Music and arts event aims to dissolve “Not-So-Gay” divide between LGBTQ people and the larger Kamloops community

Rev. Helen McFadyen
Image Credit: Rev. Helen Mcfadden via Twitter

On Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm, musicians, poets and other artists will perform at The Art We Are (246 Victoria St.) in downtown Kamloops, B.C. with one shared purpose: to celebrate and build bridges of inclusion between people who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, or Other on the gender and sexuality spectra, and the larger Kamloops community. 

The event will raise donations for Safe Spaces, a local program for LGBTQ youth.

“Across the Rainbow” event organizer, Rev. Helen McFadyen is a member of Kamloops Pride Board and the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kamloops, a liberal, social justice-minded faith community. A recent transplant to Kamloops, Rev. McFadyen observes pronounced separation and isolation of the LGBTQ community.

She explains: “The dances organized by Kamloops Pride attract mostly younger members of the LGBTQ community, and annual Pride events have been centered at the TRU campus. These efforts are great, but we’ve not been addressing the fact that there are gays and lesbians of all ages in Kamloops, and more importantly, that it’s time for Pride culture and the LGBTQ community to push through the existing solitude and become more integrated, visible, accepted, included, and celebrated within the larger Kamloops community.”

With Ottawa folk singer and social activist, Tony Turner announcing a tour of B.C., Kamloops Pride and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship arranged to co-host Turner as the feature performer on March 10.  Turner's video of the song Harperman went viral during the recent federal election.

“Tony Turner’s music perfectly reflects the event’s theme of Inclusion, and Tony’s easy charm and rich baritone will deliver heart-warming lyrics that can speak to our individual and shared worlds,” says Rev. McFadyen.

Other performers will include local poets and the 15 member TRUSU Chamber Chorus. Admission is by donation in support of Safe Spaces, a group working with local LGBTQ youth to promote mental health.

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