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SPECTRUM - Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space


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Table of Contents
Historical Synopsis
Precursors to Establishing Broad-Based Community Groups in Waterloo Region
  1. 1971- | Waterloo Universities' Gay Liberation Movement (later "Glow")
  2. 1973-1974 | Attempt to Establish a Community Group in Waterloo Region
  3. 1978-1980? | Gay Rights Organization of Waterloo (GROW)
  4. 1996- | tri-Pride Community Association [formerly Waterloo Wellington Regional Pride Committee]
  5. 1998, Summer - November | Out-Reach Rainbow Alliance (ORRA)
  6. 2010- | Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition (WRRC)
SPECTRUM - Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space 2012-


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Date
The Event
Memories
2012
July 28 (Saturday)
Moving In Day

This was the day that we moved into our first home - 42 Erb St E. in Waterloo.

6 images
2012
August 7 (Tuesday)
Open for Business

We opened our doors today, and began offering limited service. Over the next several weeks we grew accustomed to our new space and developed plans for regular operation.
2012
September 30 (Sunday)
Grand Opening

SPECTRUM had its Grand Opening on 2012, September 30. At the time, the official name was the Community Space of Waterloo Region's Rainbow Coalition (WRRC).

The following dignitaries were present and shown in the various photos: Peter Braid (MP for KItchener-Waterloo), Ken Seiling (Regional Chair of Waterloo Region), Carl Zehr (Mayor of Kitchener), and Jeff Henry (Councillor City of Waterloo).

The following WRRC Volunteers are also visible in the photographs: Dierdra Leslie, Jim Parrott, Jeremy Steffler, and Sue Weare.


25 images
2012
October 20 (Saturday)
Fundraiser at Little Bean Coffee Bar

This was the first fundraiser for the community centre.

1 image
2012
December 6 (Thursday)
Fundraiser at Club Renaissance

This was a Christmas fundraiser for SPECTRUM at Club Renaissance

1 image
2013
January 29 (Sunday)
Local PFLAG Meetings Revived

An announcment of the first meeting of the revived PFLAG Chapter. SPECTRUM petitioned PFLAG Canada to revive the Waterloo-Wellington Chapter of PFLAG, which had gone dormant a few years earlier. SPECTRUM's request was granted in January 2013, but with a broader catchment area: Waterloo, Wellington and Perth. SPECTRUM undertook to provide some infrastructure to support this Chapter.

1 image
2013
February 12 (Tuesday)
SPECTRUM Spun off from WRRC

At this evening's meeting of the Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition (WRRC), a vote was taken in favour of spinning the Community Space off as an autonomous body. Volunteers for the Community Space re-branded it as SPECTRUM – Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space.
 
2013
March 26 (Sunday)
Exploring Our Roots

This was a local history talk delivered by Jim Parrott (as Dangerous Dolores) on the occasion of the 2nd Year Anniversary of the founding of the Grand River Rainbow Historical Project. The venue was SPECTRUM (its first location - at 42 Erb St E in Waterloo).


6 image(s)
2013
June 1 (Saturday)
2013 tri-Pride Celebration

These are some photos from the 2013 tri-Pride Festival - with an emphasis on the involvement of SPECTRUM. It was SPECTRUM's first involvement with tri-Pride.

21 images
2013
June 10 (Monday)
Social Collaboration

This event was a kind of Town Hall to connect with community members.

1 file
2013
August 13 (Tuesday)
Incorporation

This is a copy of SPECTRUM's first Letters Patent of Incorporation as a not-for-profit Ontario corporation in the province of Ontario. Attaining this step allowed SPECTRUM to apply for municipal and other grants for funding for operating costs, like rent, insurance and program delivery. This was a major development in SPECTRUM's history.

1 file
2013
August 18 (Sunday)
Picnic & Field Day "Fun"-Raiser

SPECTRUM's first picnic

1 image
2013
October 6 (Sunday)
One-Year Anniversary

SPECTRUM had a birthday party to celebrate one year since its official opening.The photo gallery containss images of local celebrities, community members, food and participants in a harp petting zoo.

