With a little rain comes a cascade of colour.
It was almost fitting that a shower passed through downtown Vernon Thursday night as the community’s first rainbow crosswalk was installed on 30th Avenue.
“I’m so excited to see it finally happen,” said Travis Irmen, who lobbied city council last year to approve the crosswalk.
“It means a lot to me. It’s a symbol that all youth are welcome and everyone is part of the community.”
On Thursday, eight colours were carefully laid out on to the road – pink for sexuality, red for respecting all life, orange for healing journeys, yellow for sunshine, green for the environment, turquoise for arts and culture, blue for peace and violet for spirituality.
Irmen insists the rainbow crosswalk goes far beyond LGBTQ.
“You can identify as one of the colours and we’re all part of the bigger picture,” he said.
A small crowd gathered along 30th Avenue, between 33rd and 34th streets, to watch installation by Square One Paving.
“It’s awesome. I’m so excited,” said Juliette Cunningham, a city councillor.
“It’s a symbol of inclusiveness for everybody.”
The crosswalk was installed at no cost to the city, as Caliber Sport Systems organized the project.
“I read an article in the paper about the crosswalk and the mayor said, ‘It’s great, but who will pay for it?’ I thought, ‘Is that the only issue, who will pay for it?’” said Tim Rayner, Caliber co-owner.
He immediately made some calls and decided to offer financial support with the backing of his partners.
“I have kids and I see kids going through things. I want our kids to be leaders. I read about this young guy (Irmen) standing up and I thought this is who we want to be involved with,” said Rayner.
The price tag is about $10,000 but about $5,000 has been covered by donations, including from HUB Surfacing Systems.
“We didn’t look for deals but it just happened,” said Rayner of community and corporate generosity.