Corrie Brown gets to work repainting the rainbow crosswalk Thursday morning, after it was defaced with the words ‘metally ill” written in spray paint. This is the fourth time the cross walk has been repainted since it was first done in June. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Corrie Brown gets to work repainting the rainbow crosswalk Thursday morning, after it was defaced with the words ‘metally ill” written in spray paint. This is the fourth time the cross walk has been repainted since it was first done in June. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake’s rainbow crosswalk defaced with homophobic message

The crosswalk was repainted Thursday morning to remove traces of the spray-painted words

A small group of volunteers were out at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library Thursday morning to cover up hurtful vandalism on the rainbow crosswalk.

The words “mentally ill” were written over the rainbow paint along the sidewalk intersection to the public parking lot next to the library.

This is the fourth time the art installation has been painted over since it was painted in June in celebration of Pride Month.

READ MORE: Sylvan Lake Municpal Library creates rainbow crosswalk in time for Pride Month

The Sylvan Lake Pride Community called the vandalism cowardly and the act of bigots.

“We will not allow the actions of cowards and bigots to tell us that we are wrong, or that there is anything wrong with us,” the group wrote on their Instagram page.

According to the Town of Sylvan Lake, vandalism and graffiti are not tolerated in anyway.

Joanne Gaudet says vandalism is covered in the Town’s Community Standards Bylaw, which describes graffiti as anything illegally placed on public or private property which cannot be removed, like spray painting.

“We don’t tolerate it, even more so when it target a group of people or is bullying and hateful,” Gaudet said, adding any form of bullying is not tolerated by the Town.

The Sylvan Lake Pride Community said vandalism, homophobia, ignorance and hate goes against the Town’s slogan of Brilliant All Year.

“Paint on a road does not hurt anyone. It does not affect anyone but those who feel its support and empowerment,” the group said.

The art instalment was put into place through an agreement between the Library and the Town, and was supposed to be a temporary piece of art for the month of June.

After the crosswalk was vandalized the first time, the Library offered to repaint it as they had time and left over supplies to do so.

Gaudet called the vandalism unfortunate, and said if it happens the painting will be removed.

“It’s unfortunate, the crosswalk was painted as a celebration… If this happens again we will remove it, if not we will let it wash away like it was planned in the first place,” Gaudet said.

The Sylvan Lake Pride Community echoed Gaudet’s words saying the art piece is a “symbol of acceptance, hope and community.”

This is the first time the Town has worked with a special interest group in such away. Gaudet said the experience has shown the Town is lacking in proper procedures for future.

The Town had not prepared for the possibility of vandalism or the belief the art installation would be a permanent fixture.

“For us, it really shines a light that we need policies in place for this sort of thing. It is something we are working on so when special interest groups approach us in the future will have something in place,” Gaudet said.

The crosswalk was completely repainted by noon on Sept. 12, with many residents commenting it was a shame to see it defaced.

“Hate will never win, and it will never be the loudest voice. Love is what makes Sylvan Lake great,” the Sylvan Lake Pride Community said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Black Press file photo
Leduc RCMP investigate serious collision involving train

Leduc RCMP were called to a collision between a train and truck on Centre Street in New Sarepta.

Elder Muriel Lee. (Photo submitted)
Maskwacis Elder Mentoring Program connects Elders with young parents

By Chevi Rabbit For Black Press Media The Maskwacis Elders Mentoring Program,… Continue reading

Pipestone Flyer file photo
Nominations now open for 2021 general municipal election

Nominations for Wetaskiwin’s general municipal election are now open until Sept. 20, 2021.

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

(Photo submitted)
Central Alberta researchers recognized for studies in agricultural sciences

Jessica Sperber of Ponoka and David MacTaggart of Lacombe awarded prestigious scholarship

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

(Photo submitted)
Ponoka RCMP receives new police puppy trainee

Detachment says goodbye to ‘Maja’ and welcomes ‘Neutron’

Art Kempf, originally from the Stettler area but now living in Lacombe, is pictured here with his late wife Lillian. Art’s 100th birthday is coming up on Feb. 22nd.
photo submitted
Former Stettler area resident Art Kempf will be celebrating a very special day next month

Kempf, now a Lacombe resident, marks his 100th birthday on Feb. 22nd

'The Coronavirus Isn't Scary' by Kristy Walker.
Sylvan Lake author pens first children’s book about COVID-19

“The Coronavirus Isn’t Scary” by Kristy Walker teaches children to take care of themselves

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie are serving sit-down customers in their Mirror diner to protest health restrictions that they say are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
Central Alberta restaurant owner defies health restrictions by serving diners

Whistle Stop Cafe owner says pandemic restrictions unfair to restaurants and small businesses

The Northwest Territories flag flies on a flagpole in Ottawa on July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta man charged with threatening Northwest Territories public health officer

Police did reveal the nature of the threats, but said it was concerning

Most Read