Rainbow crosswalk unveiled at The Forks
1st for city, says organizer of Winnipeg Frontrunners Pride Run
A bright, colourful new crosswalk had been painted at The Forks to celebrate Pride Winnipeg and the city's diverse community.
Spanning Israel Asper Way near the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the crosswalk was painted by members of the Winnipeg Frontrunners, an LGBT running group, for the Pride Run that takes place on Saturday.
It's the first time a rainbow crosswalk has been painted in Winnipeg, following the lead of several other Canadian cities, said Andrew McLaren, organizer of the Winnipeg Frontrunners Pride Run.
"The particular one that inspired me was last year when I was in Edmonton for Edmonton's Pride Run. I saw all of these crosswalks on Whyte Avenue and I thought, 'This is something we should be able to do in Winnipeg,'" McLaren said, noting the Manitoba Teachers' Society paid for the materials to make the crosswalk possible.
He chose The Forks location because of its long history as a gathering place for Indigenous people "and more recently, because it's the site of the Winnipeg Pride Festival this coming weekend, and it's in front of the human rights museum," he said.
"It just really is a central, positive location."
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Although it's only supposed to be temporary, McLaren would like to see the rainbow crosswalk become permanent. Vancouver's rainbow crosswalks at Davie and Bute streets were unveiled in 2013 as Canada's first permanent ones.
The Pride Winnipeg Festival — which includes an array of cultural events that celebrate the city's LGBT community — runs from May 26 until June 4, when it is capped with the main Pride Day march and celebrations.
Thousands of people are expected to take part in the parade through downtown and gather at the festival site at The Forks.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the city's first Pride march.