What Does "One for All" Mean to You?

June 30, 2022

For the past week and a half, Saint John and the Towns by the Bay have come together in support of our Saint John Sea Dogs as they achieved victory in the 2022 Memorial Cup. Although many of the celebrations took place within the rink, they also expanded across the City, with daily concerts at Bash on the Bay, full-day activities at Fan Fest, a week-long Ball Hockey Tournament, and a variety of training sessions led by hockey professionals. These celebrations also spread into the streets with the creation of the One for All District.

The One for All District transformed the uptown core of Saint John into a hub of family-friendly activities that celebrated the diversity of the city. With a new theme each night, visitors and residents of the region were able to be immersed in new cultures, traditions, and activities and experience firsthand what it means to be "one for all".

The District held events showcasing youth, families, the LGBTQ2+ community, the Francophone community, the maritime community, and the multicultural community. To understand better what the theme of "One for All" has meant to these communities, we spoke to a few of the key partners that made some of the events possible:

Chroma NB

Chroma: Pride, Inclusion, Equality Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides support for 2SLGBTQIA+ people in the Saint John region. The organization is committed to advocating for and collaborating with the community, while providing education to all. 


As one of the main organizers of the One for All District's LGBTQ2+ Day, the first pride event ever to be associated with the Memorial Cup, Chroma took to the stage to share what One for All means to them.


Specifically, Chroma's Board President Alex Ash expressed how important it is to open up Canada's national sport of hockey on all levels to all people, regardless of sexual and gender identity. They acknowledged that "there is still work to be done on increasing inclusion and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities, among other excluded groups, both in hockey and the wider world. But events like [the One for All District] show the Canadian Hockey League's and the Saint John Sea Dog's commitment to doing the work."

Tanya James, the Operations Manager for Chroma, also spoke to what it has been like seeing the Saint John region come together around various communities. She shared how she had listened to Brock McGillis speak during one of the Memorial Cup Speaker Series, and he had shared about the ongoing struggles many folks in the LGBTQ2+ community face in sports.


"To see Saint John come together for an LGBTQ2+ night is a big step forward towards being One for All."

The Chroma NB Team at the LGBTQ2+ One for All District (left to right): Kenny Donahue (Volunteer); Alex Ash (Board President); Tanya James (Operations Manager); Daniel Meza (Social Media and Communications Coordinator)


Normand Hector, otherwise known as Normani, is a queer black man/drag queen from Saint John who brought the One for All District directly to the Memorial Cup games as a performer.


"When you perform in drag for over 5000 hockey fan's, you know things are changing," he shared on his Instagram (@normand_normani_red_carpetprod).

To Normani, One for All means "no divisions, no hate, listen to understand and not react. Another person's differences could teach us a new understanding."

Saint John Newcomers Centre (SJNC)

SJNC is a go-to non-profit organization that works to help all newcomers to Saint John settle down and integrate into the local community. It strives to improve the cultural, social, and economic well-being of citizens and newcomers of all backgrounds in Greater Saint John and to promote equality for all cultural groups. This organization is committed to seeing diverse groups of newcomers play an integral role within their communities by fully contributing their talent, skills, and culture to the region to enrich the lives of all citizens who call Greater Saint John their home.


As one of the main organizers of the One for All District's Multicultural Day, SJNC's Managing Director, Mohamed Bagha shared, "One for All from our perspective is to get all cultures involved into the well-being of the local community, together bringing enrichment value that only diversity can manifest."

The Centre's recent International Culture Fest is a noteworthy example of seeing "One for All" in action. This event was a huge success in amplifying diverse voices while reaching new audiences. It created a mosaic of cultures from across the world who actively engaged in the event to showcase their talent, skills, and culture for the community they now call home.

"All for one means that diversity can enrich everyone’s life when knowledge of others’ cultures is shared and learnt from each other. That is how the event was meant to be at first: to get people to enjoy firsthand experiences of different heritages, flavours, and stories," Mohamed expressed. "Through such activities, we learn to understand and value other cultures, making us more vested in the idea of taking better care of each other and being united in solving community-wide problems."

Learn more about what "One for All" means to community partners like Chroma NB and the Saint John Newcomers Centre, as well as local drag queen, Normani.