In celebration of Pride Month, Scotiabank Fernie hosted a lively, physically distanced Pride march on the morning of June 25. Starting outside of the Scotiabank, a group of passionate and enthusiastic employees and locals lapped Second Avenue, holding pride flags, blasting music, and cheering for LGBTQ+ rights.
According to Stephanie Roughead, Scotiabank Fernie’s branch manager, Scotiabank was the first Canadian bank to sign the UN Global LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business in June 2019. As such, the company prioritizes having a safe and inclusive working environment, engaging LGBTQ+ employees, customers and allies, valuing inclusion and prioritizing the needs of LGBTQ+ employees and applicants. The company also has multiple chapters of Scotiabank Pride throughout the country, and are a proud partner of Pride at Work Canada, an organization that strives to empower employers to build workplaces celebrating employees of all genders and sexualities.
“As part of Scotiabank’s Global Pride Campaign, each branch was encouraged to celebrate Pride in their respective communities, in a way that delivered a compelling message to visibly demonstrate Scotiabank’s commitment to global LGBTQ+ inclusion, for both our employees and our customers,” said Roughead.
According to Melanie Kohinsky, universal banker at Scotiabank Fernie, they organized their Pride march to spread positivity during what is a difficult time for many.
Also encouraging the community to show support for Pride Month, the Fernie Pride Society donated pride swag for the march, including flags, banners and rainbow props.
“I think it’s wonderful to see community organizations supporting Pride Month,” said Kevin Allen, president of Fernie Pride Society. “It shows how far we’ve come as a community, that people note the importance of Pride Month. We at Fernie Pride have always hoped that businesses, nonprofits and community groups would take up the charge, because we are a small, very grassroots nonprofit, and have limited volunteer capacity. Seeing things like this is very gratifying and it brings our community together.”
To further celebrate Pride Month, the Fernie Pride Society is hosting a virtual open mic night at 5 p.m. on July 3 over Zoom. Celebrating the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies, the all ages event welcomes music, spoken word poetry, and more. To access the link, visit the Society’s Facebook page.