The Pride Centre of Edmonton recently began operating out of its new space and on Wednesday, it held an event to launch the new location, which is more than double the size of its old one.
The not-for-profit resource and community centre for the LGBTQ community of Edmonton did not move very far.
“We had a space below this space which was way too small,” said Debbie Bryson, the centre’s board chair. “It was very, very cramped and the opportunity came to take this upper floor and spread out.
“We have many programs that are run at the centre and run by the centre so we needed more space.”
Watch below: (From August 2017) The Pride Centre of Edmonton is getting a much larger new space in order to address growing demand.
Edmonton city councillor Scott McKeen was among the dignitaries who showed up to speak at the event. He said a lot of LGBTQ2+ people feel “socially isolated… feeling really depressed, feeling despair” and suggested the Pride Centre plays an important role in addressing those issues.
“I want to congratulate the board members, the staff, the volunteers [and] donors for creating this sanctuary of sanctuaries right here,” McKeen said.
“Issues that continue to face the LGBTQ community are… still there,” Bryson said. “We’ve come a long way but there’s still issues. There’s lots of stuff that’s happening around transgender people and gender-non-conforming persons. So we are looking at lots of space for people to run groups (and just to) drop in.
“We are busy… our education department has been travelling across the province doing public education,” she added. “We have many, many groups that come here to run their groups.”
The size of the centre’s space went from 1,900 square feet to 4,600 square feet when it moved upstairs at its downtown location.
The centre offers programs, support and resources about the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity. The new space includes private counselling and meeting rooms, a kitchen and more space for the LGBTQ library.
“It’s a great venue for the gay community in Edmonton,” Bryson said. “I’ve been part of the queer community for many, many years and this is by far the most beautiful and welcoming spot that I’ve been a part of.”