Morinville Raises Flag During Pride Week

Above from left: St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud, Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood MLA Janis Irwin, Captain Gabriel Snyman, Mayor Simon Boersma, Sturgeon School Division Ward 5 Trustee Stacey Buga, Lieutenant Navy Krystal Sheremeta, Deputy Mayor Jennifer Anheliger, and Councillors Maurice St. Denis, Ray White, and Rebecca Balanko. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Photos by Stephen Dafoe

The Town of Morinville raised the Pride flag on Tuesday afternoon as part of a week-long celebration of Pride in the community.

The raising in front of the town hall marked the seventh consecutive year for the ceremony. This year saw the largest turnout, with approximately 38 residents, town staff, council members, NDP MLAs Marie Renaud and Janis Irwin, and other dignitaries attending.

The inaugural Pride flag-raising ceremony in Morinville occurred in June 2016 during Mayor Lisa Holmes’ tenure. This decision came after the Council of the day chose to raise the Pride flag instead of painting a rainbow crosswalk due to safety concerns and cost considerations. The flag-raising was part of Morinville’s commitment to recognizing and supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, making it an annual tradition to promote inclusivity and diversity in the town.

“Empowerment is at the heart of Pride Week,” said Mayor Simon Boersma, addressing attendees on Tuesday afternoon. He noted that the week-long celebration ensures all feel confident and safe to express their true selves in unity. “It brings together individuals, organizations and communities to advocate for LGBTQ rights and celebrate the progress made towards a more inclusive society. Council is committed to an inclusive and diverse community by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. Our community is made stronger when people embrace one another.”

Tim Osborne, Sturgeon County’s Manager of Community Support Services, also spoke at the flag-raising ceremony on behalf of County Council, which was still in meetings.

“I do want to thank each and every one of you who has shown up today,” Osborne said. “Showing up matters. Sometimes, you come to these events, and you’re not sure who’s going to be there and what approach they’re going to take. So to all of you, just for being here, thank you.

“It means the world. It speaks about the value that we as a community, both Morinville and Sturgeon County, place on love, acceptance and creating inclusive communities.”

Deputy Mayor Jennifer Anheliger read the Pride Week Proclamation before a blessing from Chaplains Lieutenant Navy Krystal Sheremeta and Captain Gabriel Snyman. Community Peace Officer Greg Turner, assisted by Councillors Rebecca Balanko and Maurice St. Denis, raised the flag to conclude the ceremony.

Morinville’s Pride Committee subsequently made a presentation to Council at their meeting on Tuesday.

Pride Week kicked off in Morinville on Sunday afternoon with the annual Pride Picnic and concludes with a Two Spirit Paint night at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre on Thursday, June 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Those interested in attending can register online.

Below is a gallery of photos from the Pride flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday:




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