Downtown Nanaimo adds two more colourful crosswalks for Pride

By Spencer Sterritt
May 16, 2017 - 4:16pm Updated: May 16, 2017 - 5:14pm

The crosswalks at the intersection of Commercial and Bastion St. need a touchup, since they currently look a little worn. City of Nanaimo

NANAIMO — A downtown Nanaimo crosswalk will become even more colourful.

The remaining two unpainted crosswalks at the intersection of Commercial and Bastion St. will be filled with rainbow colours for the upcoming Pride festival, joining the two already painted walkways.

City Council voted unanimously Monday, May 15 to add the two crosswalks and touch up the existing two.

Lauren Semple, vice-president of the Nanaimo Pride Society, said their crosswalks needed repainting since they are more weathered than they should be. In Sept. 2016, they were defaced with graffiti and hate speech and had to be powerwashed.

She said the community response to the cleanup is what prompted the Society to ask for the other two crosswalks.

“When the graffiti and hate speech happened, our allies actually took to that intersection and chalked in the other two crosswalks to make it four,” she said. “We knew it was a big ask, weren't really sure if they were going to go ahead...We definitely had high hopes.”

Repainting and adding two crosswalks, as well as barriers for the June Pride parade, will cost $9,300 according to City staff.

Monday night, coun. Bill Bestwick said since the event is “getting bigger and stronger,” the Society should look at applying for money from the downtown event fund.

Semple said they'll be looking at it for next year.

Nanaimo's Pride festival kicks off with a flag raising on Friday, June 9.

 

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