Let’s show our pride
Proud City Campaign to be launched Aug. 2
With the city’s Capital Pride Festival just under a month away, now is perfect time to start gearing up for the big celebration – and The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity is set to launch its Proud City Campaign in the Glebe.
“The purpose of Proud City is to have a website where people could go online and see a list of all the businesses and community organizations that are LGBTQ+ friendly,” says CCGSD Summer Coordinator Caroline Deluce, who has been out canvassing neighbourhoods with Pride pageantry. The organization has launched a Proud City campaign that aims to encourage businesses and community groups to hang posters and decals in their windows to promote safe spaces for people from all walks of life.
“It’s really to try to bring the community together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.”
While Capital Pride and the CCGSD are different groups altogether, the two organizations support each other in creating an inclusive and safe city for all individuals. The CCGSD focuses more on getting businesses, community organizations and youth involved, and Deluce says the small gesture goes a long way in the LGBTQ+ cause.
“It’s a win-win situation. For members of the LGBTQ+ community, it really helps with feeling included and just feeling welcome at certain businesses,” says Deluce.
“In turn with businesses, having a diversity of clients and reaching out to every member of the community is really good for business.”
BMO Glebe Branch Manager Eugeniya Tsetlin knows how important it is to be open and welcoming to everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, or how they look. Her branch is already signed up to support Proud City and BMO has several internal affinity groups, including BMO Pride, that supports and celebrates diversity in the workplace. She said it’s something the branch takes very seriously, both internally and externally.
“It’s a big deal for us,” says Tsetlin.
“Our approach is that everybody is treated the same way – with the same respect, with the same support, with the same encouragement, and development for all our employees and as leaders.”
By fostering an inclusive and open workplace at BMO, it creates a safe environment not only for employees of the LGBTQ+ community, indigenous peoples and women, but it also creates a similar setting for its clients.
“We want to make sure that they know that here, the environment that we create and maintain is an environment where every person can feel very comfortable. We support and encourage diversity and inclusion,” adds Tsetlin.
Cats R Us and Quesada Burritos and Tacos in the Glebe have also registered their support for the Proud City campaign.
Business interested in getting involved can contact the CCDSG and offer to hang posters or decals, set up donation boxes and even march alongside the organization during the Capital Pride Parade. The organization is also offering free inclusion training for staff members on Mondays from 2 – 4 p.m.
The CCDSG will be hosting a free Proud City Launch for the public at Whole Foods Market on August 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. that will feature light snacks, non-alcoholic beverages and speeches by prominent community, business and political leaders. Everyone is welcome to attend and show their support. Click here to find out more about the Proud City launch.
Other Proud City events include a Pride Art Show August 14-17 in the ByWard Market Square and a Pride Boat Cruise with the Rideau Speedeaus on August 23.
For more information on the Proud City campaign, click here.