From left

Rainbow crosswalks in Ucluelet

Community members gather to paint some love across Peninsula Road.

Two rainbows crossed the road to connect a community and make it more beautiful last week.

A heartwarming public event splashed loving colours across Ucluelet’s Peninsula Road on Aug. 17 as locals and visitors gathered to create two rainbow crosswalks in front of Ucluelet Secondary School that show united support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Questioning (LGBTQ) community.

Rainbow crosswalks have been spreading across the country since the first permanent one was installed in Vancouver in 2013.

Ukee local Courtney Johnson first pitched the idea of painting one of Ucluelet’s crosswalks rainbow colours to Ucluelet’s municipal council during a June 28 meeting and she was thrilled to see council not just support her idea, but double down on it and paint two.

Painting both crosswalks cost the district roughly $500, according to Ucluelet’s Chief Financial Officer Jeannette O’Connor.

Johnson told the Westerly News she’s wanted Ucluelet to have a rainbow crosswalk for some time and was delighted to see her council and community rally support around her idea.

“It’s something that’s very personal to me and very personal to the people I love,” she said. “It matters and it turned out, when I started talking about it, I wasn’t the only person it mattered to.”

She said the crosswalks’ message of acceptance fits well with Ucluelet’s community vibe.

“As we know, Ucluelet means safe harbour and that means Ucluelet is safe for everybody. Everybody should feel safe here,” she said.

“Ucluelet is a wonderful and diverse community and everyone in it deserves to have their unique colours shine as brightly as possible; just like a rainbow. That is why it was important to do this.”

She added the colourful crosswalks would boost both safety and beauty.

“It’s adding a sense of security and safety to a group of humanity that deserves to be included just as much as everybody else,” she said.

“It is something that matters and, when I say it’s safe for everyone, I mean everyone; the person that identifies as LGBTQ and the person who doesn’t…If you identify with the social representation of the rainbow, great. If you don’t, it’s something that’s lovely.”

Both crosswalks are within Ucluelet’s 30 km/h community zone and Johnson suggested their increased visibility could help slow traffic.

“People will be encouraged to slow down even more,” she said.

She added it was important to her that the community be invited to participate in the crosswalks’ creation and she was excited to see so many volunteers show up to help paint them on Aug. 18.

“I want to make sure I give a shout-out to the community and everyone who came to help. It was so much fun. I absolutely love this town and the people in it,” she said. “This community is so full of love…It was really really nice to see the community want to make this happen. For whatever reason they had to be supportive, if it was a social reason or they just liked the idea of pretty colours, they were and that’s really important.”

She said Ucluelet’s Windsor Plywood was instrumental in getting the proper paint and materials.

“They were so helpful, they brought tears to my eyes,” she said. “They have a phenomenal staff there.”

She also expressed thanks to Ucluelet’s council and Parks and Recreation Director Abby Fortune.

Fortune told the Westerly News Ucluelet’s council was happy to oblige Johnson’s rainbow request and that she was thrilled to be a part of the project.

“We identified the two crosswalks in front of the high school as a front and centre location for them and there’s an obvious tie in there,” she said adding the district aimed to make the project youth and community driven.

“The success is obvious with the number of people who came out to participate and help and the feedback the district has received has been excellent.”

She assured the new crosswalks fully conform with regulations as certified crosswalk paint was used as well as a non-slip compound and reflective glass beads so they can be seen at night.

“They’re safe, reflective and non slippery,” she said.

She commended Johnson for not just presenting the idea to the district, but spearheading the work.

“Council was very, very, happy to support this project and our community and the youth in the community and good on Courtney for bringing this forward and very much helping to organize and make this happen,” Fortune said.

“Communities are what you put into them and, I think, it’s wonderful that someone is willing to recognize a need, recognize a gap, and that council is there to support, where appropriate, and then work with the various departments to make a project come to reality; in relatively quick time too.”

 

 

Just Posted

“Intense” storms coming to Tofino and Ucluelet this week

“If you are near the water, it is important to be ‘Coastsmart,’ by staying above the high tide.”

Ucluelet’s indoor market keeps vendors humming through the off-season

“It brings people out, which is great and we showcase different talents, which is great.”

Tofino and Ucluelet ready to clean Kennedy Lake

“You don’t want people to start thinking that this is a dumping ground.”

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Tofino waits for new library

No immediate plans for end to library limbo.

VIDEO: Storm watching at Wickaninnish Beach

This footage of Wickaninnish Beach was taken from the Kwisitis Visitor Centre… Continue reading

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read