SPECTRUM https://ourspectrum.com Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space Sat, 07 Dec 2019 16:52:07 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://i2.wp.com/ourspectrum.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-SPECTRUMlogo144px.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 SPECTRUM https://ourspectrum.com 32 32 175525388 A place for the maturing rainbow community https://ourspectrum.com/a-place-for-the-maturing-rainbow-community/ https://ourspectrum.com/a-place-for-the-maturing-rainbow-community/#respond Sat, 07 Dec 2019 16:51:23 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=17174
Spectrum Prime

SPECTRUM Prime is a social and discussion group for older LGBTQ-identified adults.

Our Goal is to reduce isolation among older adults in the local LGBTQ community, and to create a supportive community for ourselves as we age.

Our Activities -Twice a month we gather at SPECTRUM for socializing and discussion.  We also go on social outings.  In the future we plan to invite speakers on topics of interest to us, and also arrange inter-generational gatherings where we might tell younger folks our stories and hear theirs as well.

Learn more at:

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SPECTRUM Fundraising Campaign https://ourspectrum.com/spectrum-fundraising-campaign/ https://ourspectrum.com/spectrum-fundraising-campaign/#respond Sat, 07 Dec 2019 16:36:14 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=17170

Help fund a safe and supportive place for members of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Waterloo RegionFundraising kick-off date is December 3 – which is #GivingTuesdayCa #givingtuesdayWR

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Youth Under the Rainbow https://ourspectrum.com/youth-under-the-rainbow/ https://ourspectrum.com/youth-under-the-rainbow/#respond Sat, 07 Dec 2019 16:32:55 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=17167
Youth Under the Rainbow

Youth Under the Rainbow is a Drop-in for rainbow youth ages 13 through 18.

Hang out, bring friends, and make new ones in a casual, LGBTQ2S-friendly setting. Refreshments provided!

Visit https://ourspectrum.com/youth-under-the-rainbow for more

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A celebration of chosen family Dec 25 https://ourspectrum.com/17160-2/ https://ourspectrum.com/17160-2/#respond Sat, 07 Dec 2019 16:28:46 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=17160
Chosen Family Celebration 2019

A Celebration of Chosen Family – December 25 @ SPECTRUM, Noon to 10 PM. Many people in the local LGBTQ2+ community are able to be with their relatives in the time around December 25 (Wednesday). Others do not have this option – for a variety of reasons – including that they have neither the support nor the love of their relatives. And they may end up feeling lonely or isolated at this time of year, regardless of their religious affiliation.

This is one reason why we speak of “chosen families” – those we have gathered around us who care about what is happening in our lives. For the fourth year in a row, SPECTRUM will be hosting a community gathering with music, good company and plenty of food on December 25, 2019.

We are planning to be open from Noon to 10:00 PM, as we were last year, regardless of the weather. Last year, for the first time we had a hot meal; this year we will be doing so again.

If you are able, join us for a celebration of chosen family! Because this is a hard time of the year for many people, SPECTRUM is committed to being open for:

  • Tuesday, December 24 – noon to 4 PM – a drop-in
  • Wednesday, December 25 – noon to 10 PM – the Celebration
  • Thursday, December 26 – noon to 4 PM – a drop-in
  • Friday, December 27 – 7 PM to 11 PM – games evening
  • Saturday, December 28 – 2 PM to 5 PM – a drop-in
  • Tuesday, December 31 – noon to 4 PM – a drop-in

Location – https://ourspectrum.com/contact-2/

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LGBTQ+ Community Centre Gains Charitable Status in Waterloo Region https://ourspectrum.com/lgbtq-community-centre-gains-charitable-status-in-waterloo-region/ https://ourspectrum.com/lgbtq-community-centre-gains-charitable-status-in-waterloo-region/#respond Wed, 07 Mar 2018 15:55:10 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=14870

Spectrum Waterloo Region Gains Charitable Status

SPECTRUM, Waterloo Region’s first LGBTQ+/Rainbow Community space is pleased to announce that they have recently been granted charitable status by the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency. SPECTRUM now becomes the only LGBTQ+ community centre in Ontario outside of Toronto and Ottawa with this distinction.

“Having charitable status will allow SPECTRUM to serve our community better, because we will now be able to apply for a wider range of grants to fund our programs. It will also allow us to issue income-tax receipts for donations, which will strengthen our financial situation. Equally important, it constitutes recognition of the work that we have done over the past several years to support the local LGBTQ+ community” says SPECTRUM Executive Director, Jim Parrott.

A service user says, “As a transgender woman coming out in KW over the last decade I felt very isolated from the LGBTQ+ community until I was introduced by a friend to SPECTRUM a few years back. I have connected with a community who have made me feel welcome, connected, supported, respected and included. I appreciate and applaud all of the good work that the members do to help support the complexity of being the unique and wonderful beings that we are.”

