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Ottawa’s 2011 heroes

People making a difference

RtoL: Brent Bauer, Ian Capstick, Patrizia Gentile, Frédérique Chabot,Catherine Purdie,Michael Burtch,Loren Crawford,Nuka Fennell Credit: Ben Welland. Location thanks to Flamingo Bar

Meet our heroes of 2011!

Xtra is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s Hero awards. They are  movers and shakers, activists and volunteers, fearless speakers and political pundits working to build a better community.

Brent Bauer: Editor’s Choice
Bauer has been vocal in pressing the Ottawa Police Services to adopt policies around the criminalization of HIV/AIDS. He has quietly made headway in bringing bureaucrats and health professionals to the table. His next step is to get the Crown to join them.

Ian Capstick: Political Activist
Ottawa’s very own gay political pundit. Capstick has a penchant for using multimedia platforms, tweeting prolifically and creating cupcake standoffs.


Patrizia Gentile: Lifetime Achievement

A history buff who knows her stuff. Gentile’s latest project is The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation. When she’s not firing up crowds before the Dyke March, she teaches at Carleton University.

Frédérique Chabot: Community Activist
Sex work is work. Chabot believes people should have control over their own bodies, and she is not afraid to speak up about it. She coauthored a study about the Ottawa police’s treatment of local sex workers and can often be spotted at demonstrations or helping out behind the scenes.

Catherine Purdie: Lifetime Achievement
A femme of grace and charm. Catherine has been whipping up fun and fantasy in various lesbian organizations for years. A volunteer extraordinaire, she now concentrates on the lighter side of life — women’s dances, where couples and singles mingle.

Michael Burtch: AIDS Activist
Burtch is not afraid to get tangled up in the tough issues of the day. In 2010, he gained a national profile by tackling the criminalization of HIV/AIDS.

Loren Crawford: Achievement in Sport
Crawford is a yoga guru for Zen-seeking men at GayZone. He’s a calming force in the midst of superheroes.

Nuka Fennell: Youth Activist
The proudly queer spawn of two moms. Fennell is a member of the Youth Services Bureau SHAG (Sexual Health Advisory Group) and boldly talks to his peers about HIV/AIDS prevention — including the ins and outs of the female condom.

Melanie Pasztor: Community Activist
A rollergirl whorror who is not afraid to take a match. Pasztor made Minto Park a safe place to be during the Trans Day of Remembrance.

Mélanie Jubinville-Stafford: Community Activist
Jubinville-Stafford is not afraid to be cheeky as she battles the humourless rightwing over women’s reproductive rights.