Mike Kent, coordinator for Rossland Youth Action Network, and Coun. Lloyd McLellan were both on hand to officially open Rossland’s new rainbow crosswalk on Tuesday morning. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

Rossland takes pride in new rainbow crosswalk

The official opening of the city’s rainbow crosswalk was celebrated Tuesday morning.

Youth and adults gathered across from Rossland Summit School to celebrate the official opening of the city’s rainbow crosswalk on Tuesday morning.

The crosswalk crosses Washington Street, connecting Rossland Summit School with what will soon be the Rossland Skatepark and the new Rossland Youth Action Network (YAN) Space.

“We’re really excited that Rossland now has a rainbow crosswalk,” said Mike Kent, coordinator for YAN. “It was two years in the planning to make this happen. I know it just seems like paint, but there’s some things that had to be done and don’t forget last summer there was no Washington Street — remember it was all ripped up? — so we had to wait for there to be asphalt.”

The Creating a Supportive Rossland group, part of YAN, conceived of the crosswalk and raised the money and in-kind donations to make it happen.

Kent said the Creating a Supportive Rossland group would like to thank the McCreary Centre Society for providing a grant, Gordon Wall for donating and giving a big discount on the paint, Crews Control Flagging for donating their flaggers’ time and the City of Rossland for giving permission to have the crosswalk painted.

Coun. Lloyd McLellan attended the event on behalf of Rossland City Council.

“The crosswalk represents much more than Gay Pride Week or the Gay Pride movement. It also indicates the diversity in Rossland and I’m really proud to be part of a council that recognizes this,” he said. “But I think what we’ve got to remember is that we can’t get complacent about this. When we see any kind of discrimination, we should stop it and fight against that.”

The Creating a Supportive Rossland group also raised money to purchase a rainbow flag to be flown at Rossland City Hall during Kootenay Pride week.

For more information about YAN or the Creating a Supportive Rossland group, check out the Rossland YAN Facebook page.