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)