West End: Rainbow crosswalk to be permanent

In honour of Vancouvers annual gay pride week, the city will be painting the streets of Davie Village in the West End red and orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The rainbow crosswalk first appeared on Davie and Bute streets last summer, only to disappear after the festivities. A new, more permanent installation will symbolizes the solidification of Vancouver as an inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly city, with Davie Village at the centre of the rainbow.

The decision to make the crosswalk permanent was made after city staff saw the popularity of last years temporary fixture. Vancouver follows Sydney, Australia, which installed and removed a similar crosswalk earlier this year. The crosswalk, painted in February, stirred up controversy when Sydneysiders became concerned about tourists sitting or lying on the crosswalk to pose for photographs. The removal of the crosswalk in April proved even more controversial as guerilla rainbows, made with chalk or paint, appeared throughout city streets in protest.

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As part of VIVA Vancouver, the crosswalk is set to debut July 22, in time for the Pride parade and festival Aug. 3. Vision Vancouver Coun. Tim Stevenson, who also serves on the citys LGBTQ advisory committee, was at the forefront of the decision and will be participating in the painting of the crosswalk.

Drew_McLachlan@hotmail.com

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