Thank You to the Kitchener Sports Association

We’d like to thank the Kitchener Sports Association for a grant of $3,500 that will allow us to purchase sports equipment for our 2SLGBTQIA+ Multi-Sport Drop-In!

The Multi-Sport Drop-In is totally free and is run out of the Downtown Community Centre and Stanley Park Community Centre in Kitchener. Each week we play a variety of sports like badminton, pickleball, volleyball, and basketball. From time to time we invite guest coaches for special events like Muay Thai and yoga.

Almost every participant that comes, comes because they want to meet other queer folks and move in a space exclusively for queer folks. Participants are at all levels and abilities. We have some people who are brand new to sports, while others are trying out for national sports teams. We’ve created a space that allows all abilities to play and have fun.

We’re also starting a Queer Run Club! Stay tuned for details.

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Refreshed 2SLGBTQIA+ Terminology Guide

Spectrum is pleased to share our refreshed 2SLGBTQIA+ Terminology Guide! This was made possible thanks to the work of co-op student, Sarah Amoah.

Below, Sarah shares her thoughts on her co-op placement experience.

My name is Sarah Amoah (she/they). I am a Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, graduate from University of Western Ontario-King’s College and am currently completing a postgraduate certificate in Community and Social Services Management at Conestoga College. I am grateful to Spectrum for hosting me as a co-op student for 10 weeks and to Scott Williams for supporting me as a placement supervisor. As a Black, queer, woman with a non-visible disability, I am grateful for the opportunity to strengthen my knowledge of 2SLGBTQIA+ concepts, forms of discrimination, and community services in the region. I found it easy to become emersed in the content as I have so much passion and interest in the topics.  

This placement has expanded my understanding of the variety of leadership and management roles that make up successful community service organizations. I have been relishing in the opportunity to continuously learn about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, terminology, and relevant concepts. This experience has enhanced my understanding of professional leadership in community service organizations that work with marginalized demographics such as the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. 

Having the opportunity to sit in on board and fundraising meetings and participate in the organization’s Rainbow Diversity Training has strengthened my connection to my identity as a queer person and to the Waterloo 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This experience has expanded my awareness of how important community mobilization and unification is for impactful community service. It is important to recognize how smaller organizations without access to an abundance of funding run with the help of volunteers, board of directors and general community support. 

Thank you, Spectrum, you will always have a place in my heart!  

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Launch of Youth Under the Rainbow

We are so excited to officially announce our brand new Youth Under the Rainbow Programming! 

As previously announced we have received a generous two-year Children Initiatives grant from the Lyle S. Hallman foundation. This grant has allowed us to create the Youth Under the Rainbow program, provide Rainbow Diversity Training to our organizational partners, and hire a full-time coordinator to lead this wonderful work.

Spectrum has noticed a need for safe and supportive spaces, particularly for 2SLGBTQ+ children ages 4-12. As such our Youth Under the Rainbow Programming looks to meet this need by partnering with some wonderful organizations including the Waterloo Public Library, Kitchener Public Library, The Region of Waterloo Public Libraries, Idea Exchange in Cambridge, and Artshine. 

We are thrilled to announce that our first program will be starting from May 6th – June 10 at Artshine! This Program will run every Saturday from 10-11:30 am. Registration is open now.

Our Artshine Program will be a FREE registered program for 2SLGBTQ+ children and allies ages 8-12, to come and create art at Studio 44.  We will be running this Program three times a year, each with six sessions. Due to space, we are only able to provide 15 spots a session, however, we encourage individuals to sign up for one or more sessions as we will be exploring colour through a wide range of mediums.

Our second style of programming is in collaboration with our wonderful public libraries which will provide free programming focusing on ages 4-10. These programs will focus on providing a safe and supportive space for 2SLGBTQ+ children, families, and allies to make some crafts, have fun making connections with others, and reading supportive and inclusive literature. Keep an eye out on our calendar, as many of these programs will be starting this July!

During programs, we will also be providing evaluation surveys to participants to give us feedback on this program, and how we might improve it. Data will be collected anonymously and shared with the community to see help us understand how these programs have affected the participants’ sense of belonging.

We can’t wait to see all of you! Make sure to keep an eye out on our calendar, for program dates. times, and locations.

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Multi-Sport Drop-In Expansion

Since April 2022, we have been partnering with the Stanley Park Community Centre to offer the 2SLGBTQIA+ Multi-Sport Drop-In on Saturdays. This program has run seasonally with short breaks of a few weeks between sessions. It’s been extremely successful with up to 20 participants attending each week.

