The Grande Prairie community is set to come together to provide a fresh coat of paint for the Pride mural in Community Village after hurtful imagery, including swastikas, was spray-painted on the display.
Gay and Lesbian Association of the Peace President Yax Posas says it was disheartening to see this happen.
“It was really sad to see. Honestly, we were expecting that something like this was going to happen, unfortunately. We had gone almost one year without any vandalism. It means that there is still hatred out there. My feeling is that it was hatred against anything different, which is sad. I think the most alarming thing is that the response to the fear of something different is hatred, instead of trying to educate ourselves.”
After the incident, Posas and others are encouraged by the support the locals have once again shown for the LGBTQI2S+ community.
“I’ve lost count of how many people have reached out to say they are with us. The support from the community has been very overwhelming in a very positive way. We’ve received support from everyone, from the queer community to people working with youth, and families,” she explains.
“Even volunteers have gone and applied some primer on the mural. It shows that the community is not okay with something like this and the vandal or vandal’s actions don’t represent people overall here in Grande Prairie.”
Locals are invited to take part in re-painting the mural on Saturday at 10116 102 Ave, from 9 a.m. until about noon.
“Anyone is welcome to come out. If anyone would like to speak at the event and share anything, that can be arranged,” she adds.
The owner of the Community Village building has been doing their due diligence to try and figure out who is responsible for the vandalism, but nothing has been determined yet.