NSRAP’s Community Awards provide an opportunity to recognize and celebrate key individuals and groups who have demonstrated dedication to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. In the past, the awards were an annual celebration, with the last ceremony taking place in October 2014. This year, we are bringing the Community Awards back. We are excited to recognize and celebrate the great work that has been taking place over the past few years!
In past years, NSRAP has presented five awards: the Reverend Darlene Young Community Award, the Raymond Taaval Media Award, the Turret Stewardship Award, the Rising Star Award and the Leighann Wichman Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of these awards have been named in honour of key community members who demonstrated a commitment to 2SLGBTQIA+ equity in Nova Scotia. This year, we are adding a sixth award to recognize people from the QTBIPOC community who have been instrumental as change agents. We hope that this new category will allow us to acknowledge and uplift some of the powerful work taking place in our community that deserves recognition and celebration. The details of each award can be found below, including the historical significance of the award, what the award recognizes, and details about the new QTBIPOC Champion Award we have introduced this year.
Rev. Darlene Young Community Award
2021 recipient: Margot Durling
NSRAP created this award in 2008 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in Nova Scotia. It is named after the late Reverend Darlene Young, a former NSRAP board member and pastor of the Safe Harbour Metropolitan Community Church.
Past recipients include Scott Jones, Leighann Wichman, the Valley Youth Project, Karen Finnegan (a social worker), Marshall Haywood (operator of Venus Envy Halifax), Eric Smith (AIDS activist), Kim Vance (LGBTQ activist with ARC International) and Daniel MacKay (publisher of Wayves).
Raymond Taavel Media Award
2021 recipient: Evelyn White
Recognizing an individual or organization for work in the traditional or social media education of the public on news or issues affecting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This Award was renamed in 2012 to honour the memory of Raymond Taavel – a gay community activist who worked in the media as a Wayves editor/contributor and as an employee of the Shambhala Sun.
Turret Stewardship Award
2021 recipient: Queer Arabs Halifax
Recognizing an organization that has significantly enhanced the capacities of Nova Scotia’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This award is named for the late ‘70s LGBTQ community-run social space in Halifax’s iconic Khyber Building.
The Rising Star Award
2021 recipient: Jay Aaron Roy
NSRAP created this award in 2013 to recognize individuals who have “shone” and taken leadership roles to advocate for the rights of 2SLGBTQIA+ people in Nova Scotia. The award centers on youth as well as individuals who show potential to be lifetime advocates in the community. Past recipients have included Rad Pride Health and Jessica Durling.
Leighann Wichman Lifetime Achievement Award
2021 recipient: Tuma Young
This award was created in 2015, to honour an individual whose long term commitment to 2SLGBTQIA+ activism and leadership has had an immeasurable impact on the lives of 2SLGBTQIA+ people across Nova Scotia. The award is named after the late Leighann Wichman, who was a dedicated leader, educator, advocate, and a longtime executive director of the Youth Project. The inaugural recipient was Lynn Murphy.
QTBIPOC Champion Award
2021 recipient: Carmel Farahbakhsh
For the 2021 Community Awards we are introducing a new award centering the advocacy and social justice work of individuals within the Queer and Trans BIPOC community. This award honours and recognizes an individual for their work within QTBIPOC communities who:
- are catalysts for change through promoting social justice;
- engage in teaching, counseling, advocacy, role modeling, or other roles that support members of the QTBIPOC communities;
- contribute to the QTBIPOC community by providing a safer and comfortable space for all members of these communities;
- engage in work that supports, empowers and/or advocates for individuals and groups who are marginalized within the QTBIPOC community including, people with disabilities, members with less resources (e.g. those experiencing poverty/working class/low or no income);
- focus on issues that are not picked up in mainstream 2SLGBTQIA+ organizing efforts.
The Awards Ceremony:
The 2021 Community Awards Ceremony took place at NSRAP’s 25+ anniversary celebration on Saturday August 14th, from 4-6pm at the Garrison Grounds in Halifax.