Unison announces recipients of inaugural Unison Awards

May 15, 2023

Unison Choruses Canada is pleased to announce that 14 honourees will receive awards for service, innovation and legacy at the Unison Festival in Halifax this month. These inaugural Unison Awards will be presented at the festival banquet on Sunday, May 21, 2023, at the Halifax Convention Centre. The awards ceremony will also honor 13 member choruses that have hosted Unison Festivals in their home cities over the past 25 years, starting with the founding festival in 1998.

“The Unison Awards were established by the Board of Directors as an way to highlight, and extend gratitude to, Unison members and affiliate organizations that have gone above and beyond to build, serve, maintain, and promote 2SLGBTQIA+ choruses and the Canadian 2SLGBTQIA+ choral community. Through these awards, Unison hopes to contribute to building that legacy for years to come,” said Kimberley Vance-Mubanga, President of Unison Choruses Canada.

The recipients of the inaugural Unison Awards will be honoured in three categories.

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 recipients of the inaugural Service Award are Claude Defresne, Elizabeth Graves, Judy Krause, Len Cousineau, Matthew Gillespie, Tim Cross, and Vince J. Ciarlo.  2023 Awards gallery

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 recipients of the inaugural Innovation Award are Jacklin Falconer, Jean-Louis Bleau and Kimberly Vance-Mubanga.  2023 Awards gallery

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 recipients of the inaugural Legacy Award are Edward Connell, Gianluca Ragazzini, Kirk Kryvenchuk and Willi Zwozdesky. 2023 Awards gallery

Legacy Award – Festival Host Choruses

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.

Choruses in Edmonton (1998), Toronto (2002), Vancouver (2006), Winnipeg (2010), Ottawa (2014), Calgary (2018), and Halifax (2023) are being honoured.  2023 Awards gallery

Unison member choruses were invited to nominate one individual or organization per award category. All nominations submitted were reviewed and adjudicated by a jury.