VLP Community Heroes Portrait Gallery

Walk through the Village and discover 43 icons, activists, rebels and heroes who, among many others, helped build Ottawa queer community from the ground up from the very beginning of the liberation movement on.

The Village Legacy Project is proud to acknowledge and recognize the hard work, dedication and contribution these community leaders achieved in our new banner series, illustrated by Glenn Crawford and installed on lampposts along Bank Street from Nepean to James in August of 2018.

Barry Deeprose

Barry has been active in the gay community in Ottawa since 1979, when he joined the Board of Gays of Ottawa, Ottawa’s first gay liberation organization. He was a counsellor on the Gayline, (a peer-counselling service) for 22 years. He served on the…

Gabriella Goliger

Gabriella Goliger came out as a lesbian in the fall of 1981 and dove into community activities with both feet soon afterwards. Her first volunteering was on the Gayline, having received some excellent training from Barry Deeprose. The Gayline…

Barbara Freeman

Barb Freeman came out in 1975, mostly through activities at the Ottawa Women’s Center, where she was a regular at the weekly lesbian drop in and also of Lesbians of Ottawa Now (LOON). Working as a radio journalist and then journalism professor, she…

Rose Stanton

Rose Stanton was twenty years old and pregnant in 1974 when she sublet a house in Centretown Ottawa from the Ottawa Women’s Centre. The sublet led to an invitation to the centre’s first anniversary party. The party was Rose’s first encounter with…

Lyle Borden

Lyle Borden moved to Ottawa in the fall of 1981 with his partner from Halifax N.S. Shortly after settling here, he became involved with Gays of Ottawa by teaching self-defence classes to the community. This was in response to the increasing violent…

Denis LeBlanc

Gay activist, twenty year volunteer with Gays of Ottawa; co-author of Gays and the Law, founding member of the Coalition for Lesbian & Gay Rights in Ontario and the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Rights Coalition, recipient of the John Damien Award…

Yvon Vaillant

Yvon A. Vaillant Yvon was born on Feb. 12th 1947 in the rural community of Ste-Cécile de Masham, now called La Pêche, close to Lac Phillippe and Wakefield. He lived there until he was thirteen years old and then went to a boarding school run by ''Les…

Kevin Hatt

Kevin Hatt is an HIV+ gay man who since 1996 proudly calls Ottawa home. For many years he has volunteered with various community agencies in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Moncton and Halifax. Kevin has served as a Director with the Board of the AIDS…

Charlie Hill

Charlie Hill is a native of Ottawa. He was the first president of the University of Toronto Homophile Association 1969-1971. On August 28, 1971, Charlie was one of several speakers at the first ever LGBT rights demonstration in Canada, on…

Bruce Bursey

Bruce moved to Ottawa from Newfoundland in 1984, beginning his life in Centretown. In the 1990s, as a resident and community activist, he was Co-chair, of the Centretown Traffic Calming Working Group, the first successful introduction of traffic…

Judy Girard

In late 70’s, Judy Girard joined the Board of Directors of Gays of Ottawa, as one of the few women on the Board. Her primary role on the Board was to take the lead in negotiating with Revenue Canada, with the assistance of their lawyer, on the…

Alex Munter

Alex Munter was the national capital region's first openly-gay elected representative. First elected in 1991, he served four terms as a local councillor in Ottawa. He represented Kanata, chaired council committees responsible for health and…

Kerry Beckett

When Kerry Beckett moved from Smiths Falls, a small town just outside Ottawa, in the 70's, she was already an out dyke. According to Kerry, back then there was no doubt about how to find like-minded women... she found a softball game and joined.…

Marie Robertson

Marie Robertson is an outspoken lipstick lesbian. A community activist since 1970, Marie has never been afraid to rock the boat and challenge both those within and outside the LGBT community. For many years she was one of the few publicly out…