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Museum expands community offerings

Heritage Park Museum has been hosting free, bi-weekly Pride picnics over the course of the summer to celebrate inclusivity, community, and pride.
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Heather, a recruiter for B.C. Emergency Health Services, and Charlotte, an ambulance service paramedic, were at a June 29 Pride picnic at the Heritage Park Museum.

Heritage Park Museum has been hosting free, bi-weekly Pride picnics over the course of the summer to celebrate inclusivity, community, and pride. These picnics provide a safe and inviting space for everyone to come together, have fun and be themselves.

This is part of a plan to make the museum more inclusive, other initiatives include weekly meditation sessions, sensory bags, a visitors guide, new ramps for better accessibility to the museum's buildings, and more partnerships with First Nations and community organizations.

Through the years, there have been minimal community events and groups representing for bringing together the 2SLGTBQIA+ community in Terrace. “Back then (early 2000s), there were only small backyard parties for us to get together,” an unnamed long-time
Terrace resident who belongs to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community stated in a 2023 interview.

The rainbow crosswalk painted downtown in 2015 was a big milestone for community inclusivity. The crosswalk then inspired a new group started in 2015 called “The Terrace LGBTQ and Gay Straight Alliance.” This group aimed to support and educate on inclusivity after some backlash surfaced about the
crosswalk.

In 2019, the Pride Pals group got started and began to host occasional events. Celebrating diversity and pride is important to help strengthen
and uplift our community.

Heritage Park Museum has hosted three successful Pride Picnics, with the most recent held June 29. A team representative from BC
Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and a local paramedic set up a pride table with an ambulance for event attendees to sit in and explore. Heather, the representative from BCEHS, is part of the proactive recruitment team which ensures BCEHS is recruiting diverse community members.

Family-friendly music livened up the park during the picnic, while attendees of all ages came in to join the fun. Families at the art table enjoyed colouring heritage and pride themed colouring sheets. They also had fun playing ring toss, giant jenga, badminton, and other backyard games. A picnic blanket was laid out in front of the food table, which had free cookies, chips and drinks.

Heritage Park Museum will continue to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community with picnics continuing bi-weekly all summer through the operating season as its believes pride should not just be celebrated during Pride Month but all year-round. The next picnic happens on July 13 at 1 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Quinn Beblow is the curator at the Heritage Park Museum.

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