In June 2017, Fernie Secondary Students showed their support for Fernie Pride Society by painting rainbow crosswalks throughout town. File photo

Sculpting tourism to accomodate pride community

Last fall, the Fernie Pride Society was approached by a local business owner who wanted to know how his business could better serve his LGBTQ customers.

This prompted a lunch and learn workshop on gender and sexual diversity, and how this relates to tourism. The workshop will take place at the Park Place Lodge in Fernie on April 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for event coverage

It is well known that Fernie’s beauty attracts a diverse year-round population. Many come from around the world to enjoy the valley. Whether it’s to ski or get married against beautiful backdrops, people who identify as LGBTQ often face another level of planning and concern that others may not consider.

Questions arise such as, will they be accepted by the person making their food? What about those people taking our photos?

Fernie Pride Society President Sara Funk explains that something as seemingly simple as using the correct pro-nouns can make all the difference, and create a strong bond between people; to people in the LGBTQ community it can be akin to getting their name right.

The Fernie Pride Society would like to provide an opportunity for service providers to get the information they need to proliferate Pride in the surrounding small communities. The society believes that embracing diversity and inclusion benefits everyone.

The workshop will offer diversity and inclusion training regarding the gender and sexually diverse (GSD) community. While the workshop is tailored for tourism providers, there will be a plethora of useful information presented which could prove useful for business owners, municipalities, and social organizations as well.

This informative workshop will benefit all organizations who are interested in the strategic and ethical benefits of diversity and inclusion, would like to create/promote a positive LGBTQ2+ culture in the workplace, have existing LGBTQ2+ customers or clients, and would like to know how to serve them better or are interested in attracting new LGBTQ2+ customers or clients to their business.

Registration is available online at; seating is limited so early registration is encouraged.

For more information about the schedule of events and the event facilitator, visit

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