The Central Alberta Pride Society unveiled two rainbow crosswalks in downtown Red Deer Thursday morning.

This is the third year that the crosswalks have been painted, with support from Fargeys Decorating Centre.

They are located at the intersection of Gaetz Avenue and Ross Street.

“It’s a symbol of not only the LGBTQ community but also an invitation to the community at large to join us and celebrate who we are,” said Serge Gingras, chair of the Central Alberta Pride Society.

Gingras has been a Red Deer resident for 33 years. In the last decade, he said society has changed to become more accepting, not just of the LGBTQ community but of people with a range of identities.

“I’ve seen a great effort from different levels of government and different sectors of our community — business, education, whatnot … really embracing inclusion and diversity,” he said.

2018 08 09 PrideCrosswalk1Pedestrians walking across the rainbow crosswalk on Aug. 9 in downtown Red Deer.

The rainbow crosswalk has been an iconic symbol of the LGBTQ community and one day, the society hopes to make one permanent.

“It’s a reminder of Pride Week. But if we had the permanent crosswalk, I think it would remind people all year, that this is part of the community and we’re here 365 days a year,” Gingras said.

The idea behind the crosswalk in Red Deer came from one of the society’s board members in 2016. Gingras said the City of Red Deer did the painting that year.

Since then, the community has taken over.

“For the last two years, the crosswalk has been fully funded by fundraising or the society and donation by Fargeys,” he said.

There have been cases of vandalism in the past. Gingras said such occurrences happen everywhere.

“In every community, there are people who don’t agree with who the LGBTQ community is and they don’t agree with the fact that there are people who are different than they are,” he said.

“One of my hopes is, through the crosswalk and the celebration of Pride Week, people start asking questions and start investigating a little bit more about who we are … There’s more to one person than the one thing you know about them. It’s only by establishing relationships, asking questions … to find things in common and to start embracing that diversity to become eventually more inclusive.”

More Local News

Blackfalds placemaking initiative entering phase 2; vehicle wayfinding

The Town of Blackfalds is into stage 2 of their Community Placemaking Initiative (CPI), which is their master plan to add signage to make it easier for tourist and locals alike to navigate around…

Shots fired at home on O'Chiese First Nation

From Rocky Mountain House RCMP: On Monday, October 15, 2018, around 9:00 a.m., Rocky Mountain House RCMP responded to shots fired at a residence on the O'Chiese First Nation. After the shots were…

Over $100,000 of equipment stolen in Wetaskiwin County

From Wetaskiwin RCMP: Sometime between the evening of October 6, 2018 and the morning of October 8, 2018, two McElroy T412 PVC/HDPE pipe fusers were stolen from a work sight on highway 771 near Range…

East Meets West considered a success to committee

On Friday night, community members gathered for an evening of Middle Eastern and western food and music to raise money to join a Syrian family back together again. The Al Omar Family Came to Canada…

UPDATE: Located. RD RCMP seek assistance to locate 6 year old Christian Carter

From Red deer RCMP: 5:19pm: 6 year old Christian Carter has been located and is safe. Red Deer RCMP thank the many citizens who offered assistance to police in locating him.…

Funding continues for Joslyn Snow memorial project

An art auction was held in the town of Bentley on Friday night to fundraise for the Joslyn Snow memorial project. Joslyn was an Educational Assistant at the Bentley school. She passed away suddenly…

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to locate 15 year old Kobe Smith

From Red Deer RCMP: Red Deer RCMP are asking for public assistance to locate 15 year old Kobe Smith, who was last seen in Red Deer on October 12. RCMP wish to verify her well-being. Kobe Smith is…

Red Deer RCMP investigate failed ATM theft attempt

From Red Deer RCMP: Red Deer RCMP are investigating an unsuccessful attempt to steal an ATM after a truck drove through the doors of the Eastview IGA early Sunday morning. Shortly before 5 am on…

Lacombe County recognized provincially for interactive planning

The Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) recently recognized Lacombe County’s for their public engagement approach. They have been given recognition for Lacombe County’s Municipal…

Windows smashed at downtown RD businesses; 19 year old male facing charges

From Red Deer RCMP: A 19 year old man faces charges after windows were smashed at three different businesses in the early hours of Sunday, October 14. At 1 am on October 14, Red Deer RCMP responded… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide