The Pride Report

Rainbow Retro Thrift Shop Saying Farewell After Four Fabulous Years

After four years of providing fabulous and affordable second-hand options to savvy thrifters in Moose Jaw, Rainbow Retro Thrift Shop will be closing its doors.

Rainbow Retro’s last day of operation will be Saturday, September 24, 2022.

“We opened Rainbow Retro with three goals in mind,” said Cole Ramsey, Chair of Moose Jaw Pride’s Board of Directors. “One, to provide a stable source of income to Moose Jaw Pride outside of grant funding and charitable donations. Two, to create a safer space where Moose Jaw Pride could both connect with the general public and be a social hub for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. And three, to provide sustainable and affordable second-hand goods, particularly to low-income folks, since underemployment and poverty are significant issues that affect the 2SLGBTQ+ community.”

“While we are sad to let go of Rainbow Retro, it simply did not become the source of income we had hoped for. We believe it is time for our position in the community to take a different form.”

A Proud Legacy

The Board of Directors is incredibly proud of what Rainbow Retro has accomplished in the community outside of its role as a social enterprise.

Moving Moose Jaw Pride’s office and drop-in centre from St Andrew’s United Church to a location within the Rainbow Retro building gave the 2SLGBTQ+ community a degree of visibility that it had never had in Moose Jaw before. Over the years, thousands of visitors were welcomed into a friendly and accepting community space. A rainbow bench and a colourful mural depicting significant events in Moose Jaw’s 2SLGBTQ+ history now shine outside the building.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Rainbow Retro also played host to the Neighbourhood Warming Centre. With the incredible support of the entire Moose Jaw community, the Warming Centre provided food, shelter, supplies, and peer support to people who needed it during cold winters and hot summers.

“Rainbow Retro started as an idea to become self-sufficient while providing a safer space and a needed service to our community,” said Nik Crawford, secretary of the Board, “and I got to watch as it became so much more than just that. The pride I felt and still feel about the impact that this space and this store created for Moose Jaw residents is overwhelming. I’m sorry to see it go, but between the mural, the rainbow bench, and the genuine difference it has made in people’s lives, I believe the footprint that Rainbow Retro leaves will remain for years to come.”

Grand Closing BBQ Bash

The community is invited to celebrate the last hurrah of Rainbow Retro Thrift Shop at a Grand Closing BBQ Bash on Saturday, September 24th. A free hotdog lunch will be available to the first 100 customers between 12:00 and 2:00pm, and guests are invited to find one last treasure (or ten!) before it’s time for Rainbow Retro to shut its doors and sashay away.

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