A huge central city art installation will kick off PRIDE Week in Ōtautahi Christchurch. #colourfulcashel spans the whole of city mall and includes a local twist on a Rainbow Pedestrian Crossing on the Cashel Colombo intersection in celebration of PRIDE week here in Christchurch.
PRIDE week is a range of city activations and events happening across the city from 5-14 March showcasing and embracing our diverse community.
In 2019 The Christchurch Foundation, to help inform our donors decision making, undertook some research – Vital Signs. Vital Signs is a tool used to understand the community’s perceptions of the place where they live. It looks at the social, cultural, health, environmental and economic well-being of the area and it identifies the key priorities according to residents. In that research, reducing inequality, celebrating diversity, and making everyone feel welcome were identified as key priorities by the majority of Greater Christchurch residents. #colourfulcashel is a response to that.
The art work was designed by Akira Le Fevre, a member of the local PRIDE Committee, and adapted by the Christchurch City Council’s designers. The work was funded by The Christchurch Foundation, Christchurch City Council, and various co-funders from across the city.
It includes retail window displays and selfie spots, enabling the business community and individuals to showcase their support for the community.
Andrew Turner, Christchurch Deputy Mayor, said he was pleased to see Ōtautahi Christchurch celebrating diversity, inclusion and its LGBTQIA+ community in such a colourful, high profile and open way.
“The Rainbow community is one of the many diverse groups that make up our city and PRIDE Is a great opportunity celebrate that, to raise awareness, and to ensure that LGBTQIA+ people in our city feel safe, are visible, and can confidently be themselves,” Turner said.
Joanna Norris, ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive, said Ōtautahi Christchurch is a city that embraces inclusivity and creativity.
“PRIDE Week is an intentional celebration of our diverse community, and will bring colour and life to our central city,” Norris said.
“ChristchurchNZ is proud to help promote PRIDE and its activities, and we encourage our residents to get involved and celebrate.”
Jill Stevens, Christchurch PRIDE committee chairperson, said Christchurch faced a lot of challenges over the last 10 years, and PRIDE was yet another symbol of the community pulling together.
“This year’s PRIDE Week shows how partnerships across the city can make us stronger and more unified,” Stevens said.
“One of our goals as a committee is to have people look at Christchurch as a friendly, diverse and warm city, and activities this week will no doubt achieve this.”
Stevens said some events have been impacted or postponed due to Covid alert levels, but the majority are still going ahead, adhering to all current public health guidelines.
As part of PRIDE celebrations this year, The Christchurch Foundation is launching a PRIDE Endowment Fund, to provide support and a positive profile of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is the Foundation’s aim to grow this fund and create a distribution committee, including members of the PRIDE community, to collectively make granting decisions.