About SPECTRUM. In August 2013 SPECTRUM became incorporated as a not-for-profit Ontario corporation with the goal of supporting the LGBTQ+ community in Waterloo Region in various ways, including the provision of a safe gathering space. Since that time, SPECTRUM has developed support groups for transgender individuals, older LGBTQ+ adults, LGBTQ+ Newcomers, and people coming out – as well as recreational programs and a lending library of books and DVDs. SPECTRUM has strong ties and partnerships with many local agencies, and offers a variety of educational and training supports for local businesses and service organizations. More information at www.ourspectrum.com

For more information on making a donation and receiving a CRA tax receipt, please visit: https://ourspectrum.com/get-involved/donate/ or


Follow Spectrum Community Space on Facebook and @our_SPECTRUM on Twitter

Media Contact:

Cait Glasson, President, SPECTRUM,


Donate to SPECTRUM

SPECTRUM is now a charitable organization, offering a charitable tax receipt for your donation!

There are many ways to donate to SPECTRUM. Check out our Donate to SPECTRUM page to learn more.

Your donations are critical to making SPECTRUM go!

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SPECTRUM receives $25,000 grant from New Horizons for Seniors Program https://ourspectrum.com/spectrum-receives-25000-grant-from-new-horizons-for-seniors-program/ https://ourspectrum.com/spectrum-receives-25000-grant-from-new-horizons-for-seniors-program/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 04:03:40 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=13715

News Release

For Immediate Release

Seniors in Kitchener to receive New Horizon’s funding through grant for project of local organization, SPECTRUM.

May 28, 2017             Kitchener, ON                 Employment and Social Development Canada

Seniors in Kitchener, through SPECTRUM, will receive financial support to continue their leadership role in the LGBTQ community, today announced Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Investing in Canada’s communities is not only about creating good jobs and encouraging clean economic growth. It is also about building stronger communities. Partnerships with local governments, institutions and organizations are vital to deliver change and improve the lives of seniors.

SPECTRUM is receiving $25,000 for their project funded through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). The project`s goal is to reduce isolation of LGBTQ seniors, especially those in institutional settings.

The Government of Canada is providing approximately $35 million in New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) funding for close to 1,850 community-based projects approved through the NHSP 2016–2017 Call for Proposals.  Since 2004, the NHSP has funded close to 19,700 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada, with a total Government of Canada investment of approximately $417 million.


“Through the many community-based projects we support each year, the Government of Canada helps seniors across Canada share their knowledge, skills and lived experiences in unique ways. NHSP projects reflect our ongoing commitment to ensure that seniors from coast to coast can be active and prosperous members of their communities.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Canada

“The Government of Canada is dedicated to ensuring that Canadian seniors can get involved in community activities that meet their needs and interests, tap their collective resources and experiences, and promote their participation. We support New Horizons for Seniors Program projects like this one so that seniors across Canada can lead and participate in local activities beneficial to many.”

– Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

“LGBTQ+ seniors have been the people working hard in our communities over the last 50 years to create more inclusion for diversity. Unfortunately many of these seniors become isolated once entering care settings. Through this project we hope to build a more vibrant community by connecting volunteers, LGBTQ+ seniors, allies, families and friends in innovative ways that celebrate the histories and resiliencies of our communities. This project is the first of its kind in this region that aims to build strong community through programming in settings that may thrive with more leadership engagement.”

– Stevie Forbes-Roberts, New Directions Project Coordinator for SPECTRUM’S Aging with Pride Committee.


Associated Links


– 30 –


For media enquiries, please contact:


Stevie Forbes-Roberts

New Directions Project Coordinator

SPECTRUM’S Aging with Pride Committee.



Kelly Milne
Executive Assistant
Office of Raj Saini, MP for Kitchener Centre



Emilie Gauduchon-Campbell
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development


Media Relations Office

Employment and Social Development Canada



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The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in the lives of others and their communities. Through the NHSP, the Government of Canada encourages seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others.

The objectives of the NHSP are:

  • promoting volunteerism among seniors;
  • engaging seniors in the community through mentoring of others;
  • expanding awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;
  • supporting social participation and inclusion of seniors; and
  • providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and/or programs for seniors.

NHSP funding supports community-based projects and pan-Canadian projects.

Community-based projects

Community-based project funding supports activities that engage seniors and address one or more of the program’s five objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance. These projects are eligible to receive up to $25,000 per year per organization in grant funding.

The NHSP 2016–2017 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects closed on July 29, 2016. It invited organizations to apply for funding of up to $25,000 for projects that help empower seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences with others and support communities by increasing their capacity to address local issues.

Close to 1,850 projects across Canada were approved through the NHSP 2016–2017 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects and are now in progress.

It is anticipated that the NHSP 2017–2018 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects will be launched in spring 2017.

For more information, visit New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Pan-Canadian projects

Pan-Canadian projects test and share best practices across the country and replicate interventions that have worked well in addressing seniors’ issues.

