Progress flag added to BCLC offices

BCLC flies Progress flag

BCLC is celebrating inclusion with a couple of colourful new additions outside its downtown Kamloops headquarters.

On Thursday, the Crown corporation held a ceremony to raise the Progress banner on one of its flagpoles and unveil a new rainbow crosswalk that features the flag's many colours.

The Progress flag is a variation of the original Pride flag, and features a chevron of coloured stripes that represent marginalized communities including people of colour, transgender people and individuals affected by HIV and AIDS.

Peter ter Weeme, chief social purpose officer and vice-president of player experience for BCLC, said the Progress flag represents BCLC’s commitment to the community.

“Our feeling is that the Progress flag that you see behind me includes people of all diverse backgrounds, and that Aboriginal and Indigenous community is also included in that flag.” said ter Weeme,

“There are emerging different versions of the flag, to be honest, but this is one that we felt was inclusive, and that speaks to the kind of values that we have as an organization.”

Ter Weeme said flying the Progress flag year round will act as a reminder moving forward.

“But what this flag is helping to do, I think is what I said earlier, it's helping to create recognition and that we do have diverse communities and that we do need to welcome people of all stripes.” said ter Weeme.

“And, hopefully, I don't think this comes at the expense of anybody else. All it's saying is we are a diverse culture. We're getting more diverse in Canada and we need to recognize that it's not the Canada of 100 years ago.”

Katelyn Boughton, president of Kamloops Pride said BCLC’s gesture promotes inclusion within the community.

“A corporation within the Kamloops community of raising the Progress flag not just for Pride month but for every day of the calendar year, plus spending their own money to paint the crosswalk, just shows that BCLC is committed to diversity,” Boughton said.

Ter Weeme says he is still waiting for the City of Kamloops to update its rainbow crosswalk, but hopes that BCLC's flying of the Progress flag will encourage other organizations to do the same.

The Progress flag, along with all other flags at BCLC headquarters, will be flown at half mast in commemoration of the 215 children whose remains were found recently at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

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