Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards

Recognizing exemplary achievement and community service within our community helps to provide LGBTQA+ students and young professionals with examples to emulate and aspire to.  Sharing the experiences of these individuals helps our community to celebrate Canada’s progress in recognizing LGBTQ+ value to the professional community and society.

Initiated in 2011, the Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards has recognized exceptional candidates within Canada.

The Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards Reception will take place in September in Downtown Toronto.  The Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards Reception precedes the Out On Bay Street Annual Conference.

Stay tuned for information on the nomination period.

Award Categories

Start Proud, formerly known as Out On Bay Street, is offering 5 awards for the 2018 Deloitte Leaders To Be Proud Of:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Professional Leadership Award
  • Emerging Leader Award
  • Leading Executive Ally Award
  • Pride at Work Canada Advocate Award

Refer to the “Criteria & Value” tab above for more information.


Exclusively Sponsored By

Nominations will open soon.

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards!

Lifetime Achievement Award

Scott Mullin
Former Vice President, Community Relations – TD Bank

Pride At Work Canada Advocate Award

Jennifer Johnson
Partner & National Leader for Risk Assurance Services – PwC

Professional Leadership Award

Robert Davis
Partner, Greater Toronto Area Transfer Pricing Leader – KPMG LLP

Jennifer Quinn
Senior Vice President, Commercial Projects – Infrastructure Ontario

Lawrence Spicer
Vice President Audit, P&CB – RBC

Leading Executive Ally Award

Dave Mowat
President & CEO – ATB Financial

Emerging Leader Award

Michael Helander
CEO and Co-founder – OTI Lumionics

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Has made a significant contribution to the business or professional community, including exceptional leadership, market presence, strategic vision and/or economic value, pioneering new methods, being influential and showing personal integrity
  • Is recognized as a lifetime achiever who currently belongs to the professional community or has retired with recognized achievements
  • Identifies as LGBTQ+; May not have been Out or active in the LGBTQ+ community, but willing to let their name stand
  • One awarded per year

Professional Leadership Award

  • Is an experienced senior professional within their respective industry who has shown exceptional ability and a strong track record of leadership, professional excellence and vision, innovation and/or entrepreneurial spirit and is publicly recognized as a role-model for the community
  • Identifies as LGBTQ+; May not have been Out or active in the LGBTQ+ community, but willing to let their name stand
  • Three awarded per year

Emerging Leader Award

  • Is within the first five years of their career and has shown exceptional ability in leadership, professional excellence and vision
  • Has a strong potential to become a recognized leader in the community and demonstrates a relentless desire to succeed
  • Would be recognized as a role model for students and recent graduates as an example of an individual with strong leadership potential
  • Identifies as LGBTQ+; May not have been Out or active in the LGBTQ+ community, but willing to let their name stand
  • One awarded per year

Leading Executive Ally Award

  • Is recognized for their strong contribution to advancing LGBTQ+ issues within their company and the broader business community through advocacy and outreach as an active, empowered ally
  • Identifies as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community
  • One awarded per year

Pride At Work Canada Advocate Award

  • Has played an active leadership role supporting a LGBTQ+ employee inclusion group, as well as contributed to the broader community
  • Has made significant contribution in the area of LGBT+ workplace advocacy, such as supporting LGBT-inclusive policies, mentorship, and/or creation of an employee resource group (ERG)
  • Is considered to be an advocate for diverse and inclusive workplaces and a driver for the business case behind LGBT+ inclusion
  • Identifies as LGBTQ+  or an ally to the LGBTQ+
  • One awarded per year

Value Proposition for Nominees

  • Recognition for excellence in leadership
  • Recognition among LGBTQA+ community as a leader and role model
  • Recognition among the Canadian business community as a diversity champion
  • Recognition for nominee’s company or organization
  • Highlight of individual’s leadership qualities and activities that align with award criteria
  • Celebration of the nominee’s team
  • Opportunity to network at the Awards reception and develop stronger relationships with an exclusive network formed by peers, respected guests and members of the LGBTQA+ community

Past Selection Committee

An independent committee of professionals from the Canadian community (the “Selection Committee”) will receive applications and select recipients. The Start Proud Board of Directors will review the Committee’s recommendations and make the final decision of the Award Recipients.

