
“After four years as ambassador of the Montréal Pride Festival, with more than 300 interviews given in this context and, above all, for her immense generosity and her ability to address and promote the issues of our communities, it is only natural to name Sandy Duperval as the official spokesperson for the festival and its mission. It is with honour that we introduced her to this new position and, above all, that I am presenting her today as the official spokesperson for the festival for years to come! “said Éric Pineault, founding president of the festival.
Dynamic, passionate, talented… these only begin to describe the multiple qualities of this singer/DJ/professional producer and aspiring chef. Born in Montréal, Sandy’s love for everything musical started when she was three years old, with her first musical performance on the children’s TV program Passe-Partout. Influenced by such icons as Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Tina Turner, Robin S, Crystal Waters, to name a few, Sandy spent 13 years perfecting her art with vocal training at the JAM Vocal School as well as studying under the direction of Cissy Houston, mother of the late Whitney Houston, when she was 13 years old.
On stage, she opened for such internationally acclaimed DJ/artists as Chus & Ceballos, Morabito, Bob Sinclar, Ultra Nate, Car-Nage, Travis Scott, Ruby Rose, Lil Jon and several other headliners. Sandy also coproduced records with world renowned producers including Kone & Marc Palacios (Spain), Edhim (Morocco), Stan Courtois (NYCity), Angel Moraes (NYCity), Etienne Osborne (Ottawa) and Martin Villeneuve (Gatineau, QC).
Grand Marshals for the Festival’s 360 Edition
- Simon Boulerice, actor, author and theatre director
- Debbie Lynch-White and Marina Gallant, actress and manager
- Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis, winners of the 2019 Amazing Race Canada
Simon Boulerice, actor, theatre director and author
Trained in theatrical interpretation at Lionel Groulx College, Simon Boulerice is a thriving jack-of-all-trades. A radio (Plus on est de fous, plus on lit) and television (Cette année-là, Sucré salé, Bonsoir Bonsoir, On va se le dire, Formule Diaz, L’heure est grave) commentator, he navigates his career between acting and directing. Mainly, he writes : plays, poetry and novels for adults as well as children. Among his close to 50 works, such titles as: Simon a toujours aimé danser, Martine à la plage, Javotte, Edgar Paillettes, PIG, Le Dernier qui sort éteint la lumière and L’Enfant mascara. His writing has been translated into seven languages. As a television scriptwriter, he is a contributor to the new version of the children’s program Passe-Partout and he has produced all the scripts of the series Six degrés to be presented by Radio-Canada in 2020. For more than two years, Simon is also a co-spokesperson for Interligne.
Debbie Lynch-White, actress
Debbie Lynch-White completed her studies at the St. Hyacinthe CEGEP School of Theatre in 2010. Having graduated, she was hired by choreographer Dave St. Pierre as a replacement in the cast of his La Pornographie des âmes production. She also was a member of the 2011 Le cycle de la boucherie production presented by the choreographer’s company at the La Chapelle.
In 2012, her career was propelled when she landed the role of Nancy Prévost in the very popular Radio‑Canada television series Unité 9. She also made her mark in several theatre productions such as Le Vertige, with the Théâtre de l’Opsis, directed by Luce Pelletier, and in movies notably the 2018 La Bolduc film.
Marina Gallant, manager
A native of Sept-Îles on Quebec’s North Shore, teenager Marina Gallant entertained the dream of moving to Montréal. She was 19 years when she made her move to the big city where she has since adopted the urban lifestyle and feels at home. Working in management, she developed a passion for music. Playing the bass and guitar as well as acting as a DJ at the Le Cocktail bar during Happy Hours for women and various other events, she has grown a network of inspiring people within the LGBTQ+ Community.
In 2015, Montréal will be the cause of a momentous encounter that will mark the beginning of the rest of her life: her meeting with Debbie Lynch-White who she would marry two years later. Marina has returned to school to improve her knowledge and managerial skills. Thanks to her experience, Marina now wishes to involve herself in the LGBTQ+ community and hopefully, inspire young and old through her story and life course. It is therefore with both self-assurance and a spirit of generosity that she takes on her role as Grand Marshal for the 360 Edition of the Montréal Pride Festival!
Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis, winners, 2019 Amazing Race Canada
Anthony Johnson, a self-proclaimed spiritual nomad, is an artist, poet, photographer, cultural documentarian, public speaker, and a strategic analyst whose mission in life is to explore the beauty of the Earth and its inhabitants. A proud Dine (Navajo) man who was born and raised on the Navajo Nation, he’s lived in many cities across Turtle Island and even had a short stint in Shanghai, China. After graduating from Harvard University in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Economics and Social Anthropology of East Asia, he has worked in the tech industry, fashion world, and project consulting.
His move to Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton, Alberta marked the beginning of the newest chapter in his life when he wed his husband, Dr. James Makokis while running the BMO Harris Vancouver Marathon in 2017. The married couple then represented the LGBTQ2 community as the first Two-Spirit Team (Team Ahkameyimok) on AMAZING RACE CANADA. They faced many obstacles during the season, escaping elimination on three separate occasions. Their resilience, teamwork and communication improved episode after episode and their “never give up” attitude showed the world the inner strength of Two-Spirit resilience. The season was the most-watched season in Canada and they had the world talking about their triumphs and their cause bringing awareness through their advocacy for Two-Spirit, LGBTQ2 and First Nation issues the mainstream culture.
Dr. James Makokis is a proud Cree from the Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. He is one of Canada’s most accomplished experts in a variety of fields, including those in and outside of the Indigenous culture. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences, a Master of Health Science in Community Nutrition and a Doctorate in Medicine. He also received certification from the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program. Dr. Makokis is down to earth, genuine, empathetic, sincere, honest, and highly knowledgeable, giving him the ability to understand the different challenges that individuals and organizations face from multiple perspectives. He offers strategic advice for organizational and personal development. He is a leader and well-known expert within the Indigenous, LGBTQ2 and medical communities. Dr. James Makokis has also had a wide range of unique experiences, from travelling alongside former Governor General Michaëlle Jean on a diplomatic mission to Brazil to working with Dr. Patch Adams in the Amazon Jungle. He also served as the Spokesperson for the National Aboriginal Health Organization’s Role Model Program.
As a doctor, national presenter, and proud member of the LGBTQ2 and First Nation communities, Dr. James Makokis offers a truly unique perspective when audiences hear his story. His humorous presentations allow audiences to really connect to a genuine and authentic character.
About the Montréal Pride Festival
Since 2007, at the initiative of Montréal’s LGBTQ+ communities, the Montréal Pride Festival has been promoting their rights and celebrating their cultural richness 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 LGBTQ+ hostile regions of the globe. In 2019, the festival generated a total attendance of 3.4 million admissions. In 2020, the festivities will be held from August 10 to 16. More information is available on the web page, the Facebook page, as well as Twitter and Instagram accounts.
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