With a snip from a pair of oversize scissors, the rainbow ribbon fell away, cheers erupted, and Brandon’s first Pride crosswalk was officially opened at the heart of the Brandon University campus.
Connecting Harvest Hall with the John E. Robbins Library, the crosswalk is located in a highly trafficked, prominent, and very visible area near the heart of campus. It was an immediate magnet for selfies and photos.
“Not very long ago, certainly in my own lifetime, this type of installation would have been unthinkable,” said BU Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Kofi Campbell, speaking ahead of the official ribbon-cutting. “This is a reminder of how far we have come, but the fact that this is the first in Brandon reminds us how far we have to go as well.”
Campbell, who wielded the scissors with Aly Wowchuk and Logan Praznik from Brandon Pride, added that the University is also planting a Pride garden nearby. Earlier, BU raised the Pride flag, which will fly all of June, and has also raised the Trans flag. Working the McMaster Residence Student Council, a 24-foot wide banner celebrating Pride has also been installed in the residence.
“These are permanent symbols of inclusion and welcoming at BU … these symbols are important,” Campbell said.
Praznik said that Brandon Pride was ecstatic about the new crosswalk, which was a great way to kick off next week’s Pride cemebration.
“It is no secret that Brandon lacks spaces like these that represent the 2SLGBTQIA+ community that many other towns and cities have, such as the well-loved rainbow crosswalks. Showcasing these elements within our city helps individuals see themselves as part of this community,” they added. “This crosswalk gives LGBTQ+ people more visibility and we hope this is the first step of many more projects like this here in Brandon. Happy Pride!”
This year’s Brandon Pride — returning after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic — features a week of activities, kicking off on Sunday, June 12 and culminating on Saturday, June 18th with a noon rally at Brandon City Hall, followed by a march to Rideau Park for further festivities. See facebook.com/WheatCityPride for more.
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