101 image(s)
2013
October 17 (Thursday)
Spingo

A Bingo fundraiser for SPECTRUM. It was held on the lower level of the Rockway Centre, 1405 King St E, Kitchener Sadly this event was not particularly successful.

1 image
2013
November 12 (Sunday)
SPECTRUM's Library

This is a photo of SPECTRUM's Library of books and DVDs in the early days.

1 image
2013
November 24 (Sunday)
World AIDS Day Social

A social event organized jointly by ACCKWA and SPECTRUM, and held at SPECTRUM's headquarters.

1 image
2013
December 6 (Friday)
A Games Evening at SPECTRUM

These photos were taken at one of the weekly games held at SPECTRUM.

9 images
2013
December 17 (Tuesday)
PFLAG Peer Support Group Meeting

The revival of the local PFLAG Chapter happened in January of 2013, thanks to SPECTRUM. This is an example of a poster for one of the PFLAG meetings.

1 image
2013
December 19 (Thursday)
Holiday Party for Youth Group

This was a holiday party for members of SPECTRUM's Connect Rainbow Youth Group.

1 image
2014
January 28 (Tuesday)
Joan Tuchlinsky, Speaker

Joan Tuchlinsky, Public Education Manager of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region gave a talk on matters related to sexual violence, with particular reference to the rainbow community.

1 image
2014
February 20 (Thursday)
CONNECT SPECTRUM Youth Skating Party

SPECTRUM organized a Skating party for its youth group, Connect SPECTRUM Yout.

1 image
2014
March 17 (Monday)
Irish Ceili

This is a poster for an Irish Ceili (Irish country folk music and group dance) held at SPECTRUM.

1 image
2014
March 31 (Sunday)
39th Anniversary of International Women's Year

This is a poster for a talk given by Judith Lodi on the 39th Anniversary of International Women's Year. Judith spoke of the impact of oppression on the women's movement, gay rights, and all who are marginalized.

1 image
2014
April 17 (Thursday)
Youth Drop-In: Spring Event & Easter Egg Hunt


1 image
2014
May 29 (Thursday)
Foster Parenting and Adoption

This is a poster for a talk given by Teresa Trofymowych (Family and Children's Services of Waterloo Region) on opportunities for foster parenting and/or adoption.

1 image
2014
June 7 (Saturday)
2014 tri-Pride Celebration

These are some photos from the 2014 tri-Pride Festival - with an emphasis on the involvement of SPECTRUM.

17 images
2014
October 5 (Sunday)
2nd Anniversary Open House

These are photos from SPECTRUM's 2nd Anniversary Open House. The planners made what turned out to be a profound tactical error for this event. It was thought that it would be useful to invite all candidates for the upcoming municipal elections (just a few weeks away). It turned out that almost of of them want to make a speech, and they dominated the formal part of the proceedings. Live and learn!

84 image
2015
February 12 (Friday)
Rainbow Newcomers Group - First Meeting

In early 2015, SPECTRUM was seeking to relocate from its current location at 42 Erb Street East (Waterloo), since it had become increasingly difficult to book the program space for its events there. It was under these circumstances that SPECTRUM inaugurated its monthly Rainbow Newcomers group. The first meeting was on 2015, February 12 (Thursday). The initial listing in the Rainbow Community Calendar (2015, February. Volume 3, Number 5) read “2015, February 12 (Thursday) Rainbow Newcomers Group. 7-9pm. SPECTRUM, 42 Erb St E, Waterloo. A place for LGBTQ-identified immigrants and refugees to talk, and discuss issues related to being a newcomer to Canada.” For that month, and also March, the Rainbow Newcomers group met in the Waterloo venue (42 Erb St E.) until April 2015, when it was no longer possible to book rooms in that facility.

6 images + a history file
2015
March 3 (Tuesday)
Aging with Pride Conference

This is a poster for a conference organized by OK2BME (of KW Counselling Services) to benefit SPECTRUM's Aging with Pride Committee in the work that the latter was doing.

