Capital Pride investigating financial irregularities

Organizers of Ottawa's Capital Pride festival say they're investigating financial irregularities and that the police may become involved as two festival suppliers say they haven't been paid.

'A police investigation may be pending,' festival organizers say

Organizers of Capital Pride say they're investigating financial irregularities, and that Ottawa police may become involved. (CBC )

Organizers of Ottawa's Capital Pride festival say they're investigating financial irregularities and that the police may become involved as two festival suppliers say they haven't been paid.

Guillaume Tasse says he's owed about $42,000 for infrastructure he supplied to Capital Pride. (CBC)
Guillaume Tasse said he's owed about $42,000 for providing festival infrastructure, including a stage, sound and lighting equipment, tents, toilets, fences and more.

He said he was then notified by his bank that a $10,000 deposit issued to him about a month ago by Capital Pride had bounced.

"That's when I knew that there was a big problem," Tasse said, adding that he hasn't been updated.

"I wish that the organization would come forward and make an arrangement with us to figure the situation out," he said. "The lack of communication is the one thing that frustrates me the most.

"For sure I'm mad. We tried to help that festival. ... It's just sad that they're not willing to at least pay us what they owe or work with us to figure it out."

Another supplier owed about $24,000

Sebastien Provost, who owns the production company House of SAS, said he's owed about $24,000.

Provost said that as part of his sponsorship agreement with Capital Pride, he booked some of their talent, and that he was also responsible for running the bar and getting alcohol.

He said Capital Pride issued him a cheque for $24,000 to purchase alcohol. His bank later told him the cheque had bounced.

He hasn't seen any of the money from alcohol sales, and said Capital Pride hasn't called him back. Provost said he contacted police to issue a fraud complaint against the two people who co-signed the cheque.

'A police investigation may be pending,' festival says

Capital Pride issued a brief statement Thursday saying that it's grateful to its community partners and sponsors, including the City of Ottawa, the presenting sponsor.

"Over 110,000 spectators came down to the Bank Street Village to watch this year’s Pride Parade. However, at this time, Capital Pride is currently investigating accounting irregularities that have come to light upon review of its post-festival finances," the statement reads.

"A police investigation may be pending. ... Capital Pride will continue to uphold its transparency with the LGBT community and its allies as details surrounding this situation emerge."

Organizers declined to comment further.

In an emailed statement, Mayor Jim Watson's spokesman said the mayor "was happy to attend this year’s Capital Pride," and that Watson "is disappointed to see that there have since been alleged issues related to payment and hopes that all parties involved can come to an amicable agreement quickly."