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Loud and proud: The Ottawa Hospital at Capital Pride 2023

Megan Vitols-Mckay and her dog, Ponyo at Capital Pride.

“You belong! We belong! Together we are strong!”  On Sunday, August 27, The Ottawa Hospital was a proud participant in the Capital Pride Parade, an annual event that caps off the city’s week-long celebration of its rich and diverse 2SLGBTQI+ community.

Staff and physicians from all over the hospital, plus their family and friends donned colourful outfits, waved rainbow flags and danced to heart-pumping music as they marched together along the parade route downtown, lined with thousands of equally colourful spectators.

Here’s a peek into how the day unfolded, with a few behind-the-scenes tidbits of how it all came together.  

Boy holding a chant card and a megaphone.

As The Ottawa Hospital’s parade contingent gathered in the staging area before the parade began, seven-year-old Cedrik, son of Manon Laliberté, manager of the hospital’s Wellness, Engagement and Recognition Program, made sure everyone’s chant was loud, proud and on-point. 

Melanie Finney (left) and Sarah Silverstein (right) wearing leis in front of The Ottawa Hospital’s shuttle bus.

Fantastically flowery!  Social workers Melanie Finney (left) and Sarah Silverstein (right) let loose as the parade kicked off through Ottawa’s downtown streets.

Let us transport you to the middle of the parade so you can experience all the sights, sounds and excitement for yourself

Cameron Love, (second from left), The Ottawa Hospital’s President and Chief Executive Officer, marched with staff and other members of the hospital’s leadership team.

Look at those sparkles!  Brandon Joyce is the coordinator of The Ottawa Hospital’s Immunodeficiency Clinic.  It was his first time marching in Capital Pride—and his first time wearing makeup.  He definitely made the whole place shimmer. 

Dr. Paul MacPherson (black tank top), the first Clinical Research Chair in Gay Men’s Health was among the many staff and physicians representing The Ottawa Hospital at Capital Pride.

Phil Nguyen, a registered nurse in the oncology unit and talented hip-hop dancer, grooved to the beat of music from his own mini boom box. 

Anya Marion, the coordinator of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at The Ottawa Hospital, and all the other members of the team loved the cheers of support and energy from the crowd.

The undisputed dancing queen of The Ottawa Hospital’s contingent was Gabrielle Pikulski, a clerk in one of our emergency departments, who danced all day to our custom playlist including songs like Supermodel (You Better Work), Wannabe, and Footloose. Way to go, Gabbi!

In addition to participating in the parade, The Ottawa Hospital also hosted a booth where staff connected with the community, promoted services to the community and engaged them and their allies on how we can do better as a hospital.  Thank you to everyone who came by!

Learn more about The Ottawa Hospital’s programs, initiatives and resources for members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community:


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  • Kelly S says:

    Such an amazing and pivotal moment for our hospital! Way to go gang!!!

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