Sc’ianew artist designs decal for Langford businesses

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The decal designed by Jeannie Chipps will signal that spaces are welcoming to all, says Langford’s mayor.

Sc’ianew First Nations artist Jeannie Chipps has designed a new symbol for Langford intended to highlight the community’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The new artwork updates the “I am Langford” campaign initially launched in the summer of 2020, when the city was emerging from pandemic restrictions.

The modified design created by Chipps in consultation with the Victoria Pride Society features colours from the Progress Pride Flag and a turtle drawn with Chipps’ style of traditional Coast Salish art.

“There are countless stories in Coast Salish culture about the turtle carrying the world on its back … the continent of North America itself is even often called Turtle Island,” said Chipps.

“This is where I drew a lot of my inspiration from when creating this design. Safety, longevity and stability are also important symbolic attributes that are related to the turtle, which I thought are essential when building and maintaining a community like Langford.”

Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson said the the goal of the I am Langford campaign is to provide a visual tool to the business community to signal a welcoming space for everyone.

Decals will be distributed through the business licensing system. The free decals are available at Langford City Hall for businesses to pick up with a copy of their business licence.

The new design includes traditional rainbow Pride flag colours, along with colours representing transgender people, members of the LGBTQ community who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour, and those with HIV/AIDS.

“I see it as an incredible honour to be able to fill my design with the Pride colours. Both the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and the Indigenous community have been through hard times and have proven to be resilient throughout whatever is placed in front of them, and I find so much joy because I am able to unite them within a symbol of love,” said Chipps.

The unveiling of the new design came a week after a new rainbow crosswalk in front of Spencer Middle School was vandalized twice with tire rubber and paint on Feb. 13. Police investigated the incidents while community officials denounced the acts of vandalism.

Langford Coun. Kimberley Guiry, who worked closely with the students on the crosswalk project, told the Times Colonist the entire council is strongly supportive of the school and students.

“I know inclusion and acceptance is a journey that our society is going through, and it’s fraught with fear and confusion and misinformation,” she said. “But while we’re working through that, we have to be firm in that there’s no room for hate and harm for our fellow community members, especially youth.”

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