Metro/Sean Ledwich Winnipeg Pride Parade participants walk on York Avenue.

Winnipeg has been chosen to host a gathering of national Pride groups, which organizers hope will coincide with the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The InterPride Region 7/Fierte Canada Pride (FCP) Conference, to be held the last weekend in March of 2014, will provide Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ’s community with the chance to showcase their city and celebrate their many successes.

“To be able to hold it here in Winnipeg, to have all of the big players, to have all of those folks here at the conference is a huge accomplishment,” said Jonathan Niemczak, president of Winnipeg Pride Festival, which bid on hosting the conference. “We’re more than just mosquitoes and -50 C weather.”

Niemczak said this conference represents the national voice for all Pride festivals, including the cities of Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax and Montreal.

The FCP brings together the organizers of these festivals held across Canada every year. Participants will attend workshops on themes such as event planning, marketing, sponsoring, and communications.

“There’s also the networking opportunities, obviously,” said Niemczak, adding people can “share ideas, share successes, share disasters in some cases … It’s a very unique experience.”

Niemczak said among the plans for the Winnipeg conference is to expand it from three to four days and, since the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is expected to open in the spring of 2014, tailor the conference to include human rights.

The bid for the FCP Conference received support from the City of Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg.

“On behalf of the Citizens of Winnipeg and my City Council Collegaues, we would welcome you as guests for the InterPride Region 7/Fierte Canada Pride 2014 Conference,” said Mayor Sam Katz in the City’s letter of support.

“It would be our honour to host you for this prestigious event.”

Dario Di Nalla, business development manager for Tourism Winnipeg, said the Manitoba capital has “an excellent track record when it comes to hosting national and international meeting, conventions and events.”

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