INSPIRE Awards Press Release – April 24, 2023

Celebrating members of the of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community nationally, INSPIRE Awards partners with Fierte Canada Pride, supported by Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce


TORONTO, ON – – – Following twelve years of history of celebrating the inspiring work, good deeds and queeroes in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in the Greater Toronto Area, the INSPIRE Awards is bringing our community together nationally. One of the most beloved local annual events, INSPIRE Awards, wanted to share the magic of a community uplifted.

Fierte Canada Pride (FCP), the national association of Pride organization, has partnered with INSPIRE Awards to make that a reality. Starting in 2023, and in collaboration with Pride organizations across Canada, five community members from five regions will be named Canada’s Queer Person of the Year.

“It has been a dream of the INSPIRE Awards board of directors for a while that one day we would celebrate the good work of our community nationally,” said INSPIRE Awards President Antoine Elhashem of the partnership. “We have heard more times that we can count, at the annual event, members of our local community tell us how this magic can be shared nationally, and here we are.”

The selected individuals will join the Toronto queer community in a special presentation live broadcast on screen at the annual Awards. This portion of the evening will be introduced by Julie Nobert DeMarchi, FCP President, and Darrell Schuurman, Founder and CEO of Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC).

“Coming from a small community myself,” says Julie DeMarchi, “I developed an appreciation for the sense of connection, camaraderie, support and recognition that exists between neighbours. This is just as important – and prevalent – within our community, from coast to coast to coast. I am honored to represent FCP at the Awards ceremony – to join in expressing our appreciation, gratitude, and

celebration of the award’s recipients and their contributions to our community.”

“We are happy to partner with these great organizations on INSPIRE Awards,” said Darrell Schuurman of CGLCC. “When we celebrate and support even one individual in the community, the ripple affect that this has can be tremendous. We see role models and leaders among us and it’s inspirational.”


Founded in 2011 INSPIRE Awards ( has become the premiere queer annual celebration that brings guests together for an evening of inspiration, community magic, fantastic queer and allied hosts and entertainers, and memorable moments. INSPIRE Awards are presented as Community Partnership by a collective of prominent queer community organizations that include Pride Toronto, Fierte Canada Pride, the iconic The Pink Pages Directory, Canadian 2SLGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, AIDS Committee of Toronto, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, and Toronto Trans Alliance.

For more on Fierte Pride Canada:

For more on Canadian 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce:

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