A rainbow crosswalk is proposed for installation in Salmon Arm. - File photo.

Salmon Arm to consider site for rainbow crosswalk

Proposed locations include downtown, near Blackburn Park, the Shaw Centre or McGuire Lake

On the heels of the bright paint job on Shuswap Street’s Innovation Centre, Salmon Arm may be getting another brightly-coloured addition.

Salmon Arm city council will be considering the location of a rainbow crosswalk in the community at Monday’s regular council meeting.

In a report to mayor and council, city staff note rainbow crosswalks are made up of eight colours, each with a symbolic representation.

These include: pink for sexuality, red for respect for all life, orange for healing journeys within all walks of life, yellow representing sunshine and air quality, green for the importance of environment and nature, turquoise for the arts, blue for peace and harmony and violet for spirituality.

Council has not yet selected a design option, style or location for the crosswalk, which already appear in many other B.C. communities.

Related link: Vernon rainbow crosswalk gets endorsement

Related link: Kelowna gets its own rainbow crosswalks

“Rainbow crosswalks have become a simple, economical, physical way for Canadian cities to express support for diverse, inclusive communities,” said Dustyn Baulkham, president of the Okanagan Pride Society to Black Press in regards to crosswalks already in place in Vernon and Kelowna.

While the rainbow has become an international symbol associated with the LGBTQ movement, Baulkham says the symbolism extends beyond sexuality.

“This is about diversity and inclusiveness and the crosswalks are a reflection of the communities in which we all live today,” added Baulkham.

“Unfortunately, there is still some discrimination towards the LGBTQ community, particularly vulnerable groups such as youth, bisexual and the transgender communities. Rainbow crosswalks are an easy, public way our cities can show these individuals they are supported and welcome regardless of who they love.”

The proposed locations for these rainbow crosswalk include one of two sites near Blackburn Park on 5th Ave. SW and 5th Street SW, 10th Street NE between McGuire Lake Park and the Jackson campus sports fields, Hudson Ave. between 4th Street and 6th Street NE, across 6th Street NE from the corner of Hudson Ave. to McGuire Lake Park, on 24th Street near the Shaw Centre, on 8th Ave. NE near the SASCU Recreation Centre, through the Ross Street Parking lot, on Ross Street itself, and on Alexander Street near the covered tunnel.

Costs of the crosswalk range from $8,000 where the removal of paving stones is not required to $17,000 where removal of crosswalk paving stones would be needed.

Timing of the installation would depend on whether any other projects were planned for the area.


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