Safe Stage w/ Quetzala Carson

Rainbow Youth Centre – 5112 52nd Street
867-444-RCYK (444-7295)
savannah@rainbowcoalitionyk.org

We are stoked to announce that this coming March 21-23 from 1-8pm daily we will be making music! We will have a variety of instruments available for you to choose from, make, and record some sweet tunes of your own. Personal instruments welcome too! This workshop will be facilitated by Quetzala Carson.

Quetzala Carson is a Two Spirit Mestizx from Mana ahuac, Nicaragua. The child of two special needs educators, pe spent per summers in Managua and winters in Amiskwaciwâskahikan. A professional musician from age 13, pe’s current solo project is FRYZZ LYFE. For Quetzala, music is a platform from which to communally discuss and transmute trauma. Pe released an album this year titled Mecayotl Tlazohcamati Axcammochipa (thank you kin into perpetuity) available at FRYZZLYFE.com

We’ll be talking about how music can be a medicine and a tool for liberation for Two Spirit folks. It serves to shield us and heal us as well as it allows us to amplify our voices and audiences.

Safe Stage is an opportunity for young marginalized artists to create a songs, explore a multitude of instruments, and hold space. All youth are welcome, no matter their identity!

Day 1: Two Spirit identities, decolonization, music as a medicine and as a weapon, youth lead tour, brainstorming
Day 2: Jam instrumentals and lyrics together, work on album art
Day 3: Recording our sounds

If you have any accessibility needs or would like any additional information, send us an email at savannah@rainbowcoalitionyk.org.

Seeking Visual Artists for a Youth Visual Art Showcase!

For our Days of Pink outreach festival this year, we’re looking for visual artists under 19 who are interested in submitting art pieces for a Youth Visual Art Showcase that will take place on April 15th 2017!

The cool thing about this showcase, is that you have the opportunity to make some money if people bid on your piece of art during the silent auction during our Days of Pink Gala.

If you’re a visual artist under 19 years old, take a look at the information and see if you’d be interested.

If you’re an art teacher based in Yellowknife, and you want us to come chat with your art class about how we can use visual art to enact social change, give us a shout! We’d love to come talk about this opportunity!

#queerloveyzf

Queers love each other in all sorts of cool, unique ways. It’s a special kind of love; among queer friends, queer couples and queer family members.

Celebrate queer love on your social media account and have a chance to win a free tshirt or tank courtesy of RCYK for yourself and a human you love!

Post a photo or video using the hashtag #queerloveyzf (make sure your post is public!) and show us how you queer love.

What does queer love look like to you? How do you show your queer pals that you care for them? How do you show your own body and heart queer self-love?

Party on February 14th by loving your queer friends, loving your queer partners and loving your queer self.

Post a photo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #queerloveyzf to show the world what Queer Love looks like in Yellowknife!

Enter for your chance to win a free tshirt/tank for you and a human you love!

Call for Proposals: LGBTQ+ Performing Artists to co-facilitate a 5-day youth performing arts and social justice camp

YELLOWKNIFE, NT (January 22, 2017) – The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife (RCYK) is excited to be working with Folk on the Rocks (FOTR) in organizing a 5-day youth performing arts and social justice camp leading up to the 2017 Folk on the Rocks festival. Up to 10 youth will be selected to participate in a 5-day camp that will teach them about expressing social and queer justice through their performing art.

RCYK is looking for NWT-based performing artists or artistic groups who identify as queer, trans or Two-Spirit who would be interested in working with a Southern performing artist to provide youth with 5-days of artistic and performance coaching, as well as social and queer justice workshops. This camp will take place from July 9th – 13th 2017 in Yellowknife. Musicians, bands, singers, spoken word artists and storytellers living in any community in the Northwest Territories are invited to apply.

Criteria for participation as an artist includes the following:

  • Identify as LGBTQ+, Two-Spirit, queer or trans
  • Be available to participate in the full 5-day camp
  • Have experience working with youth in an arts/performing context or in a social/queer justice context
  • Be living or have roots in the NWT

To apply, please visit the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife online at https://rainbowcoalitionyk.org/queercamp

For Inquiries, please contact:
Jacq Brasseur, Executive Director
(pronouns: they/them)
867-445-5878 • jacq@rainbowcoalitionyk.org
www.rainbowcoalitionyk.org

Unity Statement – Women’s March on Washington (Yellowknife)

On January 21st 2017 at 11:00am, people marched in Yellowknife to stand in solidarity with women in the United States experiencing marginalization and violence.

