Rainbow Crosswalk, by Scott Williams
At the end of 2017, we submitted a Neighbourhood Placemaking Grant application to the City of Kitchener’s Love My Hood initiative. Our idea was to install a Rainbow Crosswalk in downtown Kitchener to symbolize that the city is a place accepting of diverse people. Our OK2BME program has been operating since 2005 and KW Counselling Services has become well known as a safe and supportive place for LGBTQ2+ people.
At the same, our friends at SPECTRUM submitted a similar application. The City of Kitchener loved the idea and decided to partner with both KW Counselling Services and SPECTRUM to make it happen.
We decided on the intersection of Joseph and Gaukel at the entrance to Victoria Park. This location is a bold statement of solidarity and support from the City of Kitchener. This is an intersection used by thousands of people every day as they travel to the Charles Street Terminal or into Victoria Park.
We then decided on the last week of May to install it. It became part of our tri-Pride celebrations and leads nicely into the tri-Pride Festival taking place in Victoria Park on June 2nd. Now, the Rainbow Crosswalk will become the path that many people take to enter the park and attend the festival.
The Crosswalk is made of a thermoplast material that should last approximately a decade.
On May 29, 2018, an event was held at the Crosswalk at which Mayor Berry Vrbanovic; Michael May, Deputy CAO of the City of Kitchener; Leslie Josling, Executive Director of KW Counselling Services; Haley Haegens, a member of the OK2BME Youth Leadership Group; Sunna Murphy of SPECTRUM; and a representative of tri-Pride spoke. Read the Media Release here.
On May 30, 2018, a matching Rainbow Crosswalk will be installed in UpTown Waterloo.
This was also posted to www.kwcounselling.com