Joan McArthur-Blair
Co-President, Cockle McArthur-Blair Consulting

Paul Noble
Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, BMO Capital Markets Legal
2014 Leaders To Be Proud Of Award Recipient: Professional Leadership Award

Anthony Partipilo
Chair, Pride at Work Canada and Senior Director, Strategic Planning & Analysis, CIBC

Liz McLachlan
Director Technology Alliances, Accenture

Brian Bachand
Partner, Boyden

*Job titles were current at the time of award


Lifetime Achievement Award

Mary Lou Maher
Partner in Charge GTA Audit and Chief Inclusion Officer, KPMG

Pride At Work Canada Advocate Award

Matt Petersen
Senior Director, Diversity and Inclusion – CIBC

Professional Leadership Award

Tim Thompson
Chief Operating Officer – TD Asset Management

John F. Clifford
Partner, McMillan LLP

John Mountain
Director, Investment Funds and Structured Products Branch, Ontario Securities Commission

Leading Executive Ally Award

Jennifer Tory
Group Head, Personal and Commercial Banking – RBC

Emerging Leader Award

Frances Mahon
Lawyer, Martin + Associates


Lifetime Achievement Award

Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario

Pride At Work Canada Advocate Award

Martine Roy
Director, IBM Canada

Professional Leadership Award

Brad Berg
Partner, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP

Nancy Bramm
VP Communications Retail Distribution & Channel Strategy, CIBC

Angela Swan
Counsel, Aird & Berlis LLP

Leading Executive Ally Award

Garth Issett
VP Infrastructure Services Delivery, IBM Canada

Emerging Leader Award

Angela Chaisson
Lawyer, Ruby & Shiller Barristers


Lifetime Achievement Award

Salah Bachir
President, Cineplex Media & Philanthropist

Pride At Work Canada Advocate Award

Dean Johnson
President and Chief Executive Officer of Sodexo Canada

Professional Leadership Award

Christine Wilson
Executive Director of Content, CIBC

Ben Gully
Senior Director of Deposit-taking Group, Conglomerate Banks at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI)

Paul Noble
Vice-President & Deputy General Counsel, BMO Capital Markets Legal

Leading Executive Ally Award

Ed Clark
Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group

Emerging Leader Award

Adam Goldenberg
Co-founder, Teach For Canada


Lifetime Achievement Award

Andreas Souvaliotis
Founder, Green Rewards

Pride At Work Canada Advocate Award

Dr. Paul Genest
Deputy Minister for Francophone Affairs

Professional Leadership Award

Lucy McSweeney
Children’s Lawyer for Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

Jamie Watt
Executive Chairman, Navigator Ltd.

Anne-Marie Vanier
VP and Chief P&C Actuary, RBC Insurance

Leading Executive Ally Award

Deirdre C. Drake
Managing Director and Chief HR Officer, BMO Capital Markets

Emerging Leader Award

Dave Wilkin
President and Founder, Redwood Strategic


Lifetime Achievement Award

Doug Elliott
Partner, Roy Elliott O’Connor

LGBTQ Workplace Advocate Award

Brent Chamberlain
Executive Director, Pride at Work Canada

Professional Leadership Award

Esther Dryburgh
Partner, Western Canada, IBM

Tim Moseley
Senior VP and Chief Compliance Officer, CIBC

Carol Osler
Senior VP of Enterprise Project Management & Global Physical Security, TD

Leading Executive Ally Award

Kate Broer
Partner, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP


Professional Leadership Award

William Thorsell
Director & CEO, Royal Ontario Museum

Ron White
CEO & Creative Director, Ron White Shoes

Mary Lou Maher
Chief Financial Officer, KPMG

Future Leader Award

Brian Rolfes
Director of Global Recruiting, McKinsey & Company

LGBTQ Workplace Advocate Award

Michael Bach
National Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, KPMG

Leading Executive Ally Award

Justine Fedak
Senior VP and Head of Marketing & Customer Strategies, BMO Harris

Questions may be directed to:

Jonsson Liu
Chair, Awards
E: awards@startproud.org

Student Leadership Scholarship

Start Proud, formerly known as Out On Bay Street, is committed to recognizing excellence in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ+) student communities across Canada in order to help students excel in their career.

In our commitment to support students who make a difference in their LGBTQ+ and other communities, we are currently offering two scholarships to provide resources to help them achieve their educational goals.

2018 Start Proud Student Leadership Scholarship Brochure  – download

Be Recognized at Awards Gala

Each of the two 2018 scholarship recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony in September in Toronto.

 Support Your Education

Receive $2500 towards your studies.

 All-Inclusive Conference Experience

Complementary tickets, travel and accommodations to the 2018 Out On Bay Street Annual Conference.

