Service Award

The Service Award is given to individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service to Unison or to a member chorus. They have been instrumental in moving these groups forward and have provided exemplary service as long-term volunteers, Board members, or staff members.

The 2023 inaugural Service Awards went to seven people.

Claude Dufresne
Gatineau, QC
Founding member, Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus
Past Present & Past Treasurer, Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus

Elizabeth Graves
Calgary, AB
Treasurer, Unison Choruses Canada
Treasurer, One Voice Chorus
Member, BarberEllas

Judy Krause
Saskatoon, SK
President, Bridge City Chorus


Len Cousineau
Vancouver, BC
Director, Unison Choruses Canada
Executive Director, Vancouver Men’s Chorus

Matthew Gillespie
Calgary, AB
Vice President, Unison Choruses Canada
Past President, Unison Choruses Canada
President, Calgary Men’s Chorus

Tim Cross
Halifax, NS
Co-Chair, Unison Festival 2023 Planning Committee
Director, Unison Choruses Canada
Co-Founder, Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus



Vince J. Ciarlo
Toronto, ON
Secretary, Unison Choruses Canada
Past President, Forte – Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus


Innovation Award

The Innovation Award is given to individuals with exceptional creative energy who have made an impact on Unison or on a member chorus through their creative, imaginative, and innovative artistic endeavours.

The 2023 inaugural Innovation Awards went to three people.

Jacklin Falconer
Toronto, ON
Asst Artistic Director, Singing Out


Jean-Louis Bleau
Chilliwack, BC
Executive Director, Chilliwack Cultural Centre
Co-Artistic Director, Unison Festival 2018
Past Artistic Director, Calgary Men’s Chorus

Kimberley Vance-Mubanga
Kelowna, BC
President, Unison Choruses Canada
Co-Artistic Director, Unison Festival 2023
Member, The Women Next Door


Legacy Award

The Legacy Award is given to noted leaders, builders and donors within member choruses or the national Unison community. These individuals are recognized by their peers and colleagues as individuals of strong character and generosity who have shared their passion and vision with others, thus enabling growth and sustainability within the choral movement in their community or nationally.

The 2023 inaugural Legacy Awards went to four people.

Edward Connell
Toronto, ON
Artistic Director, Forte – Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus

Gianluca Ragazzini
Ottawa, ON
Director, Unison Choruses Canada
Global Alliance of Queer Choirs
Past Unison Liaison, GALA Choruses
Past President, Unison Festival 2014
Member & Past President, Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus
Member & Past President, Tone Cluster – quite a queer choir


Kirk Kryvenchuk
Edmonton, AB
Director, Unison Choruses Canada
General Manager, Edmonton Vocal Minority

Willi Zwozdesky
Vancouver, BC
Artistic Director, Vancouver Men’s Chorus
Executive Director, British Oolumbia Choral Federation
Director, Choral Canada


Festival Hosts Legacy

In the Legacy category, the inaugural Awards also pay tribute to the choruses across the nation that have hosted Unison Festivals since the inception of the festival in 1998.

A total of 13 choruses received inaugural Legacy awards in this category in 2023.