Ron Byers is a community leader and storyteller. Decades of work in Edmonton’s non-profit sector have given him an extensive resume of community service and a unique viewpoint on our city and its history. With a professional background in Customer Service Management he has shared his skills in several City festivals and organizations.
Ron has been actively involved in the 2SLGBTQ+ community for over 50 years. He has seen our Queer community evolve from behind congregating behind closed doors to dancing and parading in the streets. And has celebrated as we grow closer to being treated as being equal under the laws yet acknowledging the inequities we must still overcome.
He has left his mark with many groups such as the Alberta’s oldest 2SLGBTQ+ organization the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose where he was a Founding Member, the Pride Centre of Edmonton as part of developing its Aging With Pride Program and the Edmonton Pride Seniors Group. He also worked with the Edmonton Heritage Council and its Edmonton City As Museum Project (ECAMP) to bring stories of our Queer history to the public space. Ron also helped develop and monitor the Harm Reduction Program, PeerNPeer managed by the Queer & Trans Health Collective – QTHC (formerly Edmonton Men’s Health Collective).
These days he is involved with HIV Edmonton as a Positive Speaker and a Peer Associate developing a new Healthy Living program for folks living with HIV. At the Annual General Meeting in June 2023 he was awarded the Community Leadership Award which recognizes individuals, groups of individuals or organizations that have individually or collectively made a difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the greater Edmonton area.
He also created Pride Edmonton, an online resource for Pride Events, Pride product vendors and a Pride Organizers Directory. Ron took on the role as a Pride Promoter for Pride Month activities.
Additionally he is a consultant to Explore Edmonton in expanding their 2SLGBTQ+ content targeting queer travellers to our city. Ron has also been writing the annual Guide To Pride in Edmonton for Explore Edmonton using event information from his project Pride Edmonton.
And he consulted and was interviewed on a new documentary feature being funded by Telus Originals which explores the history and impact that the Flashback Gay Club had on our community in the late 70’s and the 80’s.
Ron is the founder of the Rainbow Story Hub Foundation which has allowed him to share stories on Edmonton’s queer history with insight and passion. His efforts in securing funding for an additional Archivist at the City of Edmonton Archives has lead to a unique opportunity partnering the City Archives, the Archive Society of Alberta, Edmonton Queer History Project, Edmonton Queer History Project and Rainbow Story Hub Foundation in a Community Archivist Advisory Committee which will ensure more of Edmonton’s Queer history is brought out of the vaults and into the hands of researchers.
In addition to a career in Customer Service Management for over 35 years, Ron Byers was also active on several Boards including Klondike Days Association, Jasper Place Gateway Association, Edmonton Pride Festival and served as a volunteer for Festival and Event organizations like Northlands Youth Talent Quest, Klondike Days Parade, Heritage Festival, Edmonton International Air Show, Capital Pride Edmonton and HIV Edmonton,
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