3 min

Foundations of community

PTS celebrates 20 years of lending support

For the past 20 years, Pink Triangle Services (PTS) has been a staple of Ottawa’s queer community.

Since its founding in 1984, the community-based organization has provided much-needed health and wellness services to countless numbers of GLBTQ individuals throughout the National Capital Region.

According to PTS President Keith Duncanson, the success and longevity of the service agency is largely due to the strength, quality and commitment of its volunteers.

“It’s only been over the last two years that we have utilized paid staff,” Duncanson says. “But all of our programs and the services we have offered for the past 20 years really have been on the backbone of the volunteers.”

To help celebrate its 20th anniversary, this year PTS will hold a dance party immediately following its traditional gala – an invitation-only black tie event for those who have donated $100 or more to the service agency during the year.

“We decided that we really wanted to celebrate the 20th year of Pink Triangle Services. So we thought, what better way to do it than have a community party,” Duncanson says. “So this year we are going to be starting with the earlier party as a direct thank you for our donors. But afterwards we are going to have a thank you party for the [entire] community.”

Both events will be held in the Panorama Room of the National Arts Centre on Fri, Oct 22. Tickets for the dance party are available for a $20 donation at the PTS, After Stonewall and Wilde’s.

“The gala was very much a closed party, it was only the donors who provided over $100 and we had a special thank you and it was very nice,” Duncanson explains. “But there’s a whole segment of our community that just weren’t included in that celebration. We thought that this would be an interesting time to try this out and see if people would like it. And if it is successful then that might be something we continue along for future years.”

Duncanson adds that all PTS volunteers will receive complimentary tickets to next month’s community party, as a show of appreciation for their commitment to serving their community.

And, not to be outdone by the fancy tuxes and dresses shown off at the gala, Ducanson is urging dance party attendees to have fun with this year’s theme.

“Because PTS was started in 1984, we thought it would be kind of fun to make the party a time trip back into the 1980s. So, we’re having an ’80s theme to it,” he says. “And we want this to be a birthday party as well, so we are looking at ways to incorporate different aspects of a birthday party into it.”

But while PTS organizers are busy planning next month’s celebrations, volunteer canvassers are in the midst of the agency’s annual fundraiser, which began just after Labor Day and will continue until Oct 22.

According to PTS executive director Maura Volante, the goal of this year’s fundraising drive is $60,000.

“And this is about friend-raising as well as fundraising,” she says.

Volante adds it is important to remember that Ottawa’s queer community is diverse, and while there are many individuals who are successful and doing well, there are also those who are less fortunate.

And although there are many queer-related advocacy groups serving our community, PTS is the only service agency directly providing “concrete assistance that people need” in the Ottawa area.

“If people are wanting to give to a GLBT charity, this is the one – this is it,” she says.
9pm,. Fri, Oct 22.
National Arts Center, Panorama Room
(53 Elgin St).
Tickets: $20/door and advance.
Available at: Pink Triangle Services
(508-177 Nepean St), Wilde’s (367 Bank St) and After Stonewall (370 Bank St).
Info: or 563-4818.

You don’t have to be canvassed by a volunteer to support PTS!
Drop off your donation to PTS,
177 Nepean St, 5th floor, Ottawa, K2P 0B4
or mail it to PTS, PO Box 3043, Station D, Ottawa K1P 6H6. For more
info, visit or call 564-4818.