CORNWALL, Ontario – Diversity was something to dance about this Saturday Feb. 18 as Diversity/Diversité Cornwall kicked up their heels at the organization’s first Valentine’s Ball, which took place at the Army Navy Club.
Sophie Lepage, who handles the group’s media relations, says that the event provides the opportunity for everyone to enjoy an evening without judgement.
“Cornwall has a large LGBT community, and to be able to come out and enjoy a slow dance is something we’re really happy to be a part of,” said Lepage. “To be able to do that is kind of a release – it’s so important to have a safe place within the community.”
Stephanie Nadeau is the organization’s director and president, and says that the group recently qualified for non-profit status, which she says will make a huge difference in the organization’s credibility.
“It allows us to grow a lot without so many struggles,” said Nadeau.
This year has been a busy one for the organization, which was reassembled following the Orlando shooting in June 2016.
“After the shooting, I felt there was something missing,” said Nadeau. “When I found out that Cornwall had a small vigil, we started discussing the possibility of bringing the organization back to the city.”
Nadeau says that the community has been extremely supportive of the group, and she plans on getting local schools involved in the future.
“We’d like to have liaisons with the various committees to help build a stronger support system for the youth, and show them that there’s a place for them to come,” said Nadeau.
“I think that openness and acceptance are so important,” said Lepage. “Love is love.”