Application Process

Applicants must register as a Student Member on the Student Portal to gain access to the 2018 Start Proud Student Leadership Scholarship application.


The deadline for applications is Friday May 25th, 2018. The deadline for reference letters is Sunday May 27th, 2018.

Our independent scholarship selection committee will review all complete applications in July 2018 following an internal review for candidate eligibility. The applicants will be notified of the results by August 12, 2018 at the latest.


Please see FAQ first. If you still have questions, email scholarship@startproud.org.

The Student Leadership Scholarship is co-sponsored by Modern Family Realtor.

Purple & Black


Award recipients must:

  • Exemplify leadership, within the LGBTQ+ communities or any community you are passionate about
  • Demonstrate personal and/or academic success
  • Clearly articulate plans for future involvement in the LGBTQ+ communities and career or academic objectives in application
  • Award recipients must demonstrate alignment with Start Proud’s Mission, Vision & Values


The recipient must:

  • Have a Student Profile via the  Start Proud Student Portal which means that the candidate has a valid post-secondary institution email address
  • Submit all required documents, and candidate statements. Documentation requirements are listed under “Application Process” below
  • Be a legal resident of Canada (proof of residency will be required from award recipients)
  • Have completed at least one year of post-secondary studies by September 1, 2018
  • Be registered for the Fall 2018 semester (proof of registration will be required for verification from award recipients)
  • Demonstrate proof of academic achievement during the previous years of study (applicants must self-report their cumulative GPA – official transcripts will be required for verification from award recipients)
  • NOT be a current or previous staff member of Start Proud

Start Proud retains the right to refuse to grant scholarships in any given year if no candidates that apply meet the minimum award criterion.

Application Requirements Checklist

Before starting this application, you will require:

  • Your one page résumé in PDF format (applications with other file types will not be accepted)
  • Email address for your referee (please review information about references below)

To fully complete the application you must:

  • Complete a profile on the Start Proud Student Portal
  • Provide personal, contact, and program information
  • Answer the candidate statements:
    • “Exemplify leadership through significant professional or community impact.” (200 words maximum)
    • “Demonstrate personal and/or career success.” (200 words maximum)
    • “Clearly articulate plans for future involvement in the LGBTQ+ community and career or academic goals.” (200 words maximum)
    • “Demonstrate alignment with Start Proud’s Mission, Vision, and Values” (200 words maximum)

Please list any roles you currently hold or have held within the community, LGBTQ+ organizations, and/or as extracurriculars on your resume.

*If you are chosen as an Award Recipient, an official transcript and proof of registration will be required for verification as well as proof as a legal resident of Canada.


As part of your application through the Start Proud Student Portal, you will provide the name and email address of one referee. The referee will be contacted directly by Start Proud to provide a letter in support of your application. Please review the Referee Package in order to determine which of your possible references will be able to best respond to the guidelines provided. Please note the deadline for referee letters below. You may wish to notify your referee of this deadline well in advance of submitting your application.


Please see FAQ first. If you still have questions, email scholarship@startproud.org.

Frequently Asked Questions


What year of postsecondary education do I have to be in to be eligible for the Start Proud Student Leadership Scholarship?

  • In order to be eligible, you must have completed one year (two semesters) of postsecondary education (part-time or full-time), and be registered for the Fall 2017 semester.

I am Canadian, but I’m going to school outside of Canada. Can I still apply?

  • This awards is only open to Canadian citizens and legal residents of Canada who are studying at a Canadian postsecondary institution, so Canadians studying abroad are not eligible.

I am an international student in Canada. Am I eligible for this award?

  • If you have completed at least one full year of postsecondary studies in Canada and are registered for the Fall 2017 semester in Canada, you may apply for this award. Please note that in the past, selection committee members have given priority to applicants who have demonstrated leadership in Canada, in keeping with Start Proud’s mission, vision and values.

I have applied or won in the past. Can I re-apply?

  • Previous applicants who are eligible this year’s scholarship are welcome to apply again. Previous winners are not eligible for a second scholarship from Start Proud.

Personal Statements

What kind of leadership experience should I mention in my application?

  • In the past, the selection committee has preferred applicants who have demonstrated the ability to start new initiatives and grow existing groups and programs over applicants who have held volunteer positions in longstanding organizations. Past award winners are both involved in existing organizations and driven to start new programs and initiatives to address issues they care about.

I haven’t done any work in the LGBTQ+ community, but I have other leadership experience. Should I still apply?

