During a press conference in Montreal held at the Serge et Réal Bookstore on February 9th, 2006, the QAQY (Quebec Alliance of Queer Youth) announced its list of finalist for the first annual Allostars Gala, an event that has been created to recognize the work of queer youth. We are pleased to be among six out of the twenty finalists!
In addition to AlterHeros being nominated for Organization of the Year, five of our volunteers have been nominated in various categories: François Paquette (Employee of the Year), Caroline Castonguay-Boisvert (Volunteer Excellence Award, Support), Tiago Graça and Marc-Olivier Ouellet (Administrator of the Year) and Julie-Maude Beauchesne (Public Personality of the Year).
The complete list of nominees in all eight categories can be consulted at www.rejaq.org. The Allostars Gala will be held on March 11th at 8pm at the Delta Montreal Hotel (475, President-Kennedy). Tickets are available for $10 each at the CCGLM (Community Center for Gay and Lesbians of Montreal) located at 2075, Plessis or by mail by contacting the QAQY.
Why a Gala?
The idea behind these awards is to recognize the work and implication of youths in the queer community. Hugo Valiquette, QAQY’s president, started to sum up the reasons for the Gala by mentioning that young queers are often seen in a negative light. For instance, when talking about queer youth, the same themes seem to recur: lack of self-esteem, discrimination, homophobia, drug use, suicide, etc. For Mr. Valiquette, it is really time to show that the queer youth community is involved and is able to make things change in Quebec. He adds: “This is a unique chance to gain recognition.”
During the press conference, the QAQY also announced the members of the Gala’s jury panel. It is composed of educators, community workers, health professionals and politicians. This year’s jury members are: Lise Fortier, General Director of the Community Center for Gay and Lesbians of Montreal (CCGLM), Line Chamberland, Professor and Researcher at UQAM and at Cégep Maisonneuve, Robert Rousseau, General Director of Séro-Zéro, and Nicole Demers, Federal Private Member for the City of Laval.
The Gala’s organizers have promised a night full of surprises and AlterHeros will be there to report all the happenings of the glamorous evening!