Pride Legacy Awards 2014 winners in sports, arts, youth, and more

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The Pride Legacy Awards were created to celebrate outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to Metro Vancouver's LGBT communities.

After public nominations were received and finalists were selected by members of LGBT organizations, the second annual awards were held on May 4 at the Roundhouse Community Centre.

Each of the eight awards represents a different colour from the Pride flag.

Here is a list of this year's winners.

Pink: Sexual Health: Martin Rooney

After immigrating to Vancouver from Ireland, Rooney held the first Surrey Pride event in 1999 and became the founding president of Out in Surrey in 2000.

When he was denied entry into the U.S. in 2007 due to his HIV–positive status, he formed an alliance of politicians and organizations, and organized rallies, to fight the ban (which was lifted in 2010). In 2008, he launched the annual Red Ribbons 4 Life educational and fundraising event for HIV/AIDS.

Red: Lifetime Achievement: Ron Dutton

After arriving in Vancouver in 1975, Dutton opened or established several local libraries, including the Carnegie Library on the Downtown Eastside, the Chinese Community Library, and Outreach Library Services.

As a historian and archivist participating in the nascent Vancouver gay liberation movement, he began to collect all material from the time, as well as from the past. His collection has been used by academics, media, artists, writers, and more.

Orange: Sports: Dean Nelson

Nelson took over Whistler's gay ski week in 2006 with several businesspeople and he became the CEO and executive producer of Gay Whistler's annual WinterPRIDE.

Nelson was the founder of the first-ever Olympic Pride House that was established at the 2010 Winter Olympics to raise awareness of LGBT issues in sports and the Olympics.

He has also been active on the boards of many organizations, such as the Vancouver Pride Society, and as a member of several sports organizations, such as skiOUT! and Vancouver Frontrunners.

Yellow: Volunteer Extraordinaire: Carl Meadows

Meadows, a registered nurse and Home Health Care director, raised over $24,000 as reward money for the murder of Aaron Webster. (The reward was never used and instead was given to Qmunity.)

He has volunteered for organizations such as Immigration Services of British Columbia, Out in Schools, and the Association of Registered Nurses of BC. He and his husband also sponsor a film series at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival called Migrant Voices. 

Green: Safe Spaces: Alex Sangha

As a writer, Sangha has contributed commentaries to numerous publications, including the Georgia Straight, Surrey Leader, Indo-Canadian Voice, Times of India, and more.

He founded Sher Vancouver in 2008, an organization for queer South Asians and their friends. He also launched the Dosti Project in 2009, a workshop designed to address bullying, racism, and homophobia.

In reaction to the Indian government's criminalization of homosexuality in late 2013, Sangha launched the Out and Proud Project to profile LGBT South Asians.

He is currently spearheading an affordable housing proposal for LGBT seniors called Dignity House.

Turquoise: Art: Dave Deveau

Deveau is a playwright, event producer, and drag queen (Peach Cobblah). Zee Zee Theatre, where he is the playwright in residence, produced his plays Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas, My Funny Valentine, and Lowest Common Denominator.

He also works with Green Thumb Theatre, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and Playwrights Theatre Centre, and teaches playwriting at Douglas College.

As Peach Cobblah, he is involved with queer programming at the Cobalt.

Blue: Community Leaders: Chris Morrisey

When Morrisey and her partner (who had Irish and American citizenship) struggled to stay in Canada together, they filed a lawsuit in federal court for discrimination on several grounds, including sexual orientation.

With several other Canadians, they formed LEGIT: Canadian Immigration for Same-Sex Partners. The organization worked to change Canada's Immigration Act so that Canadians in same-sex relationships can sponsor partners as part of the Family Class.

Morrisey also started up the Rainbow Refugee Committee to help those seeking protection as a refugee in Canada.

She also has worked with the LGBT Generations Project, which addresses aging issues for LGBT people, and chairs the City of Vancouver's Senior Advisory Committee.

For her work related to LGBT couples and refugees, she won the Governor General's Golden Jubilee Medal.

Purple: Youth: Andrew Shopland

Shopland coordinates the MPowerment program at YouthCO, which helps to develop healthy and inclusive communities for queer male youth. He also runs a workshop that addresses masculinity and self-esteem called iGuy for boys in grades 4 to 7.

He is also a member of the City of Vancouver's LGBTQ Advisory Committee.

Comments (4) Add New Comment
Blair Smith
It was a wonderful inspiring evening. Congratulations to the Vancouver Pride Society, all of the nominees, and this years finalists and recipients. The future looks bright as a rainbow!
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Carl Meadows
Hi There,

What a wonderful article and so important. Just on correction is about me (Carl Meadows). I am second generation Ukrainian. In the article it says I am from the Ukraine and that is not correct.
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Carl Meadows
Such a wonderful evening and so inspiring to be with my community of leaders, artists and activists.
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Craig Takeuchi
Apologies for the error, Carl. It has been deleted. (The wording on your bio on the Pride Legacy Awards was unclear.)
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