The Kamloops Pride art club Craft and Create took on rock painting. Participants meet virtually every month to meet new people, hang out and learn new art techniques.
The activities change each month, welcoming community members to join at no cost.
Kamloops pride began back on Oct. 3, 1995, originally under the name GALA Kamloops before changing titles to the Kamloops Pride Society
Ashton O’Brien, President of Kamloops Pride talked a little about the history of this organization.
“Riann [Director at Kamloops Pride] and their friend, who is an art teacher in the community, enjoy arts and crafts and wanted to start an Art Club for the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community in Kamloops. They tried an informal meeting and were met with a strong response, so Riann brought it to the board to have it brought on as a regular monthly event,” explained O’Brien on how the idea of Craft and Create began.
Working at Kamloops Pride has been a rewarding time for O’Brien. “The most rewarding thing about working with Kamloops Pride is seeing the Kamloops Community embrace the queer community, as well seeing people feel safe being themselves. We are working very hard to ensure we are providing necessary resources and spaces for folks to have support in living authentically, but when you get to those events and you see how free and happy people look, it is the absolute best feeling.”
“I think being able to offer more activities for youth as well as adults are positive, and this particular event is a great way to just meet some people and chat, while also maybe learning a new art technique,” said O’Brien on the benefits this club can bring to people.
The future of Kamloops Pride is promising to say the least. “With the covid restrictions now lifting, there will definitely be more in the coming weeks, but currently we have 3 ongoing monthly or bi-monthly events, and our website also has events from community partners,” said O’Brien.
One of them is the Pride Choir. “Every Monday at 7-8:30 p.m. at the Kamloops United Church we have a Pride Choir which welcomes all ages and abilities,” said O’Brien.
“We have Rainbow Reads which is a bi-monthly event created by some of our volunteers, Grey Harder and Jade Abounassar. There is also one monthly Community Event called 2SLGBTQIA+ Shopping Night, and it is the second Tuesday of each month from 4-7 p.m. at the Kamloops United Church Thrift Store,” O’Brien added.
O’Brien concluded that they also offer different resources that will be uploaded to the Kamloops Pride website later this year.
While there is no fee to enter the art club, the art supplies are not provided, and each person needs to purchase them on their account.
Those interested need to fill out a form to sign up for the art club and will be contacted with the details. The form can be found on kamloopspride.com/events.