Industry News

Don’t You Want Me Project and Pet Valu Celebrate Transgender Awareness Week, Announce Canadian Tour

Members of LGBTQ+ community invited to participate in project showcasing beauty, resilience of LGBTQ+ people and their rescue dogs

In celebration of Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-20), The Don’t You Want Me Project (DYWM) and Pet Valu announced last week they are bringing DYWM’s social impact project, which couples compelling images and personal narratives of LGBTQ+ people and the transformative impact their rescue dogs have on them, to Canadians from coast to coast. The two organizations are inviting members of the LGBTQ+ community to apply to sit for a photo session and share their story when the project visits their community.

“The bond between queer people and their rescue dogs and the stories and personal growth that spring from that non-judgemental, loving bond form the backbone of DYWM,” says DYWM co-founder Jack Jackson who is transgender. “To date half of the participants in the project are non-binary or trans. Thanks to Pet Valu’s support, I’m able to gather more stories of transformation, grow DYWM, and bring these much-needed voices to the wider public when I travel with the project across Canada.”

The cross-Canada tour will begin in Barrie, Ont. in February, then travel to Vancouver and Halifax in March, Calgary in April, Winnipeg in May and conclude in Toronto in June. In each city, the project will be displayed in a Pet Valu store. The public is invited to visit the store, view the exhibit and speak with Jackson who will be on site. Admission is free, although those who wish can make a donation online to DYWM.

At each stop on tour, Jackson will interview, photograph and film new local participants for the project. Individuals who identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community and have rescued a dog and have experienced firsthand how their dog changed their life are encouraged to apply to participate. Jackson says he will be using the three months before the tour begins to secure participants in all cities and establish relationships and build trust with them so they are comfortable sharing their story when they meet on tour.

“The Pet Valu family of stores is delighted to have the opportunity to bring DYWM to Canadians from coast to coast,” says Tanbir Grover, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, Pet Valu. “The project will make you cry, smile and understand, and we encourage everyone to come see it when it arrives in their community.”

More details on Pet Valu’s support of The Don’t You Want Me Project can be found here.

RELATED: Pet Valu Launches Month-Long Companions for Change Event to Help Pets in Need

About Pet Valu

Pet Valu is Canada’s leading retailer of pet food and pet-related supplies with over 600 corporate-owned or franchised locations across the country. For more than 40 years, Pet Valu has earned the trust and loyalty of pet parents by offering knowledgeable customer service, a premium product offering and engaging in-store services. Pet Valu’s neighbourhood stores offer more than 7,000 competitively-priced products, including a broad assortment of premium, super premium, holistic and award-winning proprietary brands. To learn more, please visit:

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Katherine Clark
Beacon Strategic Communications

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