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Ottawa Activists Honoured

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Carmen Paquette
Humanitarian of the Year Award Recipient Louise Tardif with presenter Brandon Matheson as presenter Kerry Beckett looks on.
Community Activist of the Year Award Recipient Bruce Bursey
Achievement in Sports & Athletics Award Recipient Sue Smee
Gary Sealey receiving Volunteer of the Year Award
Dale Lockhart receiving AIDS Activist of the Year Award
LOCAL activists and Community members gathered last Friday to honour people in the Capital region who have devoted a significant portion of their activities in work, sports, business, volunteering, the arts, - and their lives - to addressing the interests of GLBT people and achieving milestone progress towards both life enrichment for others and reducing inequality.

Produced and hosted by Ottawa's gay and lesbian newspaper, Capital Xtra!, and held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel downtown, the recognition event - entitled 'Heroes of 2000:  Lesbian & Gay Community Achievement Awards' - saw 31 finalists saluted and ten individuals celebrated as community heroes by over 200 attendees.

Former Ontario Human Rights Commissioner Carmen Paquette received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Publisher Brandon Matheson described Ms. Paquette's history of accomplishment as including significant roles with the (now dissolved) Gays of Ottawa, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario, and Ottawa's Pink Triangle Services, as well as being a former lobbyist with, and president of, Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE), and the founder of Ottawa's first International Lesbian Week.

British Columbia's Jim Egan, who fought a battle for equality all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and Ottawa physician Kelly McGinnis were named posthumously to the Heroes Hall of Fame.

The Editor's Choice Award - the 'Queen's Plate' - went to three Ottawa drag queens for the historical and often underappreciated role they and others have played - and continue to play - in the Community's quest for the freedom to live discrimination- and oppression-free.

As the ceremony progressed the accomplishments of Hero Award finalists over the years were detailed, culminating in a veritable history of local activism and the building of the Capital's Community.  Dating back to the years following Stonewall, award presenters profiled the individuals who - through establishing organizations and ongoing activities - carved permanent places of pride, celebration and equality for the men, women and youth of GLBT Ottawa.

Event hosts Brandon Matheson and Kerry Beckett kept attendees in stitches by mocking themselves and each other in between presentations.  Community celebrity and leather title-holder Dean Ross welcomed guests at the door while donning a Superman costume and superman smile.

Louise Tardiff was honoured as Humanitarian of the Year for her volunteer work on the Board of Directors of Pink Triangle Services and other contributions she has made to organizations and causes over the years.

Bruce Bursey was awarded Community Activist of the Year for his efforts, leadership, and success with the innovative work of the Ottawa-Carleton Regional GLBT Health Task Group.

Robbie Tremblay was heralded as unstoppable in improving the prospects for gay and lesbian youth in the city and correspondingly named Youth Activist of the Year.

Achievement in Sports and Athletics went to Sue Smee.  Achievement in the Arts to Donna Quince.  George Hartsgrove took Entrepreneur of the Year and Gary Sealey Volunteer of the Year.

Dale Lockhart was named as AIDS Activist of the Year and John Fisher awarded Gay Rights Activist of the Year.

Awards Greeter and Community SuperHero
Dean Ross