12 avril 2006

Allostars Gala : a permanent prize to honour our leaving president!

On March the 11th, the 1st Allostars Gala was held at the prestigious Downtown Delta Hotel. This gala was the culminating point of the Allostars competition whose goal was to reward the exceptional involvement of individuals or organization of the queer community world in 2005-2006.


On March the 11th, the 1st Allostars Gala was held at the prestigious Downtown Delta Hotel. This gala was the culminating point of the Allostars competition whose goal was to reward the exceptional involvement of individuals or organization of the queer community world in 2005-2006.

The event was not only the chance to reward merit, it was also an inestimate chance to share experiences and knowledge with other community organization volunteers from all parts of Quebec. The final results of the gala reflects well this Quebec community melting-pot.

The Marc-Olivier Ouellet prize
AlterHéros was well represented on this night. In addition to being nominated for Organization of the Year, several administrators and volunteers were nominated in various categories: François Paquette (Employee of the Year), Caroline Castonguay-Boisvert (Volunteer Excellence

photo: Julie-Maude Beauchesne
AlterHeroes’ president, Marc-Olivier Ouellet.

Award, Support), Tiago Graça and Marc-Olivier Ouellet (Administrator of the Year) and Julie-Maude Beauchesne (Public Personality of the Year).

But the biggest surprise was probably the creation of a Marc-Olivier Ouellet prize to honour a young new outstanding emerging volunteer (Volunteer Excellence Award, Support). After several great years of community implication that granted him several prizes, Mr. Ouellet had to stop his community involvement in the QAQY, the Coalition jeunesse montréalaise de lutte à l’homophobie and very soon in AlterHeros to confront new professional challenges in France. Obviously touched by this homage, it’s a moved and speechless Marc-Olivier Ouellet that addressed the crowd to show his appreciation.

A gala putting diversity forward
Those who had the chance to get involved in the queer community world would probably tell you that it’s a small world where everybody gets to know each other eventually. Some think that galas of this nature tend to always reward the

photo: Julie-Maude Beauchesne

same persons or organization on a popularity basis. It was far from being the case, this gala put forward diversity in all its forms (sexuality, ethnicity, age, region, etc.).

In the Initiative/Event of the year, the ethnocultural day held at UQÀM in January by Helem, organization promoting libanese sexual diversity, obtained the judges confidence. The transsexual community was also noticed when Coalition des Transsexuels et Transsexué(e)s du Québec’s Danielle Chénier won of the Volunteer Excellence Award (Outstanding involvement). Involved teens were also rewarded, Antoine Benoit of Jeunesse Lambda won the Volunteer Excellence Award (Support) award. The night was concluded by a Jury’s Prize awarded to mister Gaétan Lord, father of Jean-Pierre Lord, and who founded the Projet A.C.E. in Terrebonne to help

photo: Julie-Maude Beauchesne
Danielle Chénier, from CTTQ.

and support his son in his work of education and demystification of the queer reality.

Quebec region’s triomph
It would be easy to conclude that because of the socio-demographic influence Montreal has, volunteers or community groups of Montreal would win all of the prizes. Wrong again, the Allostars Gala showed that it’s possible to show its differences, be happy and intervain with a spefic region’s population to make it acceptable. The AGLEBUS (Association des gais, lesbiennes et bisexuals de l’Université de Sherbrooke) had it’s education and demystification efforts rewarded by the Student Association of the Year prize.

Érik Bisson, who is involved since several years as an employee of the Outaouan organization Jeunesse IDEM, won

photo: Julie-Maude Beauchesne

the Employee of the Year prize. AlterHeros, who was nominated of the Organization of the Year prize, was finally raced out by GRIS-Quebec.

Quality artistic animation
Several artistic talents worth to mention produced themselves in front of us all night. First, there was the Gospel 12-70 choir who animated the crowd with a variated repertoire of songs going from “All The Jazz” to “Bohemian Rhapsody”. After that, we were able to witness an interesting baladi number that was executed by young artist Veronique Brisson. The Gailaxie was also there to give us a good laugh with several improvisation numbers. Celina of Cabaret à Mado also

photo: Julie-Maude Beauchesne
Director of animation in AlterHeroes, Véronique Brisson as a little baladi princess.

produced herself on the stage two times to shake the crowd.

An uncontested success
Among other winners, there was Renaud Bourbonnais of Jeunesse Lambda as the Administrator of the year and Réal Ménard, Public personality of the year. Jeunesse Lambda held its own well with two prizes, besides that, prizes were given quite equally, there wasn’t a clear cut winner.

The organisers of the gala can say to themselves mission accomplished. This success is greatly due to the participation of the several community organization and their volunteers for all across Quebec. Without their presence, the gala wouldn’t have been what it was. Also, the fact that public personalities like Réal Ménard and Nicole Demers decided to associate themselves with this type of event is valuable confidence signal to all the time and organisation put in its buildup. The place where the gala was held (Dowtown Delta Hotel) speaks a lot also on the seriousness of the process.

I guess that they’re already thinking about organizing next year’s second gala. If not, I would strongly encourage the QAQY to repeat the event. Having attended the gala myself, I had a lot of fun and I truly believe that this kind of an event has a bright future. I can’t wait for next year to see it again!