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Dutch Lake rainbow dock dedicated at event hosted by Valley Pride

Rainbow dock ribbon cutting in Clearwater on May 15 was well-attended
Billowing rain clouds overlooking the newly painted ‘rainbow dock’ at Dutch Lake beach in Clearwater on May 15 just prior to the dock dedication and ribbon cutting. (Photo by: Hettie Buck)

On May 15, community members gathered under a canopy of promising clouds at Dutch Lake in Clearwater for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the recently painted dock on the sands of the popular beach.

The colourful rainbow holds a different meaning for many, according to Kalen Jones, executive director for the Valley Pride Society.

“The rainbow symbol has so many meanings today,” he noted. “I feel we all have a bit of a different interpretation on what it means to us individually. For me personally I would like to share that the rainbow is not just about the LGBTQIA++ community. For me it is about diversity and it’s a symbol of embracing and celebrating diversity. It’s a visual representation that someone cares.”

Jones said the definition of diversity is “the state of being diverse; meaning variety, like the colours of the rainbow.”

He spoke to the large group gathered on the sandy beach, standing on the freshly cut grass, and seated in the large log pergola picnic area. “The rainbow, to me, means so much more than gender identity and sexual orientation.

“We are human, we are diverse in so many ways. It’s how we look, it’s how we function, it’s what colour our skin is, it’s our heritage and culture, the language we speak and our accent, it’s even what my favourite colour is compared to yours. Please be kind. Appreciate your neighbour even if their favourite colour is not the same as yours.”

Jones emphasized the need to be forgiving and accepting, and spoke to the fact that every person deals with issues surrounding inclusion and discrimination in life in “one form or another” for a number of reasons.

Each person was then presented with a small pair of children’s scissors and a section of rainbow ribbon, with Jones encouraging all gathered to be part of cutting the ribbon together because “the rainbow dock is for everyone.” He asked everyone to look around at the people standing there: “We are different from each other and that’s okay.”

As he placed the larger ceremonial scissors across the wide red ribbon at the head of the dock, Jones counted down from three to one as everyone held their piece of ribbon outward to cut at the same time, followed by cheers and applause. The wide red ribbon fell to the ground to reveal the wooden-planked rainbow under billowing clouds, with the backdrop of glistening Dutch Lake and Raft Peak.

The moment was marked with the sight of a mother Canada Goose followed by a trail of goslings and the dignified appearance of a well-known local loon gliding peacefully across the lake as though undisturbed by the humans on shore; a moment that seemed to punctuate the peaceful unity of the occasion.

Valley Pride Society Executive Director Kalen Jones giving a speech to the crowd gathered on May 15 at Dutch Lake in Clearwater just prior to the ribbon cutting to dedicate the new ‘rainbow dock’. (Photo by: Hettie Buck)
Valley Pride executive director Kalen Jones (c) cutting the ribbon for the new ‘rainbow dock’ at Dutch Lake on May 15. (Photo by: Hettie Buck)
District of Clearwater council members attended the ‘rainbow dock’ dedication and luncheon hosted by Valley Pride and the DOC. (from l) VP Executive Director Kalen Jones; Coun. Lynne Frizzle; Coun. Shelley Sim; Mayor Merlin Blackwell; Coun. Ken Matheson; Coun. Theresa Braaten. (Photo by: Hettie Buck)
Cheers and applause followed the ribbon cutting at Dutch Lake beach dedicating the new ‘rainbow’ dock depicting inclusion, diversity and kindness in the community of Clearwater, according to Valley Pride Society executive director Kalen Jones (centre with scissors). (Photo by: Hettie Buck)

About the Author: Hettie Buck

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