Russell Alldread a.k.a. Michelle Dubarry (2012)

Michelle DuBarry is a drag legend in the LGBTQ community and a pioneer of the art form at a time when it was frowned upon, and one who had spent many decades of helping, fundraising and doing great work in the community. At 86 years old, he is still going strong.

Boyd Kodak (2012)

Boyd is a transsexual activist and is integral in the history of fighting discrimination in the work place. Before Jan transitioned to Boyd she fought and won a precedent setting that made it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people at work. Jan transitioned to Boyd in the 90s and continues to work very hard on issues relating to transsexual rights.

Jack Layton (2012 Honorary)

We honour Jack Layton for his long time support of LGBTQ people and championing many of the community‘s causes since his election to Toronto City Council in 1982 and throughout his entire career. Jack was a friend of the community and it’s an honour to be able to thank him for the work.

Salah Bachir (2013)

Best known as a philanthropist, Salah has served—and still does—on numerous boards and committees including those of the Canadian Film Centre (of which he is a founding member), Art Gallery of Ontario, Luminato arts festival, Business for the Arts, Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) and the 519 Church Street Community Centre Capital Campaign. He has raised more than $6-million ($1 million from his own pocket) for the 519‘s expansion project and in 2010, the community centre’s new wing was named in his honour. He has also promoted equal rights for same sex couples, supporting the LBGT human rights organization EGALE Canada‘s “”I Do’ Means the Same Thing Whether You‘re Straight or Gay” campaign and he is a member of EGALE’s Board of Advisor.

Anna Willats (2013)

Pride Toronto‘s 2008 Honoured Dyke and has been out and proud since 1982. She is the mother of two wonderful young people. Her activism in Toronto started with Lesbians Against the Right and at demonstrations organized by the Right To Privacy Committee in 1982. She has worked with and learned from an amazing group of feminist women at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre from 1982 to the present, where she honed her counselling, advocacy, and organizing skills. She’s a professor in the Assaulted Women‘s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program at George Brown College. For almost a quarter century, Anna has been a community activist on the social justice scene. From anti-poverty demonstrations, LGTQ2S cultural events and police accountability issues, her work in the queer community has improved the lives of all Toronto residents.

Jane Farrow (2014)

Jane has been an out, proud and prominent lesbian for many years, and during a time when our culture was emerging and attaining rights and recognition. Jane has made significant positive and public contribution, towards the growth and success in her, and our community’s Arts and Culture achievements. Always a crusader for diversity and awareness, and never afraid to say what is on her mind.

Brent Hawkes (2014)

Rev Brent Hawkes has been an activist for LGBTQ rights and assisting the movement for the LGBTQ people of Ontario going forward for numerous years. His involvement started before the first Pride Parade in the 70s and he is still going strong. Rev. Hawkes is known around the world due to his performing of the first same sex wedding ceremony in Canada. Rev. Hawkes is an inspiring voice, and truly is a leader.

Charles Roy (2014 Honorary)

Charles Roy was the Executive Director of the AIDS Committee of Toronto for eight years. He was a member of Toronto People With AIDS Foundation, AIDS ACTION NOW and many other provincial committees. Nationally, he was a board member of the Canadian AIDS Society, and, internationally, he contributed to the World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. In 1985, he worked for the Montreal AIDS Resource Centre, where he organized the city’s first support group for People With AIDS. He is recognized by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network at their annual conference with a lecture in his honour. He is author of Living and Serving: Persons with HIV in the Canadian AIDS Movement.The INSPIRE Awards is proud to establish in 2014, an annual Charles Roy Award for Activism in HIV/AIDS.

Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo (2015)

Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo, MPP Parkdale-High Park, was the first to officiate a “legalized” same sex marriage and is also responsible for Toby’s Law (an amendment to the Ontario Humans Rights Code to include gender identity and gender expression; the first of its kind in North America) named after her Transgender music Director, Toby Dancer. Voted Best MPP by NOW Magazine and a previous Grand Marshal of Pride Toronto, she is the first ever LGBTQ Issues Critic at Queen’s Park.

George Pratt (2015)

George Pratt was one of the first gay men to invest in Queer Entertainment in Toronto. Toronto Born and raised and coming from a Teaching background, he saw the importance of building sexual positive spaces in the Queer and Trans communities. A long time resident of The Village, he is a powerful activist who has challenged sterotypes of the LGBTQ community. He is a graduate of Toronto Teachers College and studied Psychology at York University.