1 image
2015
March to December
Move to New Location - Boehmer Box Building (Kitchener)

In early 2015, program space at the CEI building (SPECTRUM's first home, located on 42 Erb Street East, Waterloo) began to be limited. For the period from early 2015 to late summer, much of SPECTRUM's programming had to be delivered at other venues - the most frequently used of which was the Downtown Community Centre (35B Weber Street West, Kitchener). As a result of these problems, in early 2015, SPECTRUM began the search for a new home. On May 15, 2015, SPECTRUM moved into Unit 210 at 283 Duke St W, Kitchener. Over the summer, SPECTRUM began transferring most of its programming to the new location.

34 images
2015
June 6 (Saturday)
tri-Pride 2015

In 2015, SPECTRUM had another silent auction in the Great Hall of Kitchener City hall, the proceeds of which were shared with the tri-Pride Community Association. Of special note is that the Rainbow Flag is flying on the Duke Street side of Kitchener City Hall - a result of a rather acrimonious process in 2014, which was reffered to as the “flag flap“ in the local press. Included in the photos are Jim Parrott, Randy Farrell, William Pensaert, Bardish Chaggar, Lyn McGinnis, Gina Hickman, Melissa Sky and Shelly Secrett among others.

20 images
2015
June 21 (Sunday)
KW Multicultural Festival

2015 was the first year that SPECTRUM participated in the KW Multicultural Festval, held on the Victoria Park Commons.

1 image
2015
September 21 (Tuesday)
SPECTRUM 2015 Annual General Meeting

This was SPECTRUM's first formal Annual General Meeting. The image file gives the poster for the meeting. Ruth Camerson (Executive Director of the AIDS Committee of Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Area) was the Keynote Speaker.

1 image
2016
May 13 (Friday)
SPECTRUM receives Supplementary Letters Patent of Incorporation as a Charity in Ontario

After establishing three years of sound financial books, SPECTRUM was in a position to apply to the Province of Ontario for Supplementary Letters Patent in preparation for applying to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for charitable status. A paralegal with the Goverment of Ontario helped SPECTRUM transform the Objects of the corporation into a form that would be better received by the CRA than the original Objects of 2013. The request for charitable status in Ontario was granted on 2016, May 13. The image file reproduces the revised Letters Patent. SPECTRUM did not receive the CRA charitable status until a year later.

1 image
2016
May 18 (Wednesday)
Comedy Evening at the Princess Twin Café

Sunna Murphy and Jim Parrott staffed a SPECTRUM display in the lobby of the Princess Twin Café just outside the performance area in order to publicize the up-coming Open House at SPECTRUM.

1 image
2016
May 31 (Tuesday)
SPECTRUM Open House

SPECTRUM held its first Open House in its new quarters at 283 Duke Street West in Kitchener.

5 images
2016
June 14 (Tuesday)
Orlando Vigil in the Square in front of Kitchener City Hall

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old man, killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in a mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. Mateen stated that he swore allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This shooting had potential for creating division between two marginalized groups in the Western world: the LGBTQ+ community and Muslim communities. Two days later, various group in Waterloo Region organized a vigil to mourn and to affirm solidarity between these two marginalized groups.

2 images
2016
June 25 (Saturday) to 26 (Sunday)
2016 KW Multicultural Festival

This was the second year that SPECTRUM had a table at the KW Multicultural Festival.

1 image
2016
July 9 (Saturday)
Non-Violence Festival

This was the first year that SPECTRUM had a table at the Non-Violence Festival.

2 images
2016
September 27 (Tuesday)
SPECTRUM 2016 Annual General Meeting

This was SPECTRUM's second Annual General Meeting. The image file gives the poster for the meeting. Nancy DiPietro (Director of Clinical Services, Lang's Community Health Centre, Cambridge) was the Keynote Speaker.