As announced earlier this month, we have received a grant from Sport Canada to expand this program and conduct a robust evaluation of it in partnership with the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. We will now be able to offer a second Multi-Sport Drop-In on Saturday afternoons at the Downtown Community Centre in Kitchener. We hope that participants in these sessions will help us by completing evaluation surveys. This grant also includes funds that will allow us to provide Rainbow Diversity Training to as many as 200 City of Kitchener employees who work with the community centres.

In our ongoing efforts to provide more programming in Cambridge, we have partnered with Kinbridge Community Association to run a third Multi-Sport Drop-In on Saturday afternoons in Cambridge!

Spectrum is very grateful to our partners at the City of Kitchener community centres, Kinbridge Community Association, and Wilfrid Laurier University for helping us make this programming possible. We are also grateful to Sport Canada for recognizing the importance of creating opportunities for 2SLGBTQIA+ people to participate in sports and recreation.

Please Note: Though these Drop-Ins take place on most Saturdays, they do not take place EVERY Saturday. Please be sure to check our calendar for details.

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Rainbow Pages Online Directory

We are pleased to announce the launch of our online Rainbow Pages directory!

This project was made possible by an extension of the 2SLGBTQ Community Capacity Fund grant administered by Women and Gender Equality Canada.

The Rainbow Pages exists as a community publication, printed annually. You can find the 2022 edition here, and the 2021 edition here. It now also exists as a searchable online database that can be updated at any time!

Visit the online directory at https://ourspectrum.com/rd/ 

Organizations can create an account and make updates to their listings at any time. We have created a tutorial video and written instructions to help people make use of the directory.

If you know a queer-owned, or queer-friendly business that should be listed in the Rainbow Pages please share the link!

Start exploring the directory today!

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Introducing Our New Executive Director

We are pleased to introduce our new Executive Director, Scott Williams. Many people will know Scott as the project coordinator of our 2021 capacity-building project but his history with SPECTRUM goes back to 2013 when he volunteered as our librarian. In 2014-2015 Scott served as our Board Secretary, and he continued as a volunteer through 2018, especially assisting with our charitable status and fundraising efforts.

Prior to 2021, Scott served as Communications and Development Coordinator at KW Counselling Services where he was part of the OK2BME team for several years. In 2015, Scott began the GivingTuesday Waterloo Region movement which he chaired through 2017. Scott volunteers with the United Way Waterloo Region Communities Community Investments Team, and the Grand River Film Festival’s selection committee. Previously, he has volunteered on the City of Kitchener Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Waterloo Region Mental Wellness Network, and the Children and Youth Planning Table Communications Advisory Team.

Scott holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a diploma in Film Production from Vancouver Film School. He is a graduate of the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation’s Engage!KW program. At WLU, Scott served as Co-President of GLOBAL (Gay, Lesbian, Or Bisexual, At Laurier), the precursor to the Rainbow Centre. He was part of the volunteer committee who organized the first Pride Prom in Waterloo Region in 2003. Scott wrote the Love My Hood grant application that resulted in the 2018 installation of the rainbow crosswalk in Kitchener.
Connect with Scott at scott@ourspectrum.com

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Guidelines for SPECTRUM groups participants

SPECTRUM’s goal is to create a safe and confidential environment in which participants feel that their contribution (especially disclosing their experiences and feelings) will be respected.

To that end, we ask participants:

  • to treat all people with civility, respect, integrity and fairness
  • to respect the confidentiality of those in the group
  • to abide by the principles, values and laws accepted by Canadian society
  • to be mindful of the amount of time that they are speaking, so that other participants have the option of time to speak
  • to engage in respectful dialogue with regard to racial, sexual, political, religious or government policy; racism and sexism will not be tolerated
  • to avoid interrupting people
  • to avoid making generalizations about groups of people in the rainbow community since this might leave some participants feeling marginalized or judged
  • to avoid making assumptions about the gender identity or sexual orientation of participants; they will disclose this themselves if they wish to; also avoid asking trans folk intrusive questions – about hormone therapy or surgery.
  • to avoid suggesting that there is one correct way of behaving or living – for example, by giving unrequested advice to participants

In order to provide a safe environment for all, we ask that participants refrain from using, possessing or distributing alcohol or recreational substances at Spectrum or during our programs and events.

