Newmarket has unveiled a new rainbow “Friendship Bench” on downtown Main Street to commemorate Gillian Barker, a York Pride organizer who passed away in 2020.

Gillian was a past Chair of Linking Georgina and was involved over the years giving her time and efforts to support community issues.

On the bench, a plaque in memory of Gillian was placed saying the following.

Gillian Barker (1960 – 2020) a cherished resident of the Newmarket community for over 30 years is being commemorated and honoured by York Pride with the installation of the Newmarket Rainbow Friendship Bench. Gillian, a psychotherapist by profession, well known for her strong values of fairness and inclusivity served as a Pride organizer and Board member for well over a decade was also one of the founders of the annual York Youth Film Festival. Gillian made an enormous contribution to her community in Newmarket and forged many important partnerships including with the Chippewa of Georgina Island and York Region Pride. She will be remembered with love and fondness by all who knew her for her hearty laugh, her energy, kindness, non-judgmental mind-set, and her passion to create an inclusive community where people felt comfortable to be them-selves.

Thank you, Gillian, for your committed work to the community. You will be greatly missed.



Skip to content