1 image
2016
December 24 and 25 (Saturday and Sunday) - and January 1 (Sunday)
Celebration of Chosen Family at SPECTRUM

It has long been understood that the Christmas season can be stressful for the many people who are not able to be with loved ones in a relatively stress-free environment. This problem is unfortunately too common in the rainbow community, where individuals are all too often estranged from family members, and come to see the Christmas season as one where other people are happy, but they are not. This affects not only Christians but many others as well.

In December of 2016, SPECTRUM decided to help mitigate this problem by starting a tradition of offering a partial "antidote" by remaining open during part of this period, and having celebrations of chosen family. This was described during the 2016 season as Special Drop-In Hours with the following schedule:

  • December 24, 5-8 PM
  • December 25, 2-8 PM
  • January 1, 5-8 PM
The announcement read “If you're looking for some company and some snacks, come and spend some time with us in our comfy space!”


1 image
2017
May 28 (Sunday)
Open House and Announcement of New Horizons Funding

SPECTRUM's Aging With Pride Committee was established in 2013 to address the needs of aging members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. In 2017, Aging With Pride received a $25,000 New Horizons for Seniors Program grant from the government of Canada which enabled the Committee to create and implement various programs with facilities in Waterloo Region. As part of this, volunteers with the Aging with Pride Committee visited and met with residents at many senior centres and retirement communities and helped to deliver many of these programs. Some of these programs included educational presentations, hosting dinners, and even helping to host drag shows performed at local retirement homes. This project was named the Beyond the Rainbow Project.

Timeline: On 2016, August 4, SPECTRUM's Aging with Pride Committee submitted an application to the federal New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) for the grant in question. On 2017, March 1, SPECTRUM was notified that the request for the $25,000 grant to the NHSP had been approved. This was a major development in SPECTRUM's history, since the grant was by far the largest grant that SPECTRUM had received to this point. The cheque to cover the funding was received on 2017, March 31. The following day, a decision to hire Stevie Forbes-Roberts. as Project Lead was made by SPECTRUM's Board. Work began shortly after that in April and continued for the next 12 months. At the beginning of the Project, SPECTRUM worked with Raj Saini (the MP representing the riding where SPECTRUM was located) to create a media event to announce the grant and the project being funded at an Open House on 2017, May 28 (Sunday). The photo gallery here has many images from that event. Dignitaries present included Raj Saini (MP for Kitchener Centre), Bardish Chagger (MP for Waterloo), Catherine Fife, (MPP for Waterloo), Waterloo Major Dave Jaworsky, and several others. Entertainment was provided by spoken word artist Beth Murch and singer/songwriter Sojna Malton.


26 images
2017
June 3 (Saturday)
SPECTRUM at tri-Pride 2017

SPECTRUM had a table at the 2017 tri-Pride Festival.

1 image
2017
June 14 (Wednesday)
SPECTRUM at the Schlegel Villages RIA Innovation Summit

SPECTRUM's Aging with Pride Committee had an information table at the Innovation Summit organized by the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), which was held at the Kitchener Holiday Inn.

2 images
2017
June 24 - 25 (Saturday to Sunday)
KW Multicultural Festival

Once again, SPECTRUM had an information table at the annual KW Multicultural Festival.

2 images
2017
August 1 (Tuesday)
SPECTRUM is Granted Charitable Status

On 2017, December 21 SPECTRUM received word from the Canada Revenue Agency that its request for charitable status had been approved. In late Jnauary of 2018, the official documentation was received, dated 2018, January 18. This document back-dated SPECTRUM's charitable status to the beginning of SPECTRUM's 2017-2018 fiscal year, namely 2017, August 1. This was an extraordinarily significant event in SPECTRUM history, since it meant that SPECTRUM could: (1) issue income-tax receipts for charitable donations, and (2) apply for a much wider variety of funding opportunities than previously. The main consequence of this was that SPECTRUM's financial position became much more secure. NOTE: On the second page of the official document, the business number was incorrectly given (two digits were transposed); it was later corrected to read: 85096 576 RR0001.

