Volunteers in Grande Prairie put the finishing touches on the Pride crosswalk near city hall, with a barbecue and music playing to celebrate the occasion.
Grande Prairie Pride Society board member Gordon Pellerin says it’s always a day that he looks forward to and it means a lot to him.
“I grew up here and became an advocate and activist in the 80s and 90s. Back then we wanted city hall to fly the pride flag but that was not happening. Life was very different then. Having the rainbow crosswalk shows how much the community has grown and changed. It’s also a very inexpensive suicide prevention tool. It shows people that they fit, belong in the community and that the community cares.”
Pellerin explains that it takes a village to create an inclusive community and environment, which he feels the City of Grande Prairie has done.
“Communities move and Grande Prairie has done that. The community really blossomed here and became far more progressive and diverse. There is still more work to be done and it’s not the end but we’re starting to accomplish more as we grow as an LGBTQ2S+ community,” he says.
Pellerin pointed to Grande Prairie city council for their contributions when asked about support from the city itself.
“These folks are very supportive and they’re very much involved. I’ve seen a number of them out here today grabbing some rollers and doing some painting as well,” he adds.
The Grande Prairie Pride Society is also hosting the Rainbow Teen Dance, Party in White, and Family Carnival this weekend.