Days of Pink: Backgrounders

For backgrounders in relation to the March 23rd 2017 press release, please review here:

Call for Workplaces & Businesses to Participate in Days of Pink

The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife is calling for workplaces and businesses to participate in Days of Pink by hosting their own workplace event on Wednesday, April 12th 2017 and to provide employees with copies of our “Workplace Toolkit” which includes five easy ways to make your workplace more supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees and clients. The Workplace Toolkit is also available for free online at

Last year, participating workplaces included the NWT Brewing Company and WestJet. This year, the RCYK is inviting all Yellowknife-based businesses to come on board as Days of Pink workplaces by organizing anything from a free coffee break to a full-fledged workshop for your employees on promoting the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people.

Any workplaces interested in participating can contact the RCYK at or 867-444-RCYK.

Days of Pink Raffle

RCYK is hosting a raffle leading up to the Days of Pink and during the festival in order to raise money for the Rainbow Youth Centre. Dominion Diamond Corporation generously donated an Ekati Mine Diamond for the first prize, while WestJet has donated a flight for two anywhere WestJet flies as a second prize. The third prize, a brand new Samsung Tablet, was donated by the Joudrie Family.

Raffle Tickets will be available for purchase for $20 throughout the Days of Pink festival. Any individuals interested in buying a ticket can also visit the Rainbow Youth Centre during operating hours.

Days of Pink Dialogue Session

 One of the major components of Days of Pink is the annual dialogue session between youth and political and community leaders in their community. It was during last year’s dialogue session that queer and trans youth in Yellowknife called for the creation of a Rainbow Youth Centre.

This year, youth are invited to attend a strategy planning session on Friday, April 14th 2017 at 1pm at the Rainbow Youth Centre to discuss plans for what to discuss at the discussion session with political and community leaders on Saturday, April 15th 2017.

A number of politicians and leaders have already confirmed their attendance during the Lunch with Leaders event on Saturday, including Mayor Mark Heyck, MLA Julie Green, MLA Kieron Testart, MLA Kevin O’Reilly, Minister Caroline Cochrane, Councillor Julian Morse, Councillor Linda Bussey and Councillor Rebecca Alty.

All youth, queer or allied, are invited to attend. Those interested in participating in Yellowknife’s session can sign up online at

Rainbow Solidarity Award

The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife has only been able to accomplish so much with the support of so many incredible people around Yellowknife. In order to say thank you to those people, and recognize them on an annual basis, the Days of Pink Organizing Committee created this award with the hopes that local Yellowknifers would nominate individuals they felt were making an active difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ young people.

This award will be presented at the Days of Pink Gala taking place on April 15th 2017 at the Explorer Hotel. Nomination forms can be found online at and should be submitted before March 31st 2017.

The Selections Committee for this award is made up entirely of queer and trans youth under 19 years old, and chaired by Delilah Hashi. Delilah is actively involved in her community in a number of ways, including being the President of the Student Council at Sir John Franklin High School. The Selections Committee will review all nominations and provide a recommendation for the recipient to the Board of Directors.


  • A person who is visibly involved in queer and trans communities
  • A person who is active in support through attending events publicly or supporting organizations publicly
  • A person who invests in LGBTQ+ inclusive education and safe(r) spaces
  • A person who embodies the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife’s mandate
  • A person who advocates for queer and trans inclusion
  • A person who discusses queer and trans inclusion with their peers


  • Must be living in Yellowknife
  • Not a board member or employee of the RCYK
  • Not a former board member or employee of the RCYK within the past year

Days of Pink Youth Visual Art Showcase

 The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife is inviting youth to submit a piece of visual art that touches on the theme of: “What does it mean to feel safe?” Visual art pieces can include anything from photographs, to collages to paintings, sketches or drawings to graphic or digital art, to physical art like sculptures or carvings.

The only criteria to enter visual art pieces into the Showcase is to be a youth living in Yellowknife who is under 19 years old.

All pieces of visual art must be submitted by April 5th 2017.

Art will then be displayed at the Days of Pink Gala on April 15th 2017, available for silent auction by the people at the Gala. All funds raised through this silent auction will be pooled together and split equally among all visual artists, with 30% of the proceeds going to the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.

 Days of Pink Gala & Zena Sharman

 For the first time, the Days of Pink will host a concluding Gala on Saturday, April 15th 2017 which will include a full meal, music by Carmen Braden, and a keynote speech by Zena Sharman titled: “Words that Heal, Words that Wound: Connecting Stories and Action for LGBTQ2S+ Health.” Thanks to the support of the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife is able to bring Zena Sharman all the way from Vancouver, B.C. to provide the keynote speech and a workshop for youth on being their own health advocate. Zena Sharman is an advocate for queer and trans health with over a decade’s experience in health research who co-edited the Lambda Literary award-nominated anthology, The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health & Health Care.

Zena Sharman – Bio:

Zena Sharman is a femme force of nature and a passionate advocate for queer and trans health. She has over a decade’s experience in health research, including seven years as the Assistant Director of Canada’s national gender and health research funding institute. Zena co-chairs the board of the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre, a holistic health care centre for transgender and gender-diverse communities. She served on the board of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health from 2013-2015.

Zena co-edited the Lambda Literary award-nominated anthology, Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2011), and she’s presented on gender, sexuality, and health to audiences across North America. The Remedy brings together her love of writing and stories with her commitment to making the world a healthier and more equitable place. Zena has a PhD in interdisciplinary studies from the University of British Columbia. Her resume also includes party thrower, cabaret host, go-go dancer for a queer punk band, campus radio DJ, and elementary school public speaking champion.

