There was a lot of extra pride and colour in Edmonton on Friday, July 28. It was not only a K-Days’ first, it was a Canadian first, to have a major exhibition hold a Pride Day.
Highly respected community advocate Michael Phair, Alberta’s first openly LGBTQ elected politician was happy he attended. “I am really delighted to be here today. It is great to see K-Days recognize the LGBTQ community. I know this does not happen in other cities. That’s Edmonton, we go out and do things, we take the risk, then things change. That is a big part of what we are as a people,” said Phair.
K-Days partnered with the Edmonton Pride Festival Society to help make the day possible, its Co-Chair Warren Becker is very happy with the first year’s results. “I think it is a great partnership. It is the right thing to do. What Northlands is doing with this community, it’s massive, it’s ingenious. I think you will see more events like this next year across the country.”
Probably the happiest person in the reception tent was a former Northlands event planner, Kirk Storr. Storr took up Northlands President and CEO Tim Reid on his open door policy while he worked for Northlands. “I never dreamed that this would happen,” smiles Storr. “I sat down with Tim when he was eating lunch and asked way isn’t Northlands part of the Pride Parade? He stopped for a few seconds and he told me he did not know actually.” Things moved fast after that meeting, “The first step was getting involved with the Pride Parade (this past June), now this special day at K-Days. Tim is about being all-inclusive, your sexual orientation really does not matter to him. He cares about you, your being, your person being part of the team. He cares about your talents. That is what he cares about.”
Phair, who namesake high school opens in September agrees. “Today shows just how far we have come.”