1 image
2017
September 10 (Sunday)
Suicide Prevention Event

SPECTRUM had a table at the Suicide Prevention Event

1 image
2017
September 19 (Tuesday)
Aging with Pride 2.0 Conference

KW Counselling Services organized a second conference to follow up on the successful 2015 conference.

2 images
2017
September 26 (Tuesday)
SPECTRUM - 2017 Annual General Meeting

This was SPECTRUM's third Annual General Meeting. The image file gives the poster for the meeting. Lucia Harrison (Chief Executive Officer, KW Multicultural Centre) was the Keynote Speaker.

1 image
2017
October 13 (Friday)
Double Freak-ture - a SPECTRUM Fundraiser

This SPECTRUM Fundraiser at The Apollo Cinema included screenings of two vintage horror films: DRACULA (1931) and THE MUMMY (1932), along with refreshments and prizes for costumes.

35 images
2017
December 2 (Saturday)
SPECTRUM at Holigay Market

PECTRUM had a table with merchandise at the Holigay Market.

2 images
2017
December 25 (Monday)
SPECTRUM's Celebration of Chosen Family

The photo shows preparations for the December 25th Celebration of Chosen Family.

1 image
2018
March 10 (Saturday)
A 1970s BRIDGEPORT DANCE

Back in April of 2017, SPECTRUM's Aging with Pride Committee began work on a 12-month project that was funded by the federal New Horizons for Seniors Program. The project involved engagement with six retirement homes and two seniors community centres in Waterloo-Wellington. The project was a major success and helped those eight institutions move forward in creating more inclusive spaces for residents who identify as members of the rainbow community. As the project drew to a close in March of 2018, a dance was held to celebrate the accomplishments of the project. The dance revisited the famous “Bridgeport Dances” of the 1970s, and also featured a panel of people, among them were individuals who created those popular community-style dances and also who attended them.

11 images
2018
October 2 (Tuesday)
SPECTRUM - 2018 Annual General Meeting

The guest speaker, Shanleigh Veniot spoke about the YMCA of Cambridge & KW’s employment services and other programs.

1 file
2019
February 27 (Wednesday)
SPECTRUM at GSA Conference 2019

SPECTRUM participated in the 2019 GSA Conference organized by OK2BME of KW Counselling Services.

1 image
2019
October 7 (Monday)
SPECTRUM - 2019 Annual General Meeting


1 image
2020
October 19 (Monday)
SPECTRUM - 2020 Annual General Meeting


1 image
2021
March 31 (Wednesday)
WAGE Grant Announcement - Project Excelsior

On this date, Minister Bardish Chagger announced that SPECTRUM was one of many organizations receiving grants from the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund. In fact, we began hiring for the three positions covered by this grant at the end of 2020 and by this date our new staff team had already completed three months of work on the year-long capacity-building project that we dubbed Project Excelsior.

1 image

Historical Synopsis

Precursors to Establishing Broad-Based Community Groups in Waterloo Region

There were several organizations in Waterloo that were in a sense fore-runners to SPECTRUM. We describe the most important below.



  1. Waterloo Universities' Gay Liberation Movement (later "Glow") 1971-




  2. Attempt to Establish a Community Group in Waterloo Region: 1973-1974




  3. Gay Rights Organization of Waterloo (GROW) 1978-1980?




  4. tri-Pride Community Association [formerly Waterloo Wellington Regional Pride Committee] 1996-

  5. It should be noted that, although the tri-Pride Community Organization is indeed for the entire community, it has never had an office. Moreover, it is devoted primarily to creating events for the community, as opposed to the kind of broad support that SPECTRUM offers.




  6. Out-Reach Rainbow Alliance (ORRA) 1998, Summer - November

  7. This group existed for only a few months in 1998. The organizers were A.J. Mahari and Jim Parrott.




  8. Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition (WRRC) 2010-




The actual creation of the community space now called SPECTRUM is detailed in the next section, which is devoted to SPECTRUM proper.




SPECTRUM - Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space

Publications in the Digital Library
Newsletters, Magazines, Directories
Booklets, Posters, etc. for Events
    In progress
Miscellaneous Documents
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