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Qmunity wins Vancouver award for excellence

‘This is a recognition of a lot of momentum we have right now,’ says Parker

“We’ve been strengthening our programs and working to take it to the next level. It’s nice to have that recognition,” says Qmunity executive director Dara Parker. Credit: Shauna Lewis

Vancouver’s queer resource centre, Qmunity, received the Diversity and Inclusion Award in the first Vancouver Awards of Excellence June 23.

“The Awards of Excellence celebrate excellence in achievements that benefit all of us by making Vancouver a greener, healthier, more diverse, accessible, and prosperous city,” the City of Vancouver writes on its website. “The Diversity and Inclusion Award celebrates outstanding leadership to foster inclusion across diverse communities.”

Qmunity executive director Dara Parker tells Xtra the organization’s members were “pretty excited” to receive the award.

“This is a recognition of a lot of momentum we have right now,” Parker says. “We’ve been slowly increasing our resources. We’ve been strengthening our programs and working to take it to the next level. It’s nice to have that recognition.”

Parker says the organization’s work to secure a new home is also part of that momentum. Qmunity was allotted $7 million by Vancouver City Vouncil Dec 17, 2013, for a new multipurpose community centre in Vancouver.

In exchange for council’s permission to rezone sites at Burrard and Hornby streets, applicants Jim Pattison Developments and Reliance Properties will give the city more than $15.8 million in community amenity contributions to be allocated among several area amenities. At $7 million, Qmunity will receive the largest share of the contribution — nearly half.

Recipients of the city’s inaugural Awards of Excellence were nominated by the public, recommended by a peer review committee and confirmed by city council, who assessed their influence, impact and achievements.

“Vancouver is made exceptional by the inspiring people who live, work and contribute their ideas and talents here,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in presenting the awards.