Projects that have received funding through the NHSP 2015–2016 Call for Proposals for Pan-Canadian Projects are using a collective impact approach where project partners work together to achieve measurable results in addressing social isolation among seniors.

Successful projects are up to three years in duration and are receiving funding up to $750,000.

More than $21 million is being made available for pan-Canadian projects funded through the NHSP 2015–2016 Call for Proposals.

For more information, visit New Horizons for Seniors Program.


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Honour and Support in the Face of the Orlando tragedy https://ourspectrum.com/honour-and-support-in-the-face-of-the-orlando-tragedy/ https://ourspectrum.com/honour-and-support-in-the-face-of-the-orlando-tragedy/#respond Fri, 01 Jul 2016 02:40:38 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=12549

Comment by Lyn McGinnis

Before the massacre on Sunday morning, June 12, in Orlando, Florida, I was a happy and secure gender variant polysexual queer. After these events I am slightly less secure. Perhaps my sense of safety was always an illusion. We may see positive incremental change in ninety-nine out of one hundred people, but what if that one extra person has a gun? We cannot live for them. We must live for the other ninety-nine, who are showing their true feelings now.

We are seeing an unprecedented dialogue between Queers and Muslims. LGBTIQ persons are warning against any retaliation on the Muslim community. Queers defending Muslims? When does that happen? When the veil drops revealing both communities are subjected to the same hostility. All oppressions are linked. By embracing this fact we may work together to discover the root causes of this fear and ignorance and address them positively.

There have been times when I have been subjected to overt prejudice. I have been transparently denied housing, I have been experienced abuse at work, I have been yelled at in the street. When I was young I was bashed in situations where I had no power. Worse, I suffered from an internalized voice disparaging and condemning me. Now, I never leave the house without pencilling in my eyebrows and checking my lipstick. I was born male but under no circumstances will I allow anyone to call me a ‘man.’ Truth be told, for some time now no one does. People automatically switch to feminine pronouns when they meet me for the first time. I am still looking for new pronouns beyond the gender binary.

While I credit part of this with the social evolution taking place in our culture. It also has to do with my own long struggle for self acceptance. Most people respond positively to those who are at home in their own skin, regardless of how differently they present to themselves. I have seen check out cashiers who used to scowl at me giving me warm smiles. Just by my existence I have triggered a process leading to their acceptance. While these personal steps help others farther back on their own journey, they are profoundly fortified by those who went before. Myself, and many others, stand on their shoulders. We now welcome bearing the next generation on ours. Despite this happy prognosis the work remains. Pockets of hatred and intolerance remain, individual and institutional. We must continue working to change these roadblocks to acceptance and understanding. We must not forget queers in other parts of the world knowing nothing of the evolution in our society and living in fear, not only from their neighbours and families, but from the state itself.

We have known setbacks and, yes, tragedies. The Orlando massacre will stand out as one of the worst of this generation. This is because we have already come so far. Let us honour those who have fallen and support each other every step of the way.

This comment originally appeared in the blog of Lee Horton-Carter on Saturday, June 18, 2016.

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A New Group for Older LGBTQ Adults https://ourspectrum.com/a-new-group-for-older-lgbtq-adults/ https://ourspectrum.com/a-new-group-for-older-lgbtq-adults/#comments Sat, 18 Jun 2016 05:59:44 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=12412

We see things differently as we age. Priorities shift. Social circles change.

Please join us for the organizational meeting of a discussion and social group for older adults – July 6, Wednesday at 7 PM at SPECTRUM (283 Duke St W, Unit 210, Kitchener). Our plan is to meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings of the month.

And if you’re concerned about whether the group is a fit for you, then try it out to see. We’re not checking birth certificates at the door. 🙂

Our first order of business will be choosing a suitable name for our group. This may be a bit tricky, because we live in such a youth-obsessed culture that many older adults cannot bear to think of themselves in terms like “old” – “older” – “senior” – “aging” – “grey” – “elder” – “vintage” — many of which are used in program names at other community centres in North America. We need a term that suggests “older” and we may also want a term that suggests LGBTQ. So put on your thinking caps when you join us on July 6.

In addition, we will do some thinking about what kinds of discussions and activities we might like to have.

We hope that this will be a step in the direction of creating a community support for us as we age.

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Saturday Symposium Begins https://ourspectrum.com/saturday-symposium-begins/ https://ourspectrum.com/saturday-symposium-begins/#respond Sat, 18 Jun 2016 04:35:41 +0000 http://ourspectrum.com/?p=12389

Announcing a new program at SPECTRUM on Saturdays, 2 – 5 PM, our Saturday Symposium, a space for discussion.


Join our open discussion on Saturday at 2 pm at SPECTRUM! We want to hear everyone’s opinion, exchange different views, and learn from each other to see the world from a different perspective. This event is open to everyone – whether you want to join the discussion yourself or just listen in.

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