Happy Pride Month to Everyone! You may have seen the windows around town – the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce worked with Columbia Valley Pride and volunteers from the Youth Hub to paint the town rainbow! Columbia Valley Pride has worked hard to create an event which grows bigger and better every year, and the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce is happy to support them as a member.

I had the opportunity recently to attend an online information session put together by Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) about their Rainbow Registered Program: “Rainbow Registered is a national accreditation for 2SLGBTQI+ friendly businesses and organizations. When you see a Rainbow Registered symbol, you know the business or organization meets a stringent set of standards to ensure 2SLGBTQI+ customers feel safe, welcomed, and accepted”.

The 2SLGBTQI+ community is tight-knit and loyal, and they tend to be discerning travellers and consumers – a demographic that is a valuable asset to the economy of the Columbia Valley. I was interested to learn a few statistics: tourists in this demographic trend towards a higher income bracket, and plan more frequent trips. Unlike other groups, the number one determining factor for where they will travel is Safety, and once their trust is earned 2SLGBTQI+ travellers will often champion businesses and communities alike.

I am excited for the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce to achieve their Rainbow Registry status – I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I kinda love paperwork.  This is the sort of thing that I am super excited to get on board with, and then hopefully I’ll be able to share my experience with members of the Chamber who are interested in achieving their own Rainbow Registration. I hope to do an info session covering the benefits, preparation for, and pit-falls of the program; please get in touch with me if you would be interested in an event like this: communications@cvchamber.ca. If you are interested in the Rainbow Registered program (you are still reading, after all!), and the steps towards accreditation, I will be writing about my experience with the program, and the steps and documentation that are required. Stay tuned!

-Deanna Berrington