10 for 2011: making a difference

Here is our annual list of ten individuals and groups that we think made a difference in Vancouver’s LGBTQ community in 2011.

ARTS: Dave Deveau + Fighting Chance Productions

Dave Deveau

Actor and playwright Dave Deveau continues to be a force for queer theatre in Vancouver.  Not only did his shows Tiny Replicas and My Funny Valentine make our theatre top ten lists two years running, he was also the recipient of the Sydney Risk Award for Outstanding Original Script at this year’s Jessie Awards.  Plus his alter-ego Peach Cobblah continues to entertain East Vancouver AND we found out he can crack a mean whip too!

Plus: this one was tough with so many great organizations focused on the arts but this year we’re saluting Fighting Chance Productions. While not a purely LGBTQ theatre company, Ryan Mooney and his team continue to showcase our stories year after year.

ADVOCACY: Ross Johnstone + Board of Directors & Staff of Out On Screen

Ross JohnstoneThis is such a wide category but we struggled with coming up with a better category name. These are the people that bring us closer together, that help define who we are and to make life better for all of us. Our pick this year is Ross Johnstone who continues to lead Out In Schools – spreading the message of tolerance to kids across this province.

Plus: despite suffering recent bullying themselves, the team at Out On Screen continues to deliver for our community with Out In Schools and the Queer Film Festival.  Let’s hope they can get back to their work in 2012.

SPORTS: Barb Snelgrove + the volunteers of the 2011 North America OutgamesBarb Snelgrove

Barb Snelgrove in the sports category?  With her prolific work in our community Barb could have popped up in numerous categories but given her tireless efforts to helping make the 2011 North America Outgames such a success we just had to acknowledge her here!  Megamouth? Yes, and proud of it!

Plus: last year we acknowledged the work of the Board of Directors of the 2011 North America Outgames. This year we salute all the men and women who volunteered countless hours to put on a great games.

COMMUNITY: Isolde N Barron + The Dogwood Monarchist Society

Isolde N BarronIsolde N Barron (aka Cameron Mackenzie) is a force outside Vancouver’s traditional gayborhood.  This performer, actor, director and no-holds-barred drag queen leaves no doubt she is the queen of East Van. That her/his husband is Dave Deveau is just icing for our list this year.

Plus: this long-standing charitable organization celebrated its ruby anniversary in 2011.  But more important than forty years of The Dogwood Monarchist Society, it is forty years of raising funds for countless organizations in our community.

POLITICS: Ellen Woodsworth + Burnaby School District

Ellen WoodsworthDown but not out, former Vancouver City Councillor Ellen Woodsworth narrowly saw defeat in this year’s Vancouver municipal election.  Vancouver and our community lost a great advocate but we’re waiting with anticipation to see the next chapter.

Plus: seems school bullies can be found in Burnaby outside the classroom as well.  Kudos to the Burnaby School District for not waffling and passing its anti-homophobia policy.

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