An upgrade has arrived for the painted pride crosswalks connecting Festival Avenue and Festival Lane in Sherwood Park.
The classic rainbow flag design, originally created in 1978, has now transitioned to a more inclusive progress flag design. Strathcona County wanted to reflect this newly adopted symbol and repainted the crosswalk to show its commitment to diversity and representation.
"It has some different elements in it that represent people who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour," said mayor Rod Frank.
Strathcona County works closely with foundations like altView and the diversity committee to make decisions on behalf of the county's marginalized groups.
"Where the county has done really well is in putting its money where its mouth is, in ensuring that they are putting action to their words," added Michael Green, the executive director of the altView Foundation.
In 2018 council unanimously passed a motion to participate in pride week activities. Since then, Strathcona County has created a diversity and inclusion policy that is available on its website. This policy outlines its goals to support these communities.
"We started off three or four years ago leading in the region with things like putting the flag up [and] doing the crosswalks. They are tangible, but, in some ways, they're symbolic," explained Frank.
"More importantly, now we have policies within our community, within Strathcona County, within our governance that are inclusive in making sure that these people feel that they are part of the community [and] that they have equal opportunity with everybody else in the community."
The policy is set to be reviewed in 2023.
LGBTQ2S+ members of the community and other marginalized groups can find support at altView Foundation website by joining the Strathcona County diversity committee and attending events that are soon to be announced for pride month in June.