Here is our list of ten individuals and groups that we think made a difference in Vancouver’s LGBTQ community during 2010.
There are so many people and groups in our community that make a difference, in the arts, community, sports, advocacy, politics and everything in between. Trying to come up with a list of just ten is an almost impossible task but for what it is worth here are ten, in no particular order, that we think made a big difference to our community in 2010:
Arts: David C Jones + Queer Arts Festival
We’ve spent a great deal of energy here at GayVancouver.Net (Gay Vancouver Online) on the arts and highlighting LGBTQ artists and productions where we can. One person in our local community that continues to pop-up at every turn is funny man David C Jones. Founder of the queer comedy troupe The Bobbers, host of the OUTtv show Tops & Bottoms, creator of the Laughter Mission, and all-around artsy guy, David is both a tireless supporter of and member of the LGBTQ arts community in Vancouver.
Plus: this one was tough with so many great organizations focused on the arts but this year we’re saluting the Pride in Art Society who bring us the annual Queer Arts Festival.
Community: Jennifer Breakspear + Board of Directors & Staff of the Vancouver Pride Society
This 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 Jennifer Breakspear, Executive Director of Qmunity. Through her leadership Vancouver has a world-class community resource with great plans for the future.
Plus: the Vancouver Pride Society can sometimes take a lot of heat from our community but you cannot deny the work done in helping to make Pride in Vancouver the highlight of our community’s social calendar each year. We acknowledge the Board of Directors and staff of the Vancouver Pride Society.
Sports: Dean Nelson + Board of Directors of the 2011 North America Outgames
Without dipping our toes too far into stereotypes, the sports category is probably not one would expect here but we couldn’t end the year without acknowledging the work done during the 2010 Olympics. We know we’re going to take some heat here given Whistler is not usually part of our coverage area but with Pride Houses simultaneously operating in both Whistler and Vancouver we thought we could get away with it. Lead by Dean Nelson, for the first time in Olympic history LGBTQ athletes and spectators had a visible place to call their own. The international attention on the Pride Houses was massive.
Plus: with the 2011 North America Outgames scheduled to take place in 2011 we wanted to wish the Board of Directors good luck as they prepare to welcome the world once again to Vancouver.
Advocacy: Ryan Clayton + City of Vancouver LGBTQ Advisory Committee
There are a large number of people that work hard to help advance rights for our community and raise awareness on a huge number of issues that directly and indirectly affect our community. This year we acknowledge Ryan Clayton, youth advocate, facilitator with Out In Schools, current co-chair of the City of Vancouver LGBTQ Advisory Committee and organizer of the Vancouver Vigil in the Park Against Bullying earlier this year.
Plus: okay this last one may be a little self-indulgent since one of our own is a member, but this group working at the municipal government level deserves some recognition and exposure. One of the only types of its kind in Canada, the City of Vancouver LGBTQ Advisory Committee is working to help make Vancouver a better place to live by providing advice and direction to Vancouver’s Mayor and Council on issues to our community.
Politics: Spencer Chandra Herbert + Bill Siskay
Love them or hate them we are lucky in the Vancouver area to be represented by a number of politicians from our own community. Our pick this year is Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for the Vancouver-West End riding. Spencer has not only been advocate for renter’s rights but has stood up against the arts cuts made by the current Liberal government and he’s not afraid to stand-up for our community.
Plus: at the Federal level we have a couple out politicians in our neck of the woods but this year we recognize MLA Bill Siskay for Burnbaby-Douglas who has just announced he will not be running in the next Federal election.