Cossette re-imagines the Pinocchio story for Glad Day Bookshop

Who: Glad Day Bookshop, Cossette, Grayson Matthews Audio Design, Tonic DNA.

What: “Pinocchio: A Modern Retelling,” a pro bono fundraising campaign for Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop, which describes itself as the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore.

When & Where: The campaign debuted on June 20 as part of Glad Day’s Pride Month activities, and is running across its social channels. The story will also be adapted into a children’s book later this year.

Why: The campaign is committed to raising $50,000 to help Glad Day serve the community through its bookshop, bar, cafe and community event space.

How: Described as a modern-day retelling of the Pinocchio story, the nearly two-minute animated film was developed with Emmy and Oscar-winning director and illustrator Joe Bluhm, and is narrated by Canadian actress Dana Brook. It tells the story of a young child who is born a girl, but feels she’s living a lie by not embracing her inner boy.

The goal, according to Cossette, is to introduce the transgender narrative to children in an understandable and relatable manner. The belief that “being yourself makes wishes come true” applies to children of all backgrounds, identities and orientations, the agency says.

And we quote: “Glad Day believes that story, representation and freedom of speech are critical elements of LGBTQ culture and identity and that our space is an important place that supports, nurtures and inspires creativity and community. This film celebrates the process of understanding the truth of our stories and putting ourselves out in the world.”—Glad Day Bookshop co-owner Michael Erickson.

“There is nothing more powerful than stories. This film was a labour of love for our teams and we look forward to supporting Glad Day as it provides a safe space for people to share their stories for years to come.” —Peter Ignazi, global chief creative officer, Cossette.

Chris Powell