This is long overdue. It’s been over a month since the Day of Pink – but, my lack of time to be able to sit down and write this post is, in my opinion, an example of the success of the campaign and the organization. In the time since April 8th, we’ve been busy with a week long GSA Forum, a 10th Anniversary Gala in Toronto and planning for even more future events. But for now, I’d like to focus on April 8th. The Day of Pink was a resounding success – both in terms of the national campaign and in terms of the Day of Pink Gala, held in Ottawa.
The campaign rocked on Twitter and social media – we were inundated with pictures of people wearing pink and sparking discussions about homophobic (heterosexist) and transphobic (cissexist) bullying and discrimination in our schools and communities. It was amazing to wake up to my phone buzzing nonstop with social media mentions and to see everyone wearing such a fantastic colour – but more importantly, it was amazing to think of the discussions and awareness spurring off of each individuals efforts and involvement in our campaign.
Thank you everyone for being so pink and so fabulous!
I’ve included just a few of the pictures that came our way!
We’re looking to continue to grow this event to be event larger next year with the launch of the Day of Pink Dialogues Program. This program will work with Mayors and politicians across the country to have in person, local conversations about bullying and discrimination, how it affects them, and what can be done to improve things. More information on this will be coming out in the coming months – but we’re super excited!
The first ever Day of Pink Gala, ten years ago, was a small affair – which is what makes seeing how large and involved it has grown to be particularly amazing. Over 700 people came out to Ecole Secondaire De La Salle to join us at a reception followed by award presentations and amazing performances.
This year, we were ecstatic to recognize the contributions of:
Quinn & Polly: Two Ottawa middle school students who founded the first middle school GSA and pursued a project on LGBTQ rights at their school.
Steve Grand: An American country music star who has fought against and overcome stigma with being openly gay in an industry that is exceptional homophobic/heterosexist.
Lucas Silveira: A Canadian vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who performs in the rock band The Cliks. He is a transgender man who has broken down stereotypes, obstacles, and barriers – making him a tremendous role model for all youth (and adults alike!). Lucas also shared his fantastic vocal talents with us on stage, performing with his partner Skye Chevolleau.
Ian Campeau: Ian is a DJ and musician in the band A Tribe Called Red. He’s also a passionate activist who has been outspoken regarding First Nation rights.
Talia Johnson: Talia Johnson is a passionate activist and educator, as well as a trans woman, who has been fighting, striving, and pushing for the changes with a level of dedication and perseverance that is to be admired and applauded.
The evening was opened by First Nation Elder Sharp Dopler and featured performances from area magicians and street artists.The Ottawa Gay Men’s Choir, the Peptides, and spoken word performer Ade Boluwatife along with award recipients Lucas Silveira (with Skye Chevolleau) and Steve Grand also lent their talents to our stage. We were pleased to welcome Mayor Jim Watson, MPP Yasir Naqvi, Edth Dumont (Director of Education), RBC Regional President Tina Sarellas, and many others to the event. It was a tremendous success and it was so fantastic to see everyone there.
All of this would not have been possible without the support of RBC Royal Bank Foundation and Algonquin College. These two partners made the evening possible and we are so thankful for their support and so looking forward to continuing to work with them in the future.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the Day of Pink – whether it was through wearing pink, volunteering, attending the gala, donating or simply being an ally. You are what makes this day such a success.
I can’t wait until April 13th, 2016!