In 2015, the City of Grande Prairie’s Youth Council was involved in the amendment made to Bill 10 that enabled all students in Alberta the right to run a Gay Straight Alliance in their schools. With the introduction of the Gender Guidelines, which is a direct result of the amendment of Bill 10, the youth experienced an incredible backlash from the public media. They were affected by the opposition and were concerned that the voices of youth, who were directly impacted by this opposition, were not being heard.
In response, they began working with C.I.A Solutions, a media company in Grande Prairie, to learn documentary filmmaking. A result of this collaboration is the documentary, “From Redneck to Rainbow".
This documentary was filmed over a period of two years and included up to 16 participants sharing their knowledge as educators, mentors and advocates for education, safe space and inclusion.
Some of the interviews include Mayor Bill Given, Alberta Minister of Culture, Ricardo Miranda, Jeremy Dias from The Canadian Centre of Gender & Sexual Diversity, and many youth voices from Grande Prairie and across Canada.
The youth learned to work as a team on a film crew while researching and collaborating with community organizations, individuals and businesses. Through the project they were able to discuss a topic that they were passionate about while learning how to create change in their community through storytelling and capturing lived experiences.
The youth premiered their film in May of 2017 to a sold-out theatre and now they wish to share their story in order to inspire communities and youth to become involved in civic engagement. How can we empower youth and involve community businesses and organizations in creating positive change? What avenues are yet to be explored when engaging our youth and through community collaboration?
View the documentary online here.