We, the queer community, might be forgiven if we have less than positive reactions to religious sites as they still often house repressive congregations. Nonetheless, Winnipeg has many sacred sites that have been reinvented to truly become places of significance indiscriminately and in a welcoming way to everyone.
Some were intentional, like the West End Cultural Centre housed in an old church. It now serves as a place where the best musicians have a venue to express themselves in any way they wish.
Some are unintentional, like the ruins of la Cathédrale de Saint-Boniface, where locals gather in the historical open aired space to share a drink or a joint and contemplate their future and their relationship to our ancestors. And so it should be. With Louis Riel’s partial remains not far away and the mighty Red River flowing in front of us, this becomes a perfect place to tap into our spiritual side, free of dogma of religious sects like the one at our back.
Where our community gave places of importance to churches, today we can still give value to these sites by reclaiming them with a purpose that fits our values and philosophies of a progressive society.
–Eric Plamondon is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer. Jacqueline Young calls Winnipeg home. She loves this city and its amazing art and architecture community. She has a background in both architecture and photography.