Whistler Rainbow Crosswalk official opening and blessing ceremony

September 15, 2017

The community of Whistler gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish and Lil’Wat Nations to celebrate the opening of Whistler's Rainbow Crosswalks. Performing the Two Spirit First Nations traditional Down Ceremony was the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society. Legacy Princess 40, The Silver Hummingbird, Desree Knight Niis Miou; Chief 19 & 36, Silver Coyote, Al Houston; Chief 20 & 37, Byron Longclaws (wearing vest with paddles on the vest); Chief 7 & 27, Lone Wolf, and also Mr Gay Vancouver 37, Sir John Taylor (wearing red vest with Mr Gay Vancouver sash); and Chief 34, Red Thunder Knight Niis Miou, Terry Azak (wearing cedar hat and doing most of the singing).

Speakers at the Whistler Rainbow Crosswalk ceremony

Other dignitaries included Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Sea to Sky Member of the Legislative Assembly – Jordan Sturdy, Sunil Sinha – Whistler Pride's Executive Producer and Director of Entertainment, Payton McPhee – representing the Whistler youth, Dean Nelson – Whistler Pride's Executive Producer and CEO, and a member of the Whistler Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP GRC).


Member of Parliament Pamela Goldsmith-Jones
Special greetings from Member of Parliament, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones – West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country

Congratulations on 25 years of Whistler Pride! Whistler's advocacy for equality has set an example across Canada and around the world and is a big part of the inclusive community that exists today. Your two rainbow crosswalks are a beautiful way to celebrate Whistler's strong, diverse community and I know it will be yet another great day for Whistler.

Sincerely,

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, M.P.

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country

There was an estimated one hundred plus people taking part in the celebration. We are very grateful for the continued support of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Whistler Mayor's office and council, the Whistler Public Library, Vancouver's Odyssey Nightclub, and Galactic Entertainment for helping to make this celebration possible.

Here are some of our favourite social media posts.

Opening of the new rainbow crosswalk. Way to show your colours, Whistler! #whistlerpride #rainbowcrosswalk #loveislove

A post shared by Phillipa Campbell (@wonderwritings) on


Post Rainbow Crosswalks Dean + Conni Smudge had the chance to meet up with some of our international visiting media for dinner at the Bearfoot Bistro. We were treated excepetionally well and was the perfect ending to the big day.

Media Coverage of the Whistler Rainbow Crosswalk Special Event

Whistler Question: Rainbow crosswalks unveiled on Main Street

Permanent, brightly-coloured symbol of inclusion and equality created in celebration of Whistler Pride’s 25th anniversary

MEGAN LALONDE / WHISTLER QUESTIONWhistler Question Article on Rainbow Crosswalk
When Whistler Pride’s executive director and CEO Dean Nelson was growing up, the library served as a safe space for him; allowing him to escape into the pages of books.

But even that sense of safety wasn’t all-encompassing. One day, he opened an “early-1960s” encyclopedia to look up what it meant to be gay.

“Back then, it said that it was a mental illness,” he remembered. “When I read that, it was like, ‘well… I can’t let anybody know this.’ So that’s when the story began for me.”

But now, youth visiting the Whistler Public Library will have a visual reminder that they are free to be themselves thanks to a new set of rainbow crosswalks unveiled on Friday (Sept. 15).

The unveiling of the two new permanent installations — one located on Main Street in front of the library and another a few metres down the street — are now part of the Whistler’s cultural connector. The official opening of the brightly-coloured crosswalks, an easily-recognized symbol of inclusion and equality, comes one year after Nelson officially proposed the concept to municipal council. It received unanimous support. <<click here to read more>>

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 07:24 PM