PRESS RELEASE: Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife hosts second annual Days of Pink Outreach Festival

Download PDF press release here.

YELLOWKNIFE, NT (March 27, 2017) – In only its second year, Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife (RCYK) has nearly doubled the offerings of the second-annual Days of Pink Outreach Festival.

The festival runs April 9 – 15, coinciding with the national Day of Pink on April 12th 2017 hosted by the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity.

Days of Pink supports queer and trans youth in Yellowknife by providing the public with opportunities to participate in discussions, workshops and panels throughout the week.

Highlights on the schedule include:

  • The launch of the Rainbow Solidarity Award—an award for a local Yellowknifer who actively supports queer and trans youth in Yellowknife. Nomination forms for the award can be found online at www.rainbowcoalitionyk.org/award and close on March 31st 2017.
  • a free movie showing at the Capitol Theatre;
  • a facilitated conversation luncheon at Twin Pine Diner;
  • a youth open mic; and
  • the first ever Days of Pink Gala, where the Rainbow Solidarity Award will be presented.

Days of Pink also supports parents of queer and trans children to come together to celebrate and learn about their children. “Days of Pink is a great opportunity for parents and allies of queer youth to come together and learn how to support those they love,” said Teresa Joudrie, Parent Director on the Board of Directors for the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.

With more than 10 confirmed local and national sponsors—including Dominion Diamond Corporation, WestJet and Fierté Montreal Pride—the Days of Pink is organized by the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife and an Organizing Committee, with the support of the City of Yellowknife.

“It’s really revolutionary that there’s a whole week dedicated to supporting the needs of queer people, especially queer youth,” explained Damian Benoit, Days of Pink Organizing Committee member and Youth Treasurer for the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.

Workplaces and schools around Yellowknife are invited to take part in the festival by organizing their own internal events or activities: Sir John Franklin and St. Patrick’s High School are both planning events during the week.

Days of Pink is celebrated as an opportunity for queer and trans youth to express themselves. “As a queer person, Days of Pink make me feel like I can express myself freely,” said organizing committee member Noah Haché, “it encourages other youth to safely express who they are too.”

The Day of Pink is nationally celebrated with a dialogue session between city mayors and local LGBTQ+ youth. This dialogue session allows local LGBTQ+ and allied youth to share ideas on how leaders can support queer and trans people in Canada. Youth interested in participating in Yellowknife’s session, will which include the participation of the Mayor, City Councillors, and Members of the Legislative Assembly can sign up online at www.rainbowcoalitionyk.org/daysofpink/youthdialogue.

Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife is still looking for sponsors and workplaces interested in helping to support the Days of Pink. Interested parties are invited to go online at www.rainbowcoalitionyk.org/daysofpink to learn more.

For Media Inquiries, please contact:
Jacq Brasseur, Executive Director
(pronouns: they/them)
Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife
Work: 867-444-RCYK • Cell: 867-445-5878
jacq@rainbowcoalitionyk.org

Backgrounders on all aspects of the festival can be found at www.rainbowcoalitionyk.org/daysofpink/media


About the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife

The outreach organization to support LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) youth has existed since 2011, and became incorporated under the Societies Act on June 27 2016. An organization by youth, for youth, the Coalition is excited to not only operate the Rainbow Youth Centre, but to bring forward a new way of non-profit governance by promoting social entrepreneurship and organizational leadership among youth, through their interest in queer and trans issues and identities.

About the Days of Pink Yellowknife

In November 2015, The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) asked Mayor Heyck and the City of Yellowknife to organize an event called “Day of Pink” in celebration of the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia, Transphobia and Transmisogyny on April 13th 2016. In response to this, Mayor Heyck reached out to us! We put together a committee, turned it into a full week-long outreach festival, and figured out our goals. We’re excited to be continuing this project in 2017.

Guiding Principles:

  • The Days of Pink are about talking honestly and openly with our peers about the bullying and violence that people deal with when expressing their love and their gender.
  • We believe that when talking honestly and openly about these things, we’re able to educate ourselves and fight ignorance in our community.
  • We address this by asking questions about how we express our gender, what gender means to different people, how we love and who we love, and how we can stop bullying and violence that people deal with when expressing their love and their gender.
  • We believe that a safe Yellowknife for everybody includes a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, asexual, pansexual and queer people!

About the International Day of Pink

The International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia when 2 straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The 2 students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying.” (DayOfPink.org/about)

PRESS RELEASE: It Gets Better Yellowknife rebrands with new name, Rainbow Youth Centre Opens Today

For immediate release

It Gets Better Yellowknife rebrands with new name, Rainbow Youth Centre Opens Today

YELLOWKNIFE, NT (August 22, 2016) –  It Gets Better Yellowknife is pleased to announce the outreach organization has changed its name to the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.

With the opening of the brand new Rainbow Youth Centre in Yellowknife, the rebranded Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife captures the essence of what the organization has become: an alliance of community members and the queer community working together to support LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) youth.

“When we started this organization in 2011, we had one goal in mind: to simply exist and show queer youth that they weren’t alone. Today, we’ve evolved into something so much greater, and we have so many people throughout the North supporting the work we’re doing,” said co-founder and treasurer, Jacq Brasseur. “We’ve become such a different organization than what we initially were, and we wanted to celebrate that. Our new name, the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife perfectly expresses the feeling of people coming together to support Yellowknifers who fall under the ‘rainbow’ umbrella.”

Earlier this month, the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife announced the opening of the Rainbow Youth Centre (RYC). The RYC is a new space for queer and trans youth, their allies, and their families to access that promotes active inclusion and support for all young people, no matter their gender or sexual identity. With the financial support of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), Health and Social Services Authority (HSSA) and the Department of Education, Culture & Employment (ECE), the Rainbow Youth Centre will be open Monday to Friday from 3:30 p.m.to 8:00 p.m.

