Ottawa
2 min

Out of the closet, into the community

PTS celebrates achievements, plans ambitious future

BREAKING OUT. New president Keith Duncanson says PTS is ready to make a bigger impact. Credit: Rob Thomas

Pink Triangle Services is making its presence felt in Ottawa like never before.



Pink Triangle Services (PTS) expanded this year by hiring a full-time paid executive director and making an online debut, says new president Keith Duncanson.



“The past year has been a year of growth,” said Duncanson after the board’s annual general meeting on May 30, where six new board members officially took their seats.



“We now have a full-time staff person who manages the day to day operation of PTS.”



Executive Director Maura Volante became the board’s first paid member in January and is working to expand the board’s fundraising base and strengthen partnerships in the community, effectively giving PTS a voice around the clock.



“We’re now looking to build on that strength to work on the community centre program,” explained Duncanson of the Ottawa GLBTQ Community Centre Initiative.



In partnership with PTS, the initiative launched its online “centre without walls” last July in an effort to centralize the community’s resources at www.ottawaglbtqcentre.com.



According to AGM reports in May, the website quickly became a hotspot for community members to connect with local groups, catch up on news and learn about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.



“It’s a virtual community centre. It’s a fairly ambitious project. We’re hoping to move it into phase two,” and build an actual centre, said Duncanson.



At the recent Pride Town Hall, Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli voiced his support for the community centre, stating he hoped to see the centre built by 2006. (See story on page 10.)



Duncanson begins his term riding high on the coattails of last year’s financial success – success the board attributes in part to sustained funding of $79,000 from the City of Ottawa and the triumph of several fundraisers.



The year’s Swirl n’ Twirl fundraiser netted $2,100 alone.



Past president Bruce Bursey, in his farewell address during the AGM, also pointed to expanded advertising, including its controversial syphilis awareness campaign, an increased presence in community info fairs and a successful smoking cessation program as the highlights of his term.



“This is a year that PTS has come out of the closet,” said Bursey. “We have an ambitious plan for the year ahead.”



Bursey will sit as past president to help guide the new executive.



Other groups, such as SAGE, Pink Triangle Youth and Generation Q also reported good years, and PTS reported an increased base of 82 volunteers.



This Christmas, Pink Triangle Services may also be in the position to help the community out in a new way.



The AGM also revealed plans to apply for the Ottawa portion of Operation Red Nose – a venture that could bring in $40,000-50,000 for PTS in a five-week period over December and New Year’s. Under the national program, a local organization provides volunteer drivers to transport people who feel they are too drunk to drive. While the service is free, the groups running it usually receive generous donations and sponsorships.



The program, currently run by a Gatineau group in the local area, would, if approved, be PTS’ most important fundraiser.



“That’s going to be our major fundraising for 2004,” if PTS is approved, said new vice-president and former treasurer Sandy Bonini, adding that PTS is starting off the new fiscal year in a “very good position.”



Duncanson, who officially replaced Bursey in May, cautioned the idea is still in the application phase and is not a guarantee yet.



PINK TRIANGLES SERVICES.

177 Nepean St, Suite 508.

563-4818.

www.pinktriangle.org.