Corrie Brown gets to work repainting the rainbow crosswalk Thursday morning, after it was defaced with the words ‘metally ill” written in spray paint. This is the fourth time the cross walk has been repainted since it was first done in June. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Rainbow crosswalk in Alberta defaced for fourth time with homophobic message

The crosswalk was repainted Thursday morning to remove traces of the spray-painted words

A small group of volunteers were out at the Sylvan Lake, Alta. Thursday morning to cover up hurtful vandalism on the rainbow crosswalk.

The words “mentally ill” were written over the rainbow paint along the sidewalk intersection to the public parking lot next to the library.

This is the fourth time the art installation has been painted over since it was painted in June in celebration of Pride Month.

READ MORE: Sylvan Lake Municipal Library creates rainbow crosswalk in time for Pride Month

The Sylvan Lake Pride Community called the vandalism cowardly and the act of bigots.

“We will not allow the actions of cowards and bigots to tell us that we are wrong, or that there is anything wrong with us,” the group wrote on their Instagram page.

According to the Town of Sylvan Lake, vandalism and graffiti are not tolerated in any way.

Joanne Gaudet says vandalism is covered in the town’s Community Standards Bylaw, which describes graffiti as anything illegally placed on public or private property which cannot be removed, like spray painting.

“We don’t tolerate it, even more so when it target a group of people or is bullying and hateful,” Gaudet said, adding any form of bullying is not tolerated by the town.

The Sylvan Lake Pride Community said vandalism, homophobia, ignorance and hate goes against the town’s slogan of Brilliant All Year.

“Paint on a road does not hurt anyone. It does not affect anyone but those who feel its support and empowerment,” the group said.

The art instalment was put into place through an agreement between the Library and the town, and was supposed to be a temporary piece of art for the month of June.

After the crosswalk was vandalized the first time, the Library offered to repaint it as they had time and left over supplies to do so.

Gaudet called the vandalism unfortunate, and said if it happens the painting will be removed.

“It’s unfortunate, the crosswalk was painted as a celebration… If this happens again we will remove it, if not we will let it wash away like it was planned in the first place,” Gaudet said.

The Sylvan Lake Pride Community echoed Gaudet’s words saying the art piece is a “symbol of acceptance, hope and community.”

This is the first time the town has worked with a special interest group in such away. Gaudet said the experience has shown the town is lacking in proper procedures for future.

The town had not prepared for the possibility of vandalism or the belief the art installation would be a permanent fixture.

“For us, it really shines a light that we need policies in place for this sort of thing. It is something we are working on so when special interest groups approach us in the future will have something in place,” Gaudet said.

The crosswalk was completely repainted by noon on Sept. 12, with many residents commenting it was a shame to see it defaced.

“Hate will never win, and it will never be the loudest voice. Love is what makes Sylvan Lake great,” the Sylvan Lake Pride Community said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clearwater mayor unimpressed with Forest Minister’s inaction on local tenure transfer

Mayor Merlin Blackwell says he’s ready to lead delegation to Victoria

Valley Voice: Remembering the tools of yesteryear

Barriere and District Heritage Society talks about a few mundane modern tasks that were once laborous and time consuming

Replacement of Beaton Road Bridge in Kamloops set to begin

Construction will begin March 2, closing the east end of the road to all traffic

New group gives support to children with exceptionalities

Clearwater YCS is offering new support program for families with children who have exceptionalities

Another successful Family Fun Night at The Ridge

Roughly 250 people filled The Ridge’s Family Fun Night for fun and games

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

Most Read