Members of Toronto's LGBTQ Community Condemn the City's "Love Wins" Concert
The city Toronto has unveiled plans for an upcoming concert that is “part vigil, part celebration” following the arrest Bruce McArthur, whose alleged serial killings have rocked the city’s gay village — but not everyone in the city’s LGBTQ community thinks it’s an appropriate gesture.
Mayor John Tory announced the event yesterday (March 8), detailing a March 29 concert at Nathan Phillips Square set to feature Carol Pope, members the Barenaked Ladies, the Forte Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus, Thelma Houston, Billy Newton Davis the Nylons, Canadian Idol winner Theo Tams and winners from reality competition show The Launch.
Since then, many have taken to social media to criticize the city for hosting an event while police investigations are still ongoing and many questions remain unanswered, while others objected to the lack input the community was given in the event’s planning.
“It just feels like a giant corporate, political cachet on a grieving community,” Toronto resident Jordan Pedde told the Canadian Press. “There’s definitely room for there to be something uplifting for the community, and some sort gathering, but people are still in the grieving stages.”
City Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam defended the decision to host the event, noting that investigative procedures could take years to complete.
“I can hear that people might say that it’s too soon, but for some members the community it’s not soon enough,” she said. “They’re sitting by themselves and wondering where do they place their grief and who’s going to bring them together?… In many ways, this concert is an effort to try and respond to community members who were saying they’re feeling very much alone.”
To date, McArthur has been charged with six counts first-degree murder, all involving men with ties to Toronto’s gay village.