The 5th annual Inspire Awards have plenty to celebrate once again this year, and the celebrity factor has been bumped up a notch as well. Judy and Dennis Shepard will be joining the festivities to speak on the Mathew Shepard Foundation that was created following the tragic loss of their loved son Mathew. They have built great visibility for his living legacy in “Mathew Shepard is a Friend of Mine”.

As well, in honour of Toronto hosting the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games this year, there will be a special presentation of a Sports Hero Award to our communities inspiring LGBTQ Athletes. Mark Tewksbury (swimmer and Canadian Gold Medal Olympian), Fallon Fox (USA Professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter), and Kinnon Mackinnon (Canadian power lifter who competed at the Gay Games) will be presented with a Sports Hero Award.

These individuals will be joined by Barbara Hall, a former Mayor of the city of Toronto who was name Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, George Pratt, one of the first to invest in queer entertainment in the Church and Wellesley village, MPP Cheri DiNovo who officiated the first legal same-sex marriage, and Ashley Murphy who was born with HIV and was on life-support until she was five months old, and who has now devotes herself to helping other people with HIV and AIDS.

On top of all this fabulousness, there will be even more fabulousness with the wide array of entertainment happening throughout the evening. Celebrate the LGBTQ community and friends; while enjoying a cocktail reception with host Ryan Hinds, followed by the ceremonies hosted by comedian Shannon McDonough and PROUD FM Host Richard Ryder. There will also be a late night buffet, and dancing in the garden under the stars.

Performances include Darcy Feaver, Guy Moreau, Singing Out Choir , Johnny B Goode, Forte Men’s Choir, and multiple JUNO award winning Simone Denny will take the stage at 11:30 PM to celebrate our diverse LGBTQ* community. Special late show will be made by Donnarama, Carlota Carlisle, Eve Summers, and Boa.

The 5th Annual INSPIRE Awards will take place at Hart House, May 29th 2015.

Click here for a full list of nominees and recipients, and to purchase tickets.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn enjoys life and all the challenges, trials, and tribulations that come with it. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the joys, happiness and well-being that makes it all worthwhile. We’re all in this together, so lets buckle up and enjoy the ride!
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