About Us

Capital Rainbow Refuge is a group of more than two dozen primarily LGBTQ members of the Ottawa community. Founded in 2010, we are a diverse group of professionals, lawyers, law students and community members who were inspired by a Globe and Mail commentary written by uOttawa law professor Nicole LaViolette that called on LGBTQ communities in Canada to sponsor sexual and gender minority refugees.

Group Photo

We hope to encourage LGBTQ communities across the country to take up the challenge and embrace the Canada’s private sponsorship program in support of LGBTQ refugees. One of our members, David Pepper started North Star Triangle project, travelling to 22 communities across the country to urge LGBTQ communities to embrace sponsorship of sexual minority refugees. We are heartened that since then many others have joined us by founding groups to sponsor LGBTQ refugees.

We want to harness the talent and generosity of our community in support of refugees. Capital Rainbow Refuge has received support and financial contributions from a number of prominent gay and lesbian individuals and organizations in Ottawa, particularly from the uOttawa Faculty of Law. We also learned a great deal from faith groups about refugee sponsorship, and are especially grateful to the Unitarian congregation who partnered with us to accelerate the application process. We’ve been encouraged by this support, and first put it to use in 2012 when we welcomed a lesbian refugee couple from SE Asia. We are proud to report that since then, we have been able to participate in the sponsorship of several other gay and lesbian individuals and couples and that they are all doing well into our welcoming community. We have since move ahead with other sponsorships especially from the Middle East. It has been a heartwarming experience for everyone involved.

Bolstered by our success, we have been approached by others in our community, and have grown to mentor several distinct groups, with names such as Baker's Dozen, Northern Lights Refuge, Rainbow Brick Road, Rainbow New Beginnings, ReNaissance and Starhaven. Each is creating a nest egg, using our charitable Capital Rainbow account, and are open to donations from like-minded members of our community, to support new sponsorship applications. Our community is currently sponsoring and settling about 20 cases. We’re confident we can provide a safe, welcoming environment for other refugees in the future.

For further information, contact us

Pride 2019 Ottawa

Chad Speech at Pride Breakfast

Lisa Hébert, Coordinator


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