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WAGE Grant

2021 in Review: We’ve Come So Far…

In January of 2021, SPECTRUM embarked on Project Excelsior, a landmark capacity-expanding project, which was made possible by a generous grant from the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund. This project was envisioned and planned by our former ED, Jim Parrott, and former Trans Services Coordinator Melissa Kennedy, who spearheaded the grant application process to secure a transformational grant of $279,782.

Thanks to that grant, the Project Excelsior team as well as SPECTRUM’s volunteers, Board, and community partners have made incredible strides to expand our ability to affirm and support the well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ people in Waterloo Region.


From August 2020 – July 2021, SPECTRUM had:

  • More than 2000 participants across 796 Zoom Sessions, totaling 344,345 minutes of Zoom sessions!
  • An average of 180 Zoom participants each month
  • 270 people participated in our RDT pilot workshops
  • 178 people attended virtual Pride events
  • Through our partnership with OK2BME, 129 counseling sessions were provided for 48 clients between August 2020 and June 2021

In addition, we’ve added seven new programs to our roster, including:

  • A 2SLGBTQ+ Book Club in partnership with Waterloo Public Library
  • A Queer Crafting Circle in partnership with Button Factory Arts
  • A 2SLGBTQ+ Yoga Group in partnership with The Branches
  • A 2SLGBTQ+ Mindful Movement dance therapy group
  • A Social Networking Group for Young 2SLGBTQ+ Adults aged 25-40
  • A 2SLGBTQ+ Youth Peer Support Group for ages 18-25
  • A Transgender Peer Support Group for Cambridge

And we’re not finished yet! We know there is still a need for programming for Black, Indigenous, and racialized people, programming for people with underrepresented genders and orientations, and programming for children, parents, and families. We’re currently working with consultants from local Black and Asian communities to help us understand the needs of those communities and how we can create programming and spaces that are accessible and relevant for them.

New SPECTRUM Resources

The SPECTRUM team has also worked hard to create and launch the following resources for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and their allies in 2021:

And, just wait until we welcome you back to our new physical space which is more than double the size and will be decorated with a mural by Trisha Abe…

We need support to keep going!

We’ve accomplished so much this past year, but there’s so much more than needs to be done! We hope that you’ll include SPECTRUM in your year-end giving to help us continue to keep our doors open and to allow us to provide programs and services that have been life-saving for some members of our community.

Click here to make a donation to SPECTRUM today!

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Grant enables SPECTRUM to launch new free social groups for 2SLGBTQ+ adults!

Thanks to a grant from the Kitchener Waterloo Community Fund and the Uvaro Community Fund, SPECTRUM is proud to be able to present a series of new social groups for 2SLGBTQ+ adults at no cost to participants!

Earlier this year, we conducted a series of surveys to learn more about what people like about our programs and services, and where people felt there were gaps. The feedback we received helped us hone in on a few key areas for new programming. These new groups will be run as pilots for one year. During that time, we’ll collect feedback from the participants to help us decide whether we should continue to run them going forward.

2SLGBTQ+ Book Club:

2SLGBTQ+ Book Club Banner with SPECTRUM and WPL logos

In partnership with Waterloo Public Library, the 2SLGBTQ+ Book Club will give participants the opportunity to discuss books by 2SLGBTQ+ authors, or books that explore 2SLGBTQ+ experiences. We will usually meet on the last Monday of each month at 7pm at the Main Library (35 Albert St, Waterloo, ON N2L 5E2). We have pre-selected books for the first four months but will be accepting suggestions for future titles from participants.

The first four books:

  • September 27, 2021 – Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family by Amanda Jette Knox
  • October 25, 2021 – This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  • November 29, 2021 – I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
  • December 20, 2021 – Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

In order to ensure compliance with COVID protocols participants will need to register in advance to attend. You will be able to do this soon at the WPL website. Watch our social media for updates.

For those who prefer virtual discussions you can join our group on Goodreads.

2SLGBTQ+ Yoga:

2SLGBT+ Yoga banner with SPECTRUM and Branches Yoga logo

In partnership with The Branches Yoga, the free 2SLGBTQ+ Yoga Group will meet once per month (on the second or third Sunday depending upon holidays) at The Branches studio. For the first session on September 12th at 7:30pm, participants will gather on the peaceful outdoor deck for a beginner’s level yoga experience with instructor Angela. No previous yoga experience is required and this is a space for EVERY body. This is an exclusive space for 2SLGBTQ+-identified people and trans and non-binary folks are especially encouraged to join us. 

