Some of the 14 sidewalk murals celebrating Pride in downtown Red Deer were vandalized and damaged in the last week.
Located in front of the Junktiques Home Decor and Pride Shop, at 5101-50th Ave, the murals were painted last summer by several organizations and groups including Trans and Non-Binary Aid Society, Youth HQ, Red Deer Native Friendship Society, Turning Point Society, Ubuntu Youth Council and more.
A REconnect Grant from the Family and Community Support Services funded the project.
A mural with Central Alberta Pride Society’s logo had gouges so deep it damaged the sidewalk.
“Ours was damaged the most,” said society president Lenny Gallant.
The murals were likely targeted because it is Pride Month, he added.
“It’s frustrating, and we do view it as a hate crime. Actions like this just proves why Pride Month exists, and Pride Weeks. We obviously still have a lot of educating to do,” Gallant said.
He said the damage will somehow be fixed, but it’s very discouraging because youth groups were involved in the project.
Junktiques manager Sam Finlay said the damage was done sometime between Sunday and Wednesday, and it’s the worst vandalism to the murals since they were completed.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” Finlay said.
“As an artist, I don’t understand why you would damage art. I don’t know why people have this need to ruin things that are beautiful. What is missing in their lives that they have to do that?”