Marion Steele

Marion relocated to Ottawa with her three youngest children in 1997 from Owen Sound Ontario where she had served on the start up committees of the HIV/AIDS Committee of Grey Bruce, the Grey-Bruce Women’s Centre, the Lesbian Mothers Group and the French Immersion residential Camp Chez Nous which still runs today in Mansfield, Ontario.

Seeing an ad for an Ottawa Gatineau Pride meeting at Jack Purcell Community Centre in the local Ottawa Xpress, not knowing what to expect and only ever attending one Pride Parade in Toronto and not yet owning a computer, there was no way she knew what to expect or that meeting the other four people in the small room would shape the next twenty years of her life bringing new friendships, international travel, and even a few lovers.

From 1997-2002 she served on the Board of directors of the then Ottawa Gatineau Pride Committee while working in advertising sales for a new magazine in town called Guard and although the publication lasted only a few years, it was here where she honed her sales skills which led to many future years of grant writings and sponsorship acquisitions. Although a difficult step, Marion left the Pride Committee in 2002 to concentrate on family and work but was convinced to return after three years when the now struggling committee found Pride in a $200k debt.

Many original board members returned and successfully avoided bankruptcy and put the festival ‘Back On Track’ in 2005, joined with the national Fierté Canada Pride ( and the worldwide Interpride boards (, rebranded it to Fierté Capital Pride in 2008 and saw an increase in attendees within two years.

Now sitting on both the Fierté Canada Pride and Interpride Boards of Directors meant the world to Marion; meeting others from countries not free to celebrate sexuality and helping smaller towns across Canada (now with a total of 37) start Pride celebrations.

Late night meetings at the house, working alongside so many diverse activists, trouble makers, shakers and movers and community heroes rubbed off on her growing children as one now writes for a social-responsible publication, one works in schools with marginalized children and two are alcohol and drug addictions rehabilitation counsellors.

Between 2007 and 2009, Marion co-chaired the Ottawa Police Services GLBT Liaison Committee and worked with the GLBTQ Community Centre of Ottawa Board to plan conferences and events teaching and welcoming the police about our many diverse communities.

Accepting a job in Halifax Nova Scotia was a difficult decision and a big move away from family and serendipitously became a pivotal moment in Marion’s ‘Pride Career’ and 2010- 2015 saw her on the board of Halifax Pride handling rebranding, new sponsorship , their first ever Out Golfing Tournament and hosting the 2011 Fierté Canada Pride Conference.

Back in Ottawa and although retired from actually working for a living as well as active Pride duty, Marion still plans and executes major events such as the 2016...Fashion Able Fundraiser for Every Canadian Counts ( for Canadians living with chronic, long-term disabilities.