Vibrant communities are almost always led by dynamic people and organizations. That’s especially true for Saskatoon’s LGBT+ community as is shown by the four outstanding recipients of this year’s RBC OUTShine Awards with OUTSaskatoon.
Take a few minutes to meet the 2021 award-winners and discover how they’re building community and supporting others.
University of Saskatchewan student Topaza Yu received the RBC BreakOUT award, presented to a young person who has been involved in the gender and sexually diverse community and has made a significant contribution to the growth and development of a strong and vibrant LGBT+ community.
Yu’s advocacy for youth empowerment, sexual rights, and reproductive health supports the community in which she lives, and also reaches across Canada. As part of the 13-member National Youth Advisory Board for Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, she does policy work and community-based research to help break down barriers and engage LGBT+ youth, BIPOC youth, and newcomer, immigrant and refugee youth with educational campaigns. Recent work includes an awareness campaign about the benefits of sexual health testing as part of a regular health routine.
Tuk Gordon is the recipient of the RBC HelpOUT award, presented to an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the general community during COVID-19.
Gordon’s volunteer outreach project GotsSnacks306 throughout the COVID-19 epidemic and the opioid epidemic provides those who may be facing multiple barriers with nutrition, shelter, clothing, harm reduction supplies, smiles and kindness. A supporter of local organizations including Chokecherry Studios, Prairie Harm Reduction and Okihtcitawak Patrol Group, Tuk Gordon is a prominent frontline worker and community organizer in Saskatoon helping to provide access to critical and life-saving programs and services.
The RBC OUTStanding award is given to individuals who, through activities and/or years of service, have made significant contributions and impact to the LGBT+ community.
This year’s recipient David Culleton was recognized and celebrated for his decades of service to the LGBT+ community including 16 years as a board member of OUTSaskatoon, advocacy work in his capacity as a lawyer and member of the community, and his work in bringing Camp fYrefly, an arts-based educational, social and personal learning retreat for gender- and sexually-diverse youth ages 14-24, to Saskatchewan.
Saskatoon Sexual Health was represented by Heather Hale.
Saskatoon Sexual Health
Saskatoon Sexual Health was honoured with the RBC KnockOUT award, for their advancement of safer spaces or safer practices for the community. Serving Saskatoon for over four decades, the organization provides affirming care to the LGBT+ community with an emphasis on safe, inclusive, empowering clinical care and education. Saskatoon Sexual Health’s vision is a society where sexual and reproductive health and rights are respected, celebrated, and accessible to all.
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