Kelowna celebrates Pink Shirt Day with BGC Okanagan

Celebrating pink shirt day

Hundreds of community members and a number of local businesses were at Kelowna's Laurel Packinghouse Wednesday morning for BGC Okanagan’s Pink Shirt Day breakfast, celebrating kindness and lifting each other up.

Through the generations, bullying has been a constant in schools and BGC Okanagan is doing what they can to combat bullying and stand against hate.

“We know that bullying is something that’s been a common theme amongst school children, amongst workplaces. Today is a day to create some awareness, to generate some movement and to get people thinking about the ways to prevent bullying. We believe kindness, caring, acceptance, all of those sorts of things are the way to do that,” said Richelle Leckey, community engagement coordinator of BGC Okanagan.

BGC Okanagan CEO Jeremy Welder believes that although bullying is often talked about a lot, it has not ended and children are still experiencing harassment on a daily basis.

He says it sometimes happens in the workplace, as well as in the lives of everyday adults.

"It’s a really great way to raise awareness that this happens online, in kids’ schools, in community, and also to adults who have been dealing with bullying for many, many years," Welder said. "So it’s just really great to hear people talking about it and keeping the attention on this really important issue as the year goes on.”

A part of the event was local and international artist Kale Barr, who did a live abstract painting during breakfast to raise money for BGC Okanagan and future events.

“The idea of this is that people are providing hope and there’s a lot of people in this world who don’t have hope and there’s a lot of people that think they’re alone," said Barr, who explained he was often bullied as a young child.

"But when you see a room full of people waking up at 6:30 in the morning and making it for an event for 7:30 and the selflessness of everybody here, that’s what makes a difference and it’s a privilege and an honour to be a part of this."

To bid on the art piece and to help these annual events continue in the future you can head to trellis.org/pink-shirtday.

You can also check out more art by Kale through his Instagram page @ArtistKaleBarr.

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