We spoke during this march. Our statement was created in part by individuals who attended our Q&T Group on Thursday, January 19th 2017. Here is our full statement for you to read.


Women all over the world are marching today, in solidarity with marginalized communities in the United States of America. Although the Women’s March on Washington has one unity statement that expresses support of queer and trans people, we want to stress that all of these unity statements ring true in our hearts. We want to express that we disagree with the Official Women’s March Movement’s initial choice to remove references to sex worker rights or conflate sex working with sex trafficking and exploitation, and we want to express our understanding of the complex problems associated with the original co-opting of a movement created by women of colour in the United States.

As a queer and trans organization, we work to support a group of people who are too-often victims of violence and marginalization. Although we work to support queer and trans people in Yellowknife, the struggles of queer and trans people in the United States are often at the forefront of our conversations and advocacy.

The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife is an organization, governed by young queer and trans Yellowknifers, whose mandate is to support queer and trans people (particularly youth) in Yellowknife and the rest of the Northwest Territories to live free from queerphobic violence. This statement was written with input from people who are a part of our organization.

Queer and trans people experience all kinds of violence because of who we are as human-beings. Queer communities experience physical violence, emotional violence, sexual violence and state violence. Within our community itself, queer people who share other marginalized identities are forced to navigate compounded violence. We see Two-Spirit and Indigenous queer and trans people resisting against the colonialist violence that limits how they are able to express themselves. We see queer and trans people of colour rejected from mainstream queer communities because they refuse to accept ongoing violence that is ignored by white queer people. We see queer and trans people with disabilities lacking adequate and supportive care and being rid of their sexual autonomies. We see queer and trans people living in poverty having to choose between accessing necessary social supports and living authentically. The needs of queer and trans people are not homogenous; we have a variety of lived experiences and they all need to be valued, respected and validated.

We, the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife, want to express our gratitude and love for those people who came before us, and contributed to what we recognize as a safer space for queer and trans people today. We say thank you to George Everett Klippert, a man who lived in the Northwest Territories when he became the last Canadian to be charged with homosexuality under the Supreme Court. We say thank you to those pioneers involved with OutNorth who’s existence helped to pass necessary legislation like the right to adopt and the inclusion of gender identity under the NWT Human Rights Act. The work done by past LGBTQ+ people in Yellowknife and the NWT allows us to feel comforted and validated in our existence as queer and trans people.

It also helps us be optimistic for the future. We call for more community and financial involvement from municipal and territorial governments. We call for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ perspectives on all topics, from anti-homelessness to anti-violence to many others. We call for more proactive support by unions, and NWT employers in supporting LGBTQ+ staff members and employees. We call for more inclusion of queer identities and issues into Yellowknife and NWT schools. We call for more public conversation about queer and trans people and experiences, particularly those experiences of Two-Spirit and Indigenous queer people that have been affected so strongly by the ongoing colonization that takes place in Denendeh.

We invite those who are not queer or trans, but who love us with all of their hearts, to learn how to be uncomfortable with not knowing, or not always understanding. We ask that our diversity is recognized; that we are not only queer, but that some of us are women, some of us are Indigenous, some of us are disabled, some of us are people of colour, some of us are living in poverty.

We welcome allies to step up to support us, even when it’s hard, and even when there is pushback, even when they are uncomfortable. We welcome allies to ask the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife for help in learning how to make their community safer for queer and trans people.

We call for a safe community that is built with us; that allies let us lead and that allies remember that there is nothing for us, without us.*


*The phrase “nothing for us, without us” has its’ roots in disability activism. The phrase gained momentum in the 1990s, and has since been used by various movements to express the importance of including the voices of those who are affected by an issue when doing activism related to the issue. (Source)

Rainbow Holiday Baskets

We are so happy to offer our members who experience and navigate poverty with the opportunity to receive a Holiday Basket donated in part by the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife and in part by community members.

Depending on the response from our community and our capacity, we are hoping to provide Rainbow Holiday Basket recipients with a basket containing any of the following:

  • Grocery Gift Cards
  • Gas Gift Cards
  • Clothing Gift Cards
  • Bus Passes
  • Personal Care Items
  • Linens
  • Cooking Items
  • Kitchen Items
  • Decorative Items
  • Personalized Gifts

If you are interested in applying for a basket, please click here.


