Today marks the official day that the NPO Grand Canadian Events, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage, launches the activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada with the project STANDING BY OUR COLOURS / AFFICHONS NOS COULEURS.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support projects like Standing By Our Colours because they raise awareness of the people and their struggles that led to the partial decriminalization of homosexuality 50 years ago,” said the Honourable Pablo Rodriquez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism said. “I am proud to acknowledge the rich contribution of the LGBTQ2+ community has made to Canada. We believe in freedom for every citizen, regardless of origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Canadians understand that if even one of us is not free to be who they are, then none of us are free.”

In order to ensure that it captures all of the nuances of the history of Bill C-150 and the changes in the LGBTQ2+ community, the STANDING BY OUR COLOURS / AFFICHONS NOS COULEURS project coordination team set up an Advisory Committee consisting of distinguished members representing youth, sports, the arts community, the business community, the Indigenous communities and active retirees. The Committee members include Xavier Gould, Acadian Queer artist. “Serving on the Committee of a project like this one, which highlights all of the battles our predecessors had to wage, and the successes that ensued is very important to me.This project will allow young generations to fully understand the ground covered over the past 50 years and instill in them the desire to continue the work and build an even more inclusive Canada in regard to sexual and gender diversity.”

50 LGBTQ2+ flag raisings across Canada
Adopted in 1978 as the official flag of the LGBTQ2+ community, the rainbow flag, is a strong symbol of the LGBTQ2+ cause. In order to mark both the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada on May 14th and International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17th, 50 flag raisings have been organized across Canada by the designers of STANDING BY OUR COLOURS / AFFICHONS NOS COULEURS over those three days of celebration.

A Canada-wide tour 
Between June and September 2019, the STANDING BY OUR COLOURS / AFFICHONS NOS COULEURS team will hit the road to join up with six Pride parades across Canada. It will provide a bus representing the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada and offer a historical exhibit on the sidelines.

An epic 50 years 
In tribute to the progress made in the LGBTQ2+ situation in Canada since Bill C-150, STANDING BY OUR COLOURS / AFFICHONS NOS COULEURS has created the website depicting the highlights of the last 50 years so that Canadians can fully grasp the issues faced by the community over the years, the successes and  the progress made until now, as well as a perspective on the present and the future.

Air Canada Proud Contest
In addition to the support provided by Canadian Heritage, STANDING BY OUR COLOURS / AFFICHONS NOS COULEURS is delighted to count Air Canada among its allies. The carrier is launching the Air Canada Proud Contest, giving participants a chance to win a trip to Amsterdam for Amsterdam Pride in 2020. As they browse through,  participants will find the answers to the contest questions, and in so doing, learn more about the important events that marked the LGBTQ2+ community over the past 50 years.

A get-together for all Canadians 
is looking forward to getting together with all Canadians to commemorate the anniversary of this important event that helped change the face of our nation. Canadians are invited to come together to express their pride in belonging to this great big country that is progressive, tolerant and open to diversity.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.