A rainbow-themed photo shoot went ahead as planned in a downtown crosswalk on Tuesday night despite a downpour — and a handful of protesters.
Organizer Amber Price thanked the almost 100 attendees who showed up at the corner of Wellington Avenue and Mill Street to visually show their support for the idea of a rainbow crosswalk.
“All I can say is that I am immensely proud of my community. Our diversity is what makes us strong and beautiful,” Price said.
The group photo of everyone dressed in rainbow colours on a temporarily coloured crosswalk was organized and shot by Sarah Sovereign Photography, with the help of many volunteers and supporters. Participants had fun with the process incorporating flags and colourful outfits.
“The visual language of Sarah Sovereign’s photographs speaks louder than any words I could come up with,” said Price.
Organizers absorbed all costs, made sure the insurance and paperwork was in place, and a flagger was on-site to ensure everything would go smoothly.
There were a few protesters who showed up to heckle or hold signs, but supporters explained that the event was about acceptance and inclusion.
Supporters have started collecting signatures for a petition they plan to submit to Chilliwack council for consideration. There is no online petition at this point, just hand-written signatures on paper being collected by volunteers.
City council decided a few years ago not to entertain submissions for painted rainbow crosswalks, saying at the time it would have to allow other types of statements as well, but there is a new administration at city hall since that discussion took place.