It didn’t take long for Courtenay’s rainbow crosswalk to be vandalized.
Located at the intersection of Fifth and Duncan in the downtown core, the multi-colored Pride diversity crosswalk was painted Thursday. On Friday, a few people who were in the area could hear truck tires squealing at the intersection. One person said it was a white truck.
“But it’s still gorgeous, we still have the beautiful colour in downtown Courtenay,” Jenny Deters, owner of Design Therapy on Fifth, said Saturday afternoon. “We’re happy to be spreading the love down here, showing that everybody is included in our community.”
Saturday night, an event dubbed Elevate the Intersection will launch the new crosswalk.
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The rainbow symbol has celebrated diversity since the late-‘70s when the colours were used in the flag for the Gay Pride Movement. Widely accepted as a symbol of inclusiveness, such crosswalks have been installed throughout North America in recent years. Several Island communities have rainbow sidewalks.
Last summer in Campbell River, a rainbow sidewalk was damaged by car tires marks minutes after it was installed.
“It was expected, but what I’m excited about is the fact that it seems like the majority of people in our community are behind the rainbow,” Deters said. “There’s only a very few who are trying to wreck it for the rest of them, and we’re not going to let them wreck it.”
Due to the number of colours, rainbow crosswalks cost about $1,500 to install and another $1,500 a year to refresh, according to the City of Courtenay.