Sher Vancouver counts down its Top 10 highlights for 2019!

Sher Vancouver counts down its Top 10 highlights for 2019!

Sher Vancouver is a local grassroots non-profit society for LGBTQ South Asians and their friends and families.  We welcome everyone.  The Sher Vancouver Board of Directors are also very much committed to social justice, human rights, and the overall health and welfare of all peoples.

As we approach a new year, Sher Vancouver counts down its top ten list of highlights for 2019 whether pending, in progress, or completed!

  1. Sher Vancouver partnered with DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society to fully fund the January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award.  Cash prizes of $1000, $600, $400, and $200 for honourable mention.  Deadline December 31, 2019.  Apply today.
  2. Sher Vancouver played a significant role in bringing rainbow park benches to the four recreation centres in the City of Delta to promote diversity and inclusion and make everyone feel welcome.
  3. Sher Vancouver lobbied the City of New Westminster to establish a memorial for Sher Vancouver’s late social coordinator, January Marie Lapuz.  City Council recommended that all victims of violence, especially the three sex trade workers who were murdered in New Westminster including January is recognized and acknowledged.  The proposal is before city staff for further research and recommendations.
  4. Sher Vancouver partnered with No Fear Counselling which donates 100 free sessions of counselling to Sher Vancouver members who are in crisis or distress.  This is a life-saving program that provides critical support.
  5. Sher Vancouver Founder Alex Sangha and former Surrey Libraries Chair Upkar Tatlay delivered a presentation to Surrey City Council advocating for a World Exposition for the city that celebrates the diversity and cultures of Surrey.  Mayor Doug McCallum stated the draft proposal for the Expo shows “a lot of promise” and City Council directed staff to prepare a full report.
Elenore Sturko of the Surrey RCMP at Sher Vancouver Christmas Party
Alex Sangha (left) with Ravi Basi and Renee Saklikar and Meghan Savage of Surrey Libraries Elenore Sturko of the Surrey RCMP at Sher Vancouver Christmas Party

6. Sher Vancouver wrote to Surrey City Council to advocate for the continued funding of a Diversity Department for the new Surrey City Police Force.  Sher Vancouver immediately received an acknowledgment and support from one City Councillor already.

7. Sher Vancouver’s first documentary My Name Was January was screened in 11 countries, and picked up 13 awards, and garnered 57 official selections at film festivals around the world.  My Name Was January entered the Leo Awards and Canadian Screen Awards for Best Short Documentary for 2020.

8. Sher Vancouver managed to bring six official sponsors on board in 2019 to fund Sher Vancouver’s second upcoming documentary film Emergence: Out of the Shadows.  The sponsors are Vancity, OUTtv, Unifor Local 3000, CUPE BC, MoveUP, and the Vancouver Pride Society.

9. Sher Vancouver Founder Alex Sangha travelled to Rideau Hall in Ottawa in March 2019 to receive the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) from the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Julie Payette.  Sher President Ash Brar and Sher Vice President Kayden Bhangu and Alex’s mother also attended the ceremony.

10. Sher Vancouver partnered with YouthCO to host the popular year-end Sher Christmas Gala at Aria Banquet Hall in Surrey.  YouthCO made a generous donation which allowed Sher Vancouver to provide free tickets to low-income youth and YouthCO also donated goodie bags to give as gifts at the festive gala.

That’s it for 2019.  Not a bad year for Sher Vancouver after all.  We look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring our members, friends, and community partners.


-Alex Sangha  

Registered Clinical Social Worker and Registered Clinical Counsellor

Recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada


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