The Branches Yoga is located close to downtown Kitchener at 9 Samuel St, Kitchener, ON N2H 1N9, one block from the intersection of Frederick and Lancaster.

(Please note that the space is not yet wheelchair accessible, though there are plans to install a ramp to the front door. The main floor practice space is five steps up from street level. We apologize for this lack of accessibility.)

In order to ensure compliance with COVID protocols participants will need to register in advance to attend. You will be able to do this soon at https://thebranchesyoga.com. Watch our social media for updates.

Mindful Movement Group:

Mindful Movement Group banner with SPECTRUM logo

This free group will meet once per month. Participants will explore self-care and connection to community through movement with facilitator, Joscelyn Guindon RDMT (qualifying) MSW RSW. 

This group will explore movement and dance, and how we can connect with others and with ourselves in an open and meaningful way. Participants will use movement and dance to support being present and exploring new ways to move more freely, while also focusing on having fun and enjoying dance together. This group is for EVERY body. It is trans and non-binary affirming. There is no technique or dance experience needed.

In order to ensure compliance with COVID protocols participants will need to register in advance to attend. You will be able to do this soon on our website. Watch our social media for updates.

Queer Craft Circle:

Banner for Queer Craft Circle with SPECTRUM and Button Arts logo

In partnership with Button Factory Arts, we are pleased to offer Queer Craft Circle. This free group will meet monthly on Zoom to create crafts with local artists. Explore a variety of artistic mediums in this fun and casual group. We will meet on the last Friday of every month from 5:30-7:30pm. All supplies are included and will be ready for pickup at Button Factory Arts (25 Regina St S, Waterloo, ON N2J 1R8) before meetups. Registration is limited to 10 participants per group and is limited to 2SLGBTQ+-identified people in Waterloo Region. Registration will be open soon at buttonfactoryarts.ca. Our first circle will meet on Friday September 24th at 5:30pm.

2SLGBTQ+ Young Adults Networking Group:

Banner for Young Adults Networking Group with SPECTRUM logo.

This free group for 2SLGBTQ+ young professionals aged 25-40 will meet once per month at a restaurant in Waterloo Region. Participants will enjoy a free meal (not including alcoholic beverages) and the opportunity to network and socialize with other young 2SLGBTQ+ adults. The restaurant will be announced in advance and you will need to register to attend. Space will be limited! Our first meeting will take place at Waterloo Brewing on September 24th from 6-8pm. Registration will open soon.

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Job Posting: Co-Facilitator, Networking Group for Young 2SLGBTQ+ Professionals

Job Posting

Co-Facilitator, Networking Group for Young 2SLGBTQ+ Professionals

Part-time, Contract

SPECTRUM, Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space

Posting Date: August 25, 2021

Closing Date: September 19, 2021

Thanks to a grant from the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation and the Uvaru Community Fund, SPECTRUM is able to fund two co-facilitators to run a  new pilot social group for young 2SLGBTQ+ professionals aged 25-40.

This will be a pilot project for one year with the potential for the group to continue based on its success. 

Each facilitator will work three hours per month; two hours to run the group itself, and one hour for prep and evaluation.

$30/hour, three hours per month, 11 months

Pay will be by cheque, once per month

Reporting to our Project Coordinator (or designate), the co-facilitators will work together to facilitate a two-hour group every month at a different Waterloo Region restaurant. The facilitators will pick a location for each month and work with the venue to book a reservation and plan menu options within our budget. The facilitators will work to encourage discussion and networking with the goal of an increased sense of belonging and social inclusion for participants (Young 2SLGBTQ+ adults aged 25-40).


  • Must be 25 years of age or older
  • Must be able to commit to working one night per month
  • Must have access to reliable transportation within Waterloo Region
  • Must identify as 2SLGBTQ+
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience facilitating groups
  • Must have a successful police check for the vulnerable sector that is no more than six months old.

Group Details:

  • For up to 15 participants
  • The first dinner for September 24, 2021 will be held at Waterloo Brewing and facilitated by our Acting Executive Director.
  • Monthly thereafter, the co-facilitators will work with the group participants to select a dinner from a local restaurant
  • The co-facilitators will encourage participants to complete our online evaluation survey after each monthly event. 
  • The co-facilitators will compile the evaluation results for analysis by SPECTRUM staff.
  • Co-facilitators may contribute to final grant report for the KWCF.

Application Details:

  • Email us a cover letter and resume with the subject line APPLICATION: Young Professionals Group Co-Facilitator by September 19, 2021
  • Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted
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