  • Absolutely. Our winners are selected because of their leadership in whichever communities they chose to serve and because other students can look to them as role models. There is no requirement to be involved in the LGBTQ+ community.

How should I answer the question about alignment with Start Proud’s Mission, Vision & Values?

  • Please read this page and reference how your experiences and accomplishments complement the organization’s vision. An excellent response would also describe your philosophy about inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

I don’t know exactly what I want to do next. How should I answer the question about my future plans?

  • Use this as an opportunity to discuss what issues and topics are important to you and how you can use your leadership skills and your education to drive progress and change.

The application form is letting me type more than the word limit. Is it okay to exceed the specified limit?

  • Personal statements that exceed the specified word limit may have all words in excess of the limit removed when presented to the selection committee. Please respect the word limit.

Resume & References

How long should my resume be?

  • The best resumes tend to be 1-2 pages, so we have set the maximum to 2 pages. A strong application will have a resume that is tailored specifically for this award in order to demonstrate the leadership qualities and community involvement mentioned in the personal statement prompts.
  • If your resume exceeds 2 page, you are required to re-write it with only the most important and pertinent details retained in order to submit an application.

What should I put on my resume?

  • Your resume should contain all information about your education and your relevant work experience and extracurricular activities. Please list all roles you’ve held within community organizations, and any initiatives or programs that you have started.


Who should I choose to write my reference letter?

  • The best reference is the one that is most familiar with your experiences and accomplishments. They can come from your professional, academic, extracurricular, or personal life. In the past, the selection committee has given more weight to references who are more senior in organizations.

What happens if my referee doesn’t submit the letter of reference by the deadline?

  • Start Proud will make one attempt to contact your referee if no letter is submitted by the deadline. If there is no reply in one week, your application will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.

Deadlines and ApplicationFeedback

I won’t have time to complete the application before the deadline. Can I email an application late?

  • Late applications will not be considered.

The application form is still active even though the deadline has passed. Does this mean I can still apply?

  • Applications submitted through the form after the deadline will not be considered.

May I contact someone on the selection committee for feedback or advice?

  • Applicants who contact selection committee members about the scholarship will be considered ineligible for the award.

Will I get feedback on my application from Start Proud?

  • Due to the high number of applicants requesting feedback, the volunteers who run the scholarship are unable to provide personal feedback. Instead, this FAQ will be updated with any additional guidance.

2017 Winners

  • Ellis Furman, Doctor of Community Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • John Sibblad, Bachelors of Commerce, Queens University

2016 Winners

  • Haim Abraham, Doctor of Juridicial Science, University of Toronto
  • Elliot Fonarev, Juris Doctor Candidate, University of Toronto

2018 Start Proud Student Leadership Scholarship Brochure  – download

2018 Start Proud Scholarship Referee Package – download


Please see FAQ first. If you still have questions, email scholarship@startproud.org.

2018 Selection Committee


An independent committee of professionals from the Canadian community (the “Selection Committee”) will receive applications and select recipients. The members of the 2018 selection committee will be provided once the members are finalized.

Conference Travel Bursary

Start Proud, formerly Out On Bay Street, is committed to ensuring that students have access to financial support to partially offset the additional costs students incur to attend the Annual Conference.

In our commitment to support students who would benefit from the professional opportunities at the Out On Bay Street Conference, we offer bursaries to partially offset travel-related costs to attend (ex. car rental, bus, train or plane tickets) as well as accommodation costs in Toronto.

Travel bursaries will range from $50 to $400 based on distance and may only cover your travel costs partially. Accommodation bursaries will range from $150 to $250 based on your city of origin. The bursaries are awarded during the conference after receipts have been submitted.

Application Process

Applicants must register as a Student Member on the Student Portal to gain access to the 2018 Out On Bay Street Conference Travel Bursary application.


Bursaries are awarded on a first-come first-serve basis starting on Friday March 23, 2018. Bursary applications will be open until they have all been awarded, at which case the website and student portal will reflect this information.


Please see FAQ first. If you still have questions, email scholarship@startproud.org.


The recipient must:

  • be a current student studying in a post-secondary institution
  • not be currently living in the GTA
  • be registered for the 2018 Out On Bay Street Conference
  • Students who have already applied for other conference travel bursaries from their post-secondary institution (school, faculty, or program) AND LGBTQ+ Student Club are eligible to receive a larger bursary from Start Proud

Start Proud retains the right to refuse to grant bursaries in any given year if no candidates that apply meet the minimum award criterion.


Please see FAQ first. If you still have questions, email scholarship@startproud.org.