Canva Sydney WorldPride 2023
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Reflecting on Sydney WorldPride

As the colorful curtains close on this year’s Sydney WorldPride, we take a peek behind the scenes at how we harnessed the power of visual communication to bring an exciting and historic partnership to life.

From building a diverse and inclusive team to ensuring we’re championing representation in our product, creating a celebration of diversity in every aspect is an important focus for all of us at Canva.

We’re immensely proud to have the opportunity to help spread important messages about pride and inclusion with millions of people around the world through our content, product, team, and partnerships. For one of our most recent partnerships, we had the honor of joining forces with Sydney WorldPride and Sydney Mardi Gras to bring the celebrations to life through the power of visual communication.

This historic and momentous occasion – the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – has been the perfect extension of our mission and values. This year marked our second year as official Design Partner(opens in a new tab or window) of Sydney WorldPride and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and we’re so delighted to have been part of the incredible celebrations. Here’s a look back at some of the ways we brought our partnership to life.

Canva Mardi Gras 2023

Inspiring creativity

We’re committed to empowering our community to express themselves and celebrate their unique identity all year round. For Sydney WorldPride and Mardi Gras, we created more than 1,000 free templates(opens in a new tab or window) and elements for millions of people to design and celebrate Pride in their own way.

From TikTok videos to custom Zoom backgrounds and colorful WorldPride itineraries, we’ve loved seeing our product enthusiastically embraced to celebrate a cause we care deeply about while also having the opportunity to help spread important messages about pride, diversity and inclusion across the globe.

As part of this, we also created a dedicated series of Canva Design School videos to spark inspiration and help our community design anything with Pride(opens in a new tab or window), from Facebook video covers(opens in a new tab or window) to glam merch(opens in a new tab or window), tote bags(opens in a new tab or window) and fabulous vision boards(opens in a new tab or window).

Connecting to the community

Fair Day is a landmark of the Sydney WorldPride program which sees thousands of people come together to kick off the celebrations. This year, we brought back our Canva ‘Drag and Drop Print Shop’, an evolution of last year’s popular ‘Drag and Drop Studio’.

Talented Indigenous drag artist JoJoZaho(opens in a new tab or window) and Jack from House of Silky(opens in a new tab or window) welcomed hundreds of revelers to customize and print their own personalized tote bags. Our nonprofit partner for the second year in a row, Out for Australia(opens in a new tab or window), which champions Australia’s LGBTQIA+ students and young professionals, was also on hand to encourage attendees to write up affirmations.

At one of Sydney WorldPride’s final events, Pride Villages, we hosted a roaming photography activation, where attendees could get a gorgeous Pride portrait to take home with them. It’s important to us that everyone can see themselves represented in Canva, so with their consent, we’ll be adding their images to our Canva photo library as part of our mission to champion diversity in our content. We have an ambitious goal to build the world’s most diverse content library, which we see as being a critical part of empowering the whole world to design.

Mardi Gras magic

The Mardi Gras Parade is the jewel in the crown of Sydney WorldPride, and we were ecstatic to join the LGBTIQA+ community in a dazzling display of pride and self-expression.

Our float was glowing with Canvanauts and friends of Canva, such as drag performer Domino Trixx(opens in a new tab or window) and performance artist Brendan de la Hay(opens in a new tab or window), who also worked with us to design our sequinned costumes in Canva colors.

Canva WorldPride

Our founders Melanie, Cliff, and Cameron led the way down Oxford Street, followed by 80 proud Canvanauts. Featuring Pride designs created by local queer artists Michael Sun(opens in a new tab or window) and Amy Blue(opens in a new tab or window), our float was filled with elements you can design with by searching ‘Pride’ in the Canva library.

Canva Mardi Gras WorldPride

Pride celebrations with our team

We also planned plenty of virtual and in-person events, activities, and surprises to celebrate WorldPride from a ‘Queer & Design’ panel discussing iconic and revolutionary designs that have stood for the ever-evolving LGBTQIA+ movement, to Virtual Drag Bingo, a sunset serenade with all-trans indie band Boy & Bucket, and a ‘Queer Art After Hours’ workshop, there was something for everyone to get involved and to celebrate our amazing LGBTQIA+ community.

Championing diversity at Canva

Our journey towards being a celebration of diversity is constantly evolving and we’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far. Our LGBTQIA+ Pride Club has hundreds of members who organize regular internal events that encourage our whole team to learn about how to be an ally and have an impact during significant days such as IDAHOBIT and Wear It Purple. The club also works with different teams across Canva to help ensure things like our product and team experience are as inclusive as possible.

Canva Mardi Gras WorldPride

During onboarding, we empower new people in our team to share their pronouns proudly, as well as offer unconscious bias, cultural awareness, and cultural sensitivity training sessions. Our paid parental leave is inclusive for rainbow families, and we’re always creating and sharing internal guides with our team that advocate for everyone to play an active role in building a culture of belonging and gender equity, such as our Inclusive Language Guide that includes guidance on using gendered language and pronouns.

We also believe we have an incredibly important responsibility to ensure our platform truly reflects the diverse world we all live in. Through our Canva Represents(opens in a new tab or window) fund, we’ve been working with talented artists from underrepresented communities around the world including those who identify as LGBTQIA+ to showcase and champion their work on a global scale. We’re looking forward to doubling down on this over the years to come.

With Sydney WorldPride and Mardi Gras 2023 wrapped, we’re already excitedly anticipating the third year of our partnership in 2024 as we continue on our mission of championing diversity and empowering the world to bring their creativity to life.

With Canva you can design anything to celebrate Pride your way(opens in a new tab or window)!