Lethbridge Pride Fest Society took the issues that arose after the 2016 celebrations seriously. As soon as Black Lives Matter-Toronto held their protest in Toronto, Pride Fest took it upon ourselves to address the concerns while balancing our local opinions and climate.
BLM-Toronto released nine points of action, two of which were not relevant to the Lethbridge community, and ve that had already been accomplished in Lethbridge prior to the points being raised on July 6, 2016. Points 7 and 8 needed to be addressed in our community.
Point 7 called for ASL interpreters. In response, interpreters have been hired for our two largest events. Please visit page 19 for more information regarding the ASL interpreters.
Point 8 addressed police participation. The one-year process sought input from organizations that represent the LGBTQ+ community, organizations whose mandate relate to race and cultural groups, and other Pride organizations in major cities. The feedback identi ed two themes that needed to be considered: operation and logistics of the festival, and respect and celebration of LGBTQ+ identity. Relating to these aspects Lethbridge Pride Fest Society made the decision that police participation would be allowed, creating an agreement with the Lethbridge Police Service on what responsible police participation in Pride will entail.
To view the agreement please refer to the joint statement from Lethbridge Pride Fest Society and Lethbridge Police Service posted here.