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Op-ed: OUT Jasper Speaks

The Pride Awards recognized four recipients at the Forest Park Hotel on April 3. From the left: Mychol Ormandy, Mollie LaLonde Lynch, Anika Lodge and Lynn Wannop. | P.Shokeir photo

Hello Jasper Friends,

I would like to start by saying, what an amazing Jasper Pride & Ski Festival 2022. It was so good to see friends from all over celebrating Jasper’s Pride. My hat goes off to the Jasper Pride Board and especially to Jordan Tucker and his partner Brett Newton with Jasper Event Management. Without these two people, there wouldn’t be a Jasper Pride. Making Jasper Pride bigger and better than the year before was challenging but they pulled it off, so congratulations to them and to everyone else who was part of making this year’s Pride extremely memorable experience. I have always enjoyed being part of Jaspers Pride since moving here.

The love dedication from the community is so overwhelming I haven’t really experienced this before and for that I am so grateful. Along with this year’s pride being extended to 10 days, we were lucky to be a part of some events like the flag raising on Friday and then kick off party at the Whistle Stop which was fun and then the Loud & Proud Drag Show was an event hosted by the Whistle Stop and OUT Jasper. It was an unbelievably amazing event.

Then, on Saturday night, we went to Sâkihitowin: Indigi-Hauz Takeover. That in itself was an amazing show, and it was great to see my friends perform and educate people about Indigenous two-spirited people and what they have gone through and still are going through. That’s why it is so important that we all band together and put a stop to racism and bullying.

Jasper Awards Brunch happened for the first time ever on Sunday where OUT Jasper LGBTQ2S+ Society was awarded the LGBTAQ2S+ Community Organization of the Year. Along with that, Anika Lodge was awarded Person of the Year for being an exemplary leader of the GSA. Then Mollie LaLonde Lynch received Person of the Year for commitment to bring education and inclusivity to the Jasper schools and being a positive role model. Lynn Wannop owner of Coco’s Cafe received the Proud Business of the Year for her dedication to the community.

Everyone’s a winner no matter what. Everyone in this community is responsible for one thing or another for making a difference in this community. This is why I love this town so much, because of its never-ending love and support, its inclusiveness and the diversity this community has. I am so proud to be able to call Jasper our home, and to be able to raise my son here is the cherry on top of it all.

That’s why I say thank you, Jasper, for including us in your amazing community.

Sincerely,

Mychol Ormandy (his/him)
Executive Director
OUT Jasper

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