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Cambrian College opens new pride centre

Pride centre will be a ‘positive space’ for both students and staff
Cambrian College’s new Pride Centre is officially opened by student Mars Petryna with assistance from: (left) Seija Korpela, Director of Cambrian’s Glenn Crombie Centre for Counselling, Accessibility and Wellness, and (right) Alison De Luisa, Cambrian’s Vice-President of Human Resources and Student Services. The Pride Centre will be a positive space for members of the campus community who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.

Cambrian College has announced the official opening of the Cambrian Pride Centre, a resource centre and positive space for both students and staff. 

The centre features a special mural designed and painted by Matthew Lehtela, a graphic designer at Cambrian and an alumnus.

Cambrian held an official opening ceremony and open house this week, with Bradie Granger serving as Master of Ceremonies. Granger is the chair of Cambrian’s Schools of Justice and General Studies and identifies as gay and Two-Spirit.

“As someone who came out while in post-secondary many years ago, I never had a safe space to go or a place where I could meet people,” explains Granger. “It was a very lonely journey. I wish there was a space like this when I was younger. I’m very proud to be a part of this journey and am extremely excited for our students to be able to have this space.”

Last August, a task force was created at Cambrian to develop the Pride Centre. Led by Cambrian’s wellness co-ordinator, Catherine Poulton, the task force included both students and employees. Based on feedback, three key themes emerged for the Pride Centre: Empower, Educate, Engage.

Poulton also used feedback from the task force to oversee the layout and functionality of the Pride Centre.

The Pride Centre will empower 2SLGBTQ+ students and staff through such practices as active dialogue, promoting representation, and working to eliminate anti-2SLGBTQ+ behaviour on campus. 

The Pride Centre will educate the campus community that understanding and respect for sexual and gender diversity is the main tool to end discrimination. The centre will also engage the campus community to foster a positive healthy environment where everyone feels valued.

"Coming from a small town down south with minimal 2SLGBTQ+ resources, I am so happy that future Cambrian students will have a space to express themselves and find like-minded people," adds Mars Petryna, who identifies as trans non-binary and bisexual. Mars graduated this year from Cambrian’s Design and Visual Arts program.