If you are hoping to donate to an LGBTQ2S+ or allied family, please consider donating to the program by either providing an email money transfer to info@rainbowcoalitionyk.org or by dropping off cash or a cheque.

Alternatively, you can mail us a cheque to:

P.O. Box 1751 Stn Main
Yellowknife, NT
X1A 2P3

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Chelsea Thacker at info@rainbowcoalitionyk.org.

MLA Julie Green makes a Member’s Statement in the Legislative Assembly

On October 20th during session at the Legislative Assembly, Julie Green, MLA for Yellowknife Centre, made a Member’s Statement congratulating the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife on the work we’ve been doing with the Rainbow Centre.

During the Statement, Julie discussed her own struggle with being young and LGBTQ+:

[…W]hen I was young and trying to understand my sexuality there was no Rainbow Centre to help. Having a Rainbow Centre in Yellowknife is a great accomplishment, not only for the youth who visit but for all of us. I offer the young people who established the centre and volunteer at it my warmest congratulations.

We’re honoured to not only be a part of Julie Green’s riding as constituents, but we’re also honoured to be recognized by the first openly queer MLA in territorial history.

Julie also made mention to the GNWT Departments who fund our Centre: GNWT MACA, HSSA and ECE.

“Kudos to the government for making this funding available to the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.”

You can read Julie’s full statement here.

In addition to Julie’s statement, MLA Cory Vanthuyne and MLA Kieron Testart made a statement of recognition of the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife in the Gallery during session.

Thank you to all the great support from Territorial politicians in the NWT.

A Pop Of Colour: A Rainbow Dance Party to Celebrate NWT Pride

We’re so excited to be partnering with NWT Pride to host an all-ages event on Saturday night! Get ready to dance yourself proud, because we have a great band, a great DJ and we’re even going to have a photobooth!

You’ll be the first to hear the new soul band: Midnight Soul (Andrew Jossa, Sean Robson, Lucy Escalante & Matt Fournier)!

You’ll also be swept off your feet by the amazing Cynergii Entertainment, a great DJ who grew up in Yellowknife and played the first ever Pride in 2012!

We’ll have food, drinks and prizes, and we’re excited to share what It Gets Better Yellowknife is all about during the annual Pride festival.

A Pop of Colour
August 6th 2016
Doors open at 7:00pm
Band starts at 8:00pm
DJ starts at 9:30pm

The Champagne Room
(above IceBlink)
5004 50th Avenue

FREE COVER!

For any folks needing a bit of extra time to settle into the venue, we welcome you to come for the pre-entrance at 6:30pm.

We need members!

Guess what? We’ve incorporated as an organization under the Societies Act of the NWT! That means that we have to host annual general meetings where we’ll talk about what we’re working on and report on how we’re operating as an organization.

It also means that we’re looking for people to join It Gets Better Yellowknife as members! Being a member of It Gets Better Yellowknife is a great way to get involved and support queer and trans youth in Yellowknife.

Why be a member?

There’s tons of reasons to be a member of It Gets Better Yellowknife:

  • super easy access to our rainbow centre (once it’s established!)
  • cheaper prices for any merch, events or activities that we host
  • getting to vote on how It Gets Better Yellowknife operates as an organization
  • first to hear about new stuff we’re doing

You can apply to be a member here!

Help Us Get A Rainbow Youth Centre!

We’re so lucky to have been able to apply for the Field Law Community Fund this year! We’re up against some pretty incredible projects, and they all sincerely deserve to win. The good news is that you can vote for more than one!

For folks who don’t know, the Field Law Community Fund is a program that allows people to nominate worthwhile projects in their community that are deserving of funding. Afterwards, there’s an online voting period where people can vote for their favourites! Voting closes on June 17th 2016.

We’ve applied with a project called Yellowknife Youth Rainbow Centre, and we have tons of cool plans for this. Really, it will be a safe(r) place where queer, trans and allied youth can spend time and hang out. But it could also be so much more… we’re picturing movie nights, support groups, mental health support, access to nurses, workshops and training opportunities, mentorship programs, resource libraries, queer meeting space. We have so many great ideas, and the coolest part? Most of them came from youth who already connect with us!

We want to thank all of the youth who came out to our Meal With The Mayor and gave us the idea to go forward with a Youth Rainbow Centre for Yellowknife-based queer and trans youth.

We’re hoping that we’re one of the favourites on the Field Law Fund, but you can help by voting here or going to itgetsbetteryk.org/vote!