Toronto-based Rainbow Railroad will receive IGLTA’s Pathfinder Award on 11 May at Voyage, the signature fundraising event for the IGLTA Foundation. Rainbow Railroad is a largely volunteer-based charitable organization that assists LGBTQ people seeking safe haven from state-enabled violence, persecution and the threat of death where homosexuality is criminalized.

The Pathfinder Award, part of the annual IGLTA Honors, is given to an individual, business, or organization that has made significant positive impact on their destination, demonstrating the highest standard of warmth and hospitality to the LGBTQ community.

“We are proud to recognize Rainbow Railroad as this year’s recipient of the Pathfinder Award,” said IGLTAF Board Chair Gary Murakami, CMP, CMM. “Given the current unstable global climate and relative uncertainties in some countries and cultures, organizations like Rainbow Railroad are even more essential to lead us forward in our fight for equality and the ability for people around the world to live authentically without fear of persecution or harassment.”

Since it was founded in 2006, Rainbow Railroad has enabled nearly 500 LGBTQ people to reach safe destinations – most recently, 57 LGBTQ individuals living in Chechnya, 31 of whom have now arrived in Canada.

“On behalf of everyone at Rainbow Railroad, and especially the individuals and families we usher to safety every year, I am grateful to accept this award,” said Rainbow Railroad Executive Director Kimahli Powell. “Our international network relies on cultivating partnerships with people and organizations that champion global equality and safe transit routes for everyone. The 2018 Pathfinder Award recognizes these shared values and illuminates opportunities to get even more people to safety.”

Voyage, an elegant evening at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York, will include a silent auction, cocktails, a networking dinner, and the IGLTA Honors, presented with the support of Visit Philadelphia, to celebrate those who have improved the global landscape of LGBTQ tourism. The IGLTA board of directors selects the Honors recipients, and presents them at Voyage, in conjunction with the IGLTA Annual Global Convention.