3 min

Saying thanks

Announcing the finalists in 2003 Heroes Awards

ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS THIS YEAR. Skinjobs has been nominated in the band category of the 2003 Community Achievement Awards. The ceremony is Apr 20 at Balthazar. Credit: David Ellinsen

Xtra West’s readers have spoken: nominations are in and tabulated for the 2003 Community Achievement Awards.

And what a selection it is. Readers want to thank those who have been out front in our community the past year, making things happen. And readers have looked behind the scenes, to the often hidden gays and lesbians, bisexuals and trans people who put in the volunteer work, express their creative drives and make this a fun, productive, loving community.

This year’s awards are broken down into two major categories: community achievement and entertainment achievement. The entertainment awards are almost all new to the festivities this year. Also new this year is the Terry Wallace Life & Legacy Award, sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Business Association of Greater Vancouver (readers are invited to check out finalists and vote for the winner in this category at Also, VanCity is sponsoring the Volunteer of the Year Award.

And now, the finalists in each category are:

Business Citizen of the Year:

Little Sister’s owners Jim Deva and Bruce Smyth for supporting the community without hesitation for 20 years.

Brian Lam of Arsenal Pulp Press for publishing transgressive queer writing.

Michael Venus for a never-ending flow of creative events, productions and activities.

Youth Activist of the Year

YouthCO for sticking to it in these trying times.

Vancouver Diversity Alliance Council, a group of high school students, for supporting and helping create gay-straight alliances in the Lower Mainland.

Charles Wilson for starting a Youthquest in Smithers, BC.

VanCity/Xtra West Volunteer of the Year

The members of the Vancouver School Board’s queer advisory committee for developing policy to help make schools safe for queers.

Richard Woods for his dedication to the Prideline and coming-out groups at The Centre.

The 2002-03 board of directors of the Vancouver Pride Society for saving the society, paying off a mountain of debt and putting on great Pride festivities.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This year there are three people being recognized:

Bill Monroe for his many years of fundraising efforts and support of the gay community.

Ron Dutton for creating and maintaining the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives.

Svend Robinson for 25 years of work on behalf of the gay community, before and after he came out.

Athlete of the Year Award

Donald Smith, a triathlete who is doing his first Ironman this summer despite profound health concerns, including being hit by a car.

Linda Milani for scoring the most goals in both the women’s ball hockey and floor hockey leagues and playing on two ice hockey teams and a soccer team to boot.

Bud Foley for his work at Celebration 90, co-founding the Vancouver Tennis Association, winning medals at the New York and Amsterdam Gay Games, helping found the NorthWest Cup annual team tennis event and teaching novices to play tennis through the Vancouver Tennis Association.

Community Hero of the Year

Kimberly Nixon for her courage and tenacity working through the court system for transgender rights.

Patty Hails and Lori Neuen for throwing themselves between two big gaybashers and their intended target, and then publicly questioning the lackadaisical police response.

Terry Haldane for fighting the charges police laid against him after they raided Goliath’s, Calgary’s gay bathhouse, and called it an indecent bawdyhouse.

Achievement in the Arts

Mark Kenneth Woods for his Pimp & Ho film trilogy which was screened at over 100 festivals and galleries around the world.

Duane Ghastant’ Aucoin for his creation, Children of the Rainbow, celebrating two-spirited people; the multi-media production was the audience favourite at the 2003 Out On Screen festival.

Screaming Weenie Productions for Snowy & the Seven Dykes, the last installment in their trilogy queering Hollywood icons, and their willingness to take artistic risk.

DJ of the Year

Tracy D, for always being in touch with her audience and trends, and for being available when asked.

DJ Quest for spinning great tunes year in and year out.

DJ Dickey Doo, who has stayed at the top of his game for more than a decade.

Band/Musician of the Year

Rainy City Gay Men’s Chorus for their production of Men, which saluted all kinds of love between men.

Cherrybomb for being a great house band.

Skinjobs for their boundary-busting punk.

Drag Queen/King of the Year

Justine Tyme for her consistently high professionalism.

Miss Cookie for shaking it all up and challenging the norm.

Devin for powerful stage presence and for founding Kings of Vancouver.

Winners are announced at the awards ceremony, Apr 18 at Balthazar. This year’s ceremony is hosted by award-winning author and CBC personality Bill Richardson.

The Community Achievement Awards are a fun-filled, “feel-good” event featuring cabaret-style entertainment, finger food and the opportunity to applaud members of our community. This is the sixth annual ceremony.


Sun, Apr 18.

Balthazar, 1215 Bidwell St at Davie.

Cocktails at 3 pm.

Ceremony starts 4 pm sharp.

Tix: $15 at Little Sister’s, Xtra West.

$20 at the door.

Finger food and cabaret entertainment.