Trigger warning: The following story contains a message that uses homophobic language.

Valbella Gourmet Foods faces major backlash after homophobic response to Pride of Canmore made the rounds on social media.

Canmore Pride had contacted the gourmet food company about a barbecue they were hosting in September.

The response horrified many.

Valbella’s response to Canmore Pride

We contacted Canmore Pride and they responded as follows:

“Canmore Pride, with the support of Banff Pride and other local professionals, launched a business training program called Bow Valley Pride Network to educate businesses on how the concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion relate to the 2SLGBTQ+ community and how they can make their business [a] a safer and more inclusive space. The transphobic response we received from a local business today further reinforces the importance of education in our community to keep our community members safe.

“We encourage members of our community to take care of themselves during this time and know they are loved and supported by many.

“Calgary Distress Center: 403-266-4357. Canada Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366.

“If you would like to make a cash donation, we accept donations by electronic transfer to [email protected].

“Also please note that our website is currently under construction due to a lack of funds but after today we may have the financial capacity to rebuild it sooner.”

The Crush Collective received the same email from Valbella Gourmet Foods and had this response on social media:

Following the post shared on social media, homophobic email immediately gained traction.

Several companies have cut ties with Valbella Gourmet Foods, which has been around for over 40 years.

We contacted Valbella Gourmet Foods, as well as Jeff von Rotz, but none responded. They did, however, release a statement on social media.

No further explanation was given as to how von Rotz, who signed the email to Canmore Pride as owner, was removed from his position.

The Town of Canmore has also lent its support to Canmore Pride on social media.

The Canmore Pride event in question will be part of a weekend of activities from September 15-18.


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