The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife is excited to be hosting an official launch party for the Rainbow Youth Centre on August 30th 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at their new location: Suite 223, 5112 52nd Street, Yellowknife, NT. The Centre will begin offering regular programming on September 1st (a full schedule is available on their website). The Coalition is encouraging anybody interested in volunteering, donating or accessing the Centre to come by and learn more.

For more information or to learn about how you can get involved, drop by the Centre or visit their website at www.rainbowcoalitionyk.org.

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

About the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife

The outreach organization to support LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) youth has existed since 2011, and became incorporated under the Societies Act on June 27 this year under the name “It Gets Better Yellowknife.” An organization by youth, for youth, the Coalition is excited to not only operate the Rainbow Youth Centre, but to bring forward a new way of non-profit governance by promoting social entrepreneurship and organizational leadership among youth, through their interest in queer and trans issues and identities.

PRESS RELEASE: It Gets Better Yellowknife to open Rainbow Youth Centre

For immediate release

It Gets Better Yellowknife to open Rainbow Youth Centre

YELLOWKNIFE, NT (August 5, 2016) –  It Gets Better Yellowknife is pleased to announce the organization will be opening a Rainbow Youth Centre in Yellowknife later this month.

During the successful Days of Pink event in April 2016, It Gets Better Yellowknife held a youth forum with Mayor Mark Heyck where youth in attendance stressed their desire and need for a youth centre they feel safe accessing. Following this, It Gets Better Yellowknife approached a number of agencies and government departments to secure funding.

Through these efforts, It Gets Better Yellowknife has secured funding through the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), who confirmed $13,888 under the Youth Centres Initiative Fund, and Yellowknife Health & Social Services (YHSSA) who confirmed $15,000.

“The Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority and HSS, are also very pleased to provide support to [It Gets Better Yellowknife], recognizing the need for support to LGBTQ2 clients in Yellowknife and the NWT, especially youth and young adults,” said Les Harrison, CEO of Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority.  “There is great potential for [It Gets Better Yellowknife] to provide a haven of support in which LGBTQ2 clients can freely talk about matters that are important to them, including their health and wellness, and with the implementation of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (THSSA) on August 1, we look forward to discussing further opportunities for partnership on health and wellness initiatives in the future.”

The Rainbow Centre will have a resource library, act as a hub for all Northern groups and agencies to access information about LGBTQ+ identity, a hang out space for youth, and depending on future funding, ongoing programming created by It Gets Better Yellowknife. The Centre will be open for youth to access on a drop-in basis starting on August 22, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. It Gets Better Yellowknife will begin introducing regular programming starting in September.

For more information or to learn about how you can become a Rainbow Centre funder or a volunteer, drop by the Centre after August 22nd or visit our website at www.itgetsbetteryk.org.

For Media Inquiries, please contact:
Jacq Brasseur (pronouns: they/them)
867-445-5878
jacq@itgetsbetteryk.org

 About It Gets Better Yellowknife

The outreach organization to support LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) youth has existed since 2011, and became incorporated under the Societies Act on June 27 this year. An organization by youth, for youth, is excited to not only operate the space, but to bring forward a new way of non-profit governance by promoting social entrepreneurship and organizational leadership among youth, through their interest in queer and trans issues and identities.

PRESS RELEASE: It Gets Better Yellowknife calls on workplaces to take action for Days of Pink

For immediate release

Yellowknife, NT – (Tuesday, March 22nd 2016): It Gets Better Yellowknife is asking local businesses and organizations to get involved with the upcoming Days of Pink by having conversations about homophobia and transphobia in their workplaces.
The outreach program to support LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) youth has teamed up with the City of Yellowknife to bring the national event to the city April 11 to 17.

“It’s really an opportunity to have conversations that may otherwise never happen,” said Jacq Brasseur, co-chair of It Gets Better Yellowknife. “It’s just a few days, but hopefully people keep talking about what homophobia and transphobia look like in Yellowknife.”

The Days of Pink are about talking honestly and openly about the bullying and violence that people deal with when expressing their love and their gender.

“We believe that when talking honestly and openly about these things, we’re able to educate ourselves and fight ignorance in our community,” says Brasseur.

In order to facilitate these conversations, It Gets Better Yellowknife is seeking Days of Pink Ambassadors and Workplace Leads.

Ambassadors are responsible for promoting Days of Pink, encouraging others to take part, and coming up with concrete actions to make their workplace or school environment a safer place for LGBTQ+ people.

Prominent Yellowknifers have already signed up for this role, including Mayor Mark Heyck and former MLA candidate, Nigit’stil Norbert.

“As mayor, I’m committed to making Yellowknife a safe place for everybody who lives here, and ending homophobia and transphobia in our community is necessary in order to make sure that LGBTQ+ Yellowknifers feel safe,” says Mayor Heyck.

Workplace Leads will receive a toolkit and support from It Gets Better Yellowknife on how to promote a safer, more inclusive work environment for LGBTQ+ people.

The week-long event is set to include workshops, a panel, an artistic celebration, and forums for LGBTQ+ young people and their parents.

The Day of Pink started in Nova Scotia after two students witnessed another student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They intervened, but felt like that wasn’t enough. They soon encouraged the whole school to wear pink shirts in solidarity, and the event was born.

Visit http://www.itgetsbetteryk.org/daysofpink or find It Gets Better Yellowknife on Facebook or Twitter. Full schedule of events are on the website.

Contact:

Jacq Brasseur, Co-chair
867-445-5878
Email

 

Contact:

Nicole Garbutt, Co-chair
867-446-4543
Email