Camp fYrefly is the 2019 recipient of the President’s Community Award

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: November 29, 2019 3:30 p.m.

L-R: Roger Brandvold, Chair of the University of Regina Board of Governors, and award co-recipient Jacq Brasseur, Executive Director of UR Pride, Dr. Vianne Timmons, U of R President and Vice-Chancellor, and award co-recipient Wendy Li of OUTSaskatoon at the presentation of the 2019 President’s Community Award on November 28.
L-R: Roger Brandvold, Chair of the University of Regina Board of Governors, and award co-recipient Jacq Brasseur, Executive Director of UR Pride, Dr. Vianne