Community builder

Profile: Cameron Cassidy by Julie Bull

Cameron Cassidy [Photo by Julie Bull]

Now the Executive Director of Pride PEI, Cameron Cassidy has a long history of creative community building in many areas of her life. She first moved to PEI about 10 years ago to do a program in theatre and dance at Holland College. Although the program no longer exists, Cameron continues to use what she learned during her time there. “I have worked on stage and behind the scenes, and I prefer to be on the stage.”

With her performance background, Cameron eventually found her way to the Charlottetown Burlesque. “Back then, we were performing every other week during the summer.” Spending so much time together, people often say that casts and crews can feel like family. “I met my wife during my time with Burlesque!” Charlottetown Burlesque is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so “we will be doing something special to commemorate that in the fall.”

Along with her participation in Charlottetown Burlesque, Cameron is a singer, actor, and performer who crosses many genres through her creative expression. “As performers and community builders, we have a platform that we can use to support community.” 

Cameron has also brought her creative insights to this town is small as the coordinator for Radiant Rural Halls. Her passion for community-centered programming was evident throughout the project, as it is in the roles she chooses to play. For example, she acted in a local TV series, Aww, Shucks, and has recently been in a play, Provocation, with the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre (PEIRSAC). This play explored the stories of the women who founded PEIRSAC. “Theatre is a community, and I’m grateful to be part of that community here.”

“I also helped plan the first Pride Ceilidh at Under the Spire, and now it has come full circle for me to be the Pride PEI ED and see that event continue.”

As the Executive Director for Pride PEI, Cameron brings a wide range of community building skills and experience from her creative background. Before becoming ED, she was a board member and co-chair, witnessing big changes and shifts within the organization. “I want to listen to and learn from the community. We have so many amazing events as part of the festival this year because of the many partnerships we are growing.” With a deep commitment to community, the creativity to innovate, and the courage to create change, Cameron is growing Pride PEI through community-led direction.

As the community continues to grow and change, so do the needs within it. “We are creating spaces and adapting to our needs as they shift.” The 2024 PEI Pride Festival is an expansive series of events happening at various locations across the Island. “We are building partnerships to co-host community-led events across the Island, based on community feedback.”

Alongside her performances and work with Pride PEI, Cameron is also the president of the cooperative housing where she lives. “We have this lovely community and this year we are focusing some extra attention on a garden in our outdoor space.” In work and in life, Cameron cultivates community connection. “It’s cool to look out and see someone start to work in the garden and then a few minutes later, more people have joined. It really is a community project, and we are building it together.”

Cameron’s community building knows no limits, and she is a fierce advocate for supporting local arts in all the ways. “Pride PEI’s office space is now in The Guild building so we get to be close to this artistic hub in downtown.” There are endless opportunities for creative collaborations under Cameron’s leadership and with the ongoing partnerships being formed through Pride PEI. 

Knowing how much work it takes to plan and coordinate events, I was curious if Cameron had ideas on how to balance out the busy workload coming up in the next few months. Her answer was readily available and is excellent inspiration for all of us as we move into the summer season: “I commit to having more beach days!” 

Julie Bull (they/them) is a recovering academic turned artist. They are a poly-disciplinary poet, writer, spoken-word enthusiast, visual artist, researcher, ethicist, and educator who stirs things up with some unlikely integrations, influences, and imagination. As a queer, non-binary human, Julie’s work and life are filled with playful and purposeful practices that explore the complexities and contradictions of the liminal space.