Zena is grateful to live and write on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. As a small gesture of thanks for living on their unceded territories, she’ll donate half of her royalties from The Remedy to Indigenous-led organizations.

Keynote Description:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit and other gender and sexually diverse communities (LGBTQ2S+) experience more health disparities and health care discrimination than straight folks. Research tells us that being LGBTQ2S+ isn’t inherently bad for your health, so what’s going on here, and how can we make things better?

This talk weaves together stories and data to build understanding of why homophobia, transphobia, and other intersecting oppressions are bad for people’s health, and offers strategies for fostering healthy, thriving and resilient LGBTQ2S+ communities. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll walk away with new tools and understanding of how to be a better LGBTQ2S+ health advocate and ally.

Full Schedule of Events

Sunday April 9th 2017

Days of Pink Dialogue: Parenting in Full Colour – 10am – FREE
Rainbow Youth Centre – 5112 52nd Street, Yellowknife, NT

  • a support session for parents of LGBTQ+ youth to come together and meet one another

Days of Pink Workshop: Being Your Child’s Ally – 1pm – FREE
Rainbow Youth Centre – 5112 52nd Street, Yellowknife, NT

  • a workshop for parents of children of all identities to learn how to be an ally to queer and trans youth

Days of Pink Party: Let’s Get Pink! Mixer –  4pm – FREE
Legislative Assembly – Yellowknife, NT
Hosted by NWT Pride

  • a mixer for all Yellowknifers to celebrate the start of the Days of Pink and hear about the plans for the 6th annual NWT Pride festival in August 2017

Monday April 10th 2017

Days of Pink Workshop: LGBTQ+ 101 – 12pm – FREE
Aurora College – 5004 54th Street, Yellowknife, NT

  • an hour-long workshop about the basics of LGBTQ+ identity

Days of Pink Movie: Boy Meets Girl – 7pm – FREE
Capitol Theatre – 4920 52nd Street, Yellowknife, NT

  • a movie about a trans girl in a small rural town navigating life, love, identity and friendship (rated 14A; contains sexual content)

Tuesday April 11th 2017

Days of Pink Dialogue: Conversation Luncheon – 12pm – $10
Twin Pine Diner – Arnica Inn, 4115 Franklin Avenue, Yellowknife, NT

  • lunch and a facilitated discussion about gender and identity

Wednesday April 12th 2017

Days of Pink Celebrations – All Day
Workplaces & Schools all over Yellowknife

  • Any school or workplace interested in doing something fun for Days of Pink are invited to host their own celebrations! Contact us at

Days of Pink Party: Every Body Swim – 6:30pm – FREE
Ruth Inch Memorial Pool – 6002 Franklin Avenue, Yellowknife, NT

  • Sponsored swim at the Ruth Inch Pool

Thursday, April 13th 2017

Days of Pink Workshop: Ally to Action – 12pm – FREE
Aurora College – 5004 54th Street, Yellowknife, NT

  • an hour-long workshop about how to go from saying you’re an ally to doing actions of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community

Days of Pink Panel: LGBTQ+ Stories on Health – 7pm – FREE
Northern United Place Auditorium – 5004 54th Street, Yellowknife, NT

  • a panel of local LGBTQ+ Yellowknifers telling stories about their experiences accessing health care and social services in Yellowknife

Friday, April 14th 2017

Days of Pink Dialogue: Youth Strategy Session – 1pm – FREE
Rainbow Centre – 5112 52nd Street, Yellowknife, NT

  • a facilitated strategic planning session with LGBTQ+ youth to work on creating a list of concrete ways political and community leaders can build a safer territory for LGBTQ+ youth

Days of Pink Workshop: Health? Care! Being your own health advocate – 3pm – FREE
Rainbow Centre – 5112 52nd Street, Yellowknife, NT
Hosted by Zena Sharman

  • a workshop about being your own health advocate: participants will take stock of the amazing health skills, knowledge and resources they already have, share strategies for getting the care and information they need to thrive and discuss how we can all work together to create healthier communities through activism and mutual support

Days of Pink Party: Story & Song Open Mic – 7pm – FREE
Champagne Room – #202 – 5006 Franklin Avenue, Yellowknife, NT

  • an open mic for queer, trans and allied youth to share music, performance and storytelling about their own experiences as young people

 Saturday, April 15th 2017

Days of Pink Dialogue: Lunch with Leaders – 12pm – FREE
Explorer Hotel – 4825 49th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT

  • an opportunity for municipal, territorial and federal leaders to learn from LGBTQ+ youth about what they can do to create a safer community for queer and trans people in Yellowknife and the NWT
    • Confirmed attendance: Mayor Mark Heyck, MLA Julie Green, MLA Kevin O’Reilly, MLA Kieron Testart, Minister Caroline Cochrane, Councillor Julian Morse, Councillor Rebecca Alty, Councillor Linda Bussey
    • Youth can sign up here:

Days of Pink Gala: Keynote & Music – 7pm – $60 (includes meal) – Tickets available here.
Explorer Hotel, Katimavik Rooms – 4825 49th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT

  • Keynote by Zena Sharman: Words that Heal, Words that Wound: Connecting Stories and Action for LGBTQ2S+ Health
  • Music by Carmen Braden
  • Presentation of the Rainbow Solidarity Award
  • Display and Sale of the Youth Visual Art Showcase