Help Save Medicine Hat Pride Week!

$3,305 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 70 people in 17 days
Created May 30, 2019
Medicine Hat Pride Week is a week of events dedicated to educating the people of Medicine Hat on and raising awareness of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, our history, and the various issues we face. The Pride “After Dark” party will be a celebration of our community held on September 13th.

Who Are We?

Project Rainbow is an independent group of activists, advocates, and allies dedicated to serving the unique needs of Medicine Hat's 2SLGBTQIA+ community through direct outreach and boots-to-the-ground activism. Our focus is awareness, community support, and inclusion of ALL the beautiful facets of our 2SLGBTQIA+ community. We are not, at this time, a registered non-profit association or charity. We have no corporate, financial, or political affiliations.

What Do We Do?

We aim to provide support and outreach to our community in the form of events and  mutual-aid initiatives that directly benefit our diverse community, while indirectly improving the safety, security, and quality of life of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals in Medicine Hat through education and awareness initiatives.

Why Are We Reaching Out To The Community?

We regret to inform you that Pride in Medicine Hat is in trouble.

Several organizations in our community that have long provided much-needed services, resources, and events for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community have lost funding or been shut down entirely. Pride week is an especially important time for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Medicine Hat. For many of us, it’s the only time we feel truly able to express our authentic selves without fear of judgement or persecution. We at Project Rainbow feel that, in light of recent political events (both locally and globally), that it is ESPECIALLY important to provide our community with a Pride Week, and to use that week to the best of our ability to foster positive change in Medicine Hat.

We are doing our best to fund and source this year’s Pride Week on our own by pooling our combined knowledge and available resources, but we could really use your help! We need to cover the costs of promotion (poster printing, radio and social media advertisements), supplies (wristbands, decorations), venue rentals, movie screening rights, and any other extraneous costs that may arise… And we can’t do it alone.

None of the proceeds of fundraising are going into our own pockets. If there are any excess funds raised they will go directly to fairly compensating the artists and performers who lend their time and skills to the events.

How Can You Help?

We are looking for businesses and individuals that can help make Pride Week 2019 a reality through financial contributions, contributions of merchandise (for silent auctions, door prizes, etc), contribution of your volunteer time and/or art if you’d like to perform at one of the events, or providing any sort of applicable resource or service you have to offer.

If you can't make a cash donation here, please get in touch with our organization via FaceBook if you would like to donate time or non-monetary resources.
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Another update, friends!

We have almost reached 2/3 of our goal and we are so completely amazed and humbled and so many other warm fuzzy feelings. The amount of support we have received in just a couple short days is overwhelming and we would love to thank everyone again for every share and tweet and contribution. You have absolutely made everyone in our organization's entire year.

We are now at a point where we are booking venues and we will be solidifying our official calendar of events at our next board meeting, and we will have an event page published within the week with updates.

Definite Dates:
Pride After-Dark Social - September 13th

2SLGBTQIA+ Film Fest
Drag RoyalTea
Solidarity Walk + Potluck Picnic (tentatively Sept 8th)
Family Fun + Game Night
Various Speaker Engagements
+ Read More
There have been some questions raised recently due to the local news coverage of the upcoming Pride Week and the GoFundMe that we are circulating to raise funds. We would like to address some of these questions and concerns, and clear up some of the uncertainty regarding Medicine Hat’s Pride festivities. Please find below our official statement and a form of “FAQ” regarding pride week, fundraising, and the organizations involved.

Why Is Pride In Jeopardy?
In past years the planning of Pride festivities had fallen to the Medicine Hat Pride Association. In the last couple of years the Medicine Hat Pride Association has undergone a drastic change of board membership and a rebranding effort into the new-and-improved Sun City Pride Association. As such, they are currently involved in learning the culture of running a non-profit organization and holding public events, and were not able to secure the usual funding for the Pride In The Park and After Dark events that are usually held in our city. For more information on this, please refer to the official statement on the Sun City Pride Association facebook page. We are happy to have Sun City Pride Association collaborating on our week of events.

