For the fourth year running, W Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, celebrates its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion as a major sponsor of The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
“W Hotels has always been passionate about providing a platform for self-expression and celebrating LGBTQIA+ communities to create an environment that is authentically welcoming for all,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand Marketing and Brand Management, Marriott International Asia Pacific. “Inclusivity has consistently remained at the heart of W’s DNA, creating a space where all feel free to be – genuinely and openly.”
“Our good friends and partners at W Hotels are such brilliant supporters of both Sydney WorldPride and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole; providing a platform for activism and authenticity that is welcoming for all. From their Mardi Gras float entry, to their consistently inclusive messaging, we’re thrilled to have them with us across this Festival season,” said Kate Wickett, CEO of Sydney WorldPride.
W Hotels will be part of a display of self-expression and LGBTQIA+ pride at the Mardi Gras Parade on Sydney’s Oxford Street, February 25. Teaming up with a crew of LGBTQIA+ talent who breathe the W philosophy and have profoundly impacted the music, art and fashion world, W Hotels will celebrate the change these pioneers in their fields have initiated in their communities.
Parading on board the W Hotels float in the Mardi Gras Parade will be Sri-Lankan born contemporary artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, whose highly celebrated artwork has been displayed globally at the likes of the NGA and Dark Mofo. A strong voice in the LGBTQIA+ community, Ramesh’s art is a nod to thinking beyond binaries and valuing cultural difference – core values shared by W Hotels.
“It would be amazing to be in a world where pride celebrations weren’t necessary. However, with concerning pushes towards conservatism globally, it is so crucial for individuals and organisations to be leaders…to be visible in this space! I’m excited to be working with W Hotels this WorldPride as we work together to show the importance of valuing difference and creating new ways of being,” said Contemporary Artist, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.
Taking part in a specially choreographed performance alongside 40 talents from W Hotels in the parade, Australian talents including stylist, content creator and performance artist Millie Sykes; writer, co-founder of Gertrude and Alice bookstore and fashion lover Jordan Turner; dancer and choreographer Rhys Kosakowski; model and queer content creator Brandon Kilgour; internationally renowned makeup artist Sean Brady and queer artist and co-founder of QTBIPOC artist collective House of Silky Mirasia, will add to the energy dancing alongside the W Hotels float as it parades through the crowds.
The W float has been designed in line with the ‘Room For You’ ethos and Sydney WorldPride’s theme of ‘Gather, Dream, Amplify’. The float leans into bold colours as a medium to accentuate form for a highly sensory creation that is sure to excite. Modelled on the signature spaces and experiences that make travellers fall in love with W Hotels, expect to see a vibrant show of a W-style guest room, signature bar and iconic WET pool. Skirting the float base will be bold statements iterating what W guests are passionate about: Room for Curiosity. Room for Pride. Room for Community. Room for Love. Room for Everyone. Room for You.
W Hotels are welcoming hubs of diversity for all within the community, driven by intent, inclusivity and the freedom to be who they are. Programming at W Hotels in Australia over WorldPride will spark connection and celebrate creativity. At W Melbourne, local LGBTQIA+ musical talent will be spotlighted at WET Sunday Sessions on March 5. For an afternoon of great music poolside, W Brisbane will keep the celebrations rolling with a Mardi Gras Recovery Pool Party at the hotel’s WET Deck on March 12. DJ ENN will be playing a mix of songs that celebrate love and equality while the W team serves up delicious cocktails and nibbles. W Sydney, the brand’s third Australian property, is set to join in the celebrations when it opens its doors in Darling Harbour in October this year.
As part of Marriott International’s commitment to bringing incredible experiences to their guests, members of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott’s award-winning travel program, will have access to exclusive events through the Marriott Bonvoy Moments platform, including VIP tickets to the Live and Proud Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert starring Kylie Minogue, Jessica Mauboy and Charli XCX on February 24; and VIP tickets to the Bondi Beach Party starring Nicole Scherzinger and a stellar line-up of Australian DJs on March 4. Members will also be able to bid on tickets to the WorldPride Mardi Gras Party on February 25, and Closing Concert access on March 5. For the Ultimate Moment, four Marriott Bonvoy Members will also get the chance to march in the Parade with W Hotels. Marriott Bonvoy members can bid on these experiences via the Marriott Bonvoy Moments platform.
Marriott International globally supports WorldPride, showcasing their support by participating in some of the largest LGBTIQIA+ events across Europe and the United States including New York, London and Amsterdam. Marriott International has a longstanding commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community through equitable workplace policies and practices, a strong commitment to inclusion and respect for all, as well as longstanding philanthropy for many LGBTQIA+ causes.