Published: August 2, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Centennial Park was awash with colours this past Saturday as residents of all ages gathered to celebrate the diversity of love in the Red Lake District.
More than 70 people gathered on July 29 for morning march that was organized as part of the two-day Red Lake Pride event, the first of its kind in the district.
“You are making history being here,” Activist and Educator Terry Syrette told the crowd prior to the walk that circled the park and ended with a rainbow cake and fruit snacks.
“Your young children will be able to tell their young children about the first time they marched here in Red Lake Pride and showed solidarity in showing that love is love and that difference should not matter.”
Throughout the summer inaugural pride events have been held throughout Northwestern Ontario, including Dryden, Kenora and Sioux Lookout.
Organizers in the district credit the youth in the community for being a driving force behind the initiative that included lectures from Syrette and author/actor Ma-Nee Chacaby, the March and an afternoon at the beach comprised of vendors, activities and workshops.
“I think we have a lot of strong youth advocates for the LGBTQ2 community and that is what sparked the interest and the passion to get the event going,” explained organizer Karly McDonald prior to the event.
“They were the catalyst for us the planners to get working on the event.”
Among the speakers on Saturday morning was Red Lake Mayor Phil Vinet who talked about the importance of celebrating the area’s diversity.
“Red Lakers are genuine in their heart and are committed to doing the right thing. We are gathered here to respect, recognize and embrace one another this morning but it doesn’t stop there. We have to do that every day. This is the time not only to celebrate but to advocate the Pride movement.”
Syrette added: “You should be proud. This is history in the making.”