How Was Pride Funded In The Past?
In the past, the Medicine Hat Pride Festival was funded with a combination of grants from the city, fundraising events, sponsorships from corporate entities and banks, as well as contributions from local businesses and individuals.

Why Is Project Rainbow Organizing Pride?
Project Rainbow was never originally formed with the intention of planning our city’s primary 2SLGBTQIA+ event, but rather was formed as a direct-action group in response to the concerning rise in hate crimes within our city. We are not your "mainstream" pride organization, and we are not PR specialists. Please bear with us, but also, we have no tolerance for tone policing.

The decision to host a pride week of events was impromptu, resulting after we were made aware that Sun City Pride was not able to secure grant funding and permits in time to host Pride this year. We decided to use this opportunity to return Pride to its roots and to both celebrate and educate Hatters on our rich, diverse history and culture, without financial ties to corporations and banks that often misconstrue the true spirit of Pride. We aim to make Medicine Hat Pride 2019 a week of events that are truly by the community, for the community.

Why Is Pride So Important?
Project Rainbow does not want to leave Medicine Hat without a Pride event, especially this year. We are dismayed to see so many individuals outside of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community express that Pride is not needed, or not important. This, to us, is the very embodiment of the privilege we seek to eradicate. We at Project Rainbow believe that it is imperative that Pride Week occur in this city for the following reasons:
2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, a critical turning point in queer history and the original “Pride”
Events centered around the 2SLGBTQIA+ community provide a place for that community to feel safe, to interact with others, and to form social ties that are imperative to a mentally healthy community
To provide a non-judgemental and safe atmosphere for our 2SLGBTQ+ community to express their authentic selves.
With the politics affecting our siblings to the south in addition to the recent UCP win in Alberta and Kenney’s promises to repeal many protections for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, we feel that it is especially important that our community is able to stand in solidarity with each other and to provide support in a time that for, many of us, is incredibly disheartening.
Pride education and awareness events let individuals in our community know what resources are available to them, while educating those outside of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community on our history and culture.
A showcasing of 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride every year lets those who are not (or in some cases can not be) out and proud that there is a community that will support them, and that there are resources available.

How Are Funds Being Raised For Pride Week?
Project Rainbow has one weekly fundraiser event (our Talent Nights ft Queeraoke at the Mainliner Pub) that in the past has served our relatively modest needs just fine. As a direct action and solidarity group, we never needed much more than the donations from queeraoke and the occasional donations of bottles we’ve received. However, a full Pride Week of events requires far more funding than we have available in petty cash.

In recent weeks we have been circulating sponsorship requests to local businesses for donations, both monetary and non-monetary, in addition to asking for donations of time from volunteers and performers. We will also be setting up locations around the city where people can donate their bottles to the fundraising effort. We are open to any and all other fundraising suggestions provided they can be organized in a time-conscious manner.

Why Are You Using A GoFundMe?
In circulating our physical sponsorship requests, we have encountered several individuals who would prefer to contribute electronically. As Project Rainbow is still a fledgling, grassroots organization and we are unable to provide our contributors with tax-deductible receipts, GoFundMe provides our organization with an extra layer of accountability by tracking our donations and withdrawals for us.

We’re living in an era where transactions and currency is being endlessly digitized and cash is becoming an idea of the past. From credit cards to online shopping to cryptocurrencies, our market is becoming increasingly digital. It only makes sense that organizations adapt to the changing financial market when conducting fundraising efforts.

When Is Pride Week?
September 8-14

What Events Are Being Planned For Pride Week?
2SLGBTQIA+ Film Fest
Solidarity Walk & Potluck Picnic
LGBTQ+ Fun & Game Night
Drag RoyalTEA - A Tea Party with Drag Hosts and Hostesses
Pride After-Dark Social
+ Read More
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$3,305 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 70 people in 17 days
Created May 30, 2019
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