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
Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife
Work: 867-444-RCYK • Cell: 867-445-5878
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.
- 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)
We have tons of great stuff planned for April, but mostly we’ll be focusing on our Days of Pink outreach festival!
Rainbow Youth Centre – 5112 52nd Street
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@rainbowcoalitiony
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!
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.
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.
During our Days of Pink in April, we’re looking for people who are going to make commitments to ending homophobia and transphobia in order to make Yellowknife a safer place.
If you want to make a pledge to yourself, and to LGBTQ+ people around Yellowknife, consider coming on board as a Days of Pink Ambassador. An Ambassador is somebody who promotes the Days of Pink, encourages other people to take part, and to engages in meaningful conversation and comes up with some concrete actions to make their workplace or school environment a safer, more equitable place for queer and trans people.
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. Consider applying online, and be a part of a cool social media campaign designed to get people talking, learning and supporting one another.
We’re looking for board members!
We’re especially looking for:
– queer or trans kids who are interested in learning about board governance,
– parents of queer or trans kids who are interested in making Yellowknife a safer space for their children, and
– queer or trans adults who want to make Yellowknife a safer place for young queer or trans people.
It’s pretty exciting, because we’ll be looking at a board governance structure that prioritizes young members to hold positions on the executive. We’re also looking for representatives from each school board in Yellowknife.
If you’re interested, contact us before the end of January!
We Want You!
- Are you under 19 years old?
- Do you identify as queer or trans?
- Do you live in Yellowknife?
- Are you interested in queer or trans organizing?
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 to take on this effort!
Currently, we’re in the process of organizing the Day of Pink celebrations for Yellowknife, on April 13th 2016 and we’re looking to form a committee to help this process along. We especially want queer and trans youth on the committee!
If you’re interested, make sure you contact us!