Toronto 'Love Wins' concert postponed following criticism
In this Feb. 13, 2018 photo, candles sit in a snow bank, as part of a makeshift memorial for the victims of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur in Toronto, Canada. (AP Photo/Rob Gillies)
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Saturday, March 10, 2018 2:23PM EST
Organizers of a concert that was supposed to help the LGBTQ community heal following the arrest of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur have postponed the event amid criticism over its appropriateness.
#LoveWins was supposed to be held at Nathan Phillips Square on March 29 featuring performances from members of the Barenaked Ladies and the Forte Toronto Gay Men's Chorus.
The event was billed as “part vigil, part celebration” but it quickly drew criticism from some members of the LGBTQ community who said that it was tone-deaf to the real pain that so many people are going through.
In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon, organizers of the concert postponed the event indefinitely and bowed to “work with all community members to ensure that any future endeavour will address the concerns raised thus far.”
“As organizers and supporters of #LoveWins we have actively listened to concerns from community members about the March 29, 2018 event. Our intention was to bring the city together in love and healing after hearing from many people who wanted to come together in unity and strength. Unfortunately, the event created an unintentional division at a historic time in the LGBTQ2S community,” the statement said.
The #LoveWins poster didn’t explicitly mention McArthur by name but it did reference “the series of killings that have rocked Toronto's LGBTQ community” and note that the “work of healing” must now begin.
The event was organized, in part, by Cineplex Media President Salah Bachi and Ward 29 Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam.
Last week, Bachi told The Canadian Press that people in the community were looking for an event that showed its “strength and compassion” and that the negative reaction took him by surprise.
Wong-Tam, meanwhile, told the news wire that the event was never meant to be anything other than “a space of healing.”
"I think it's going to be a beautiful and transformative concert. It'll give us a chance to come together to grieve and sing,” she said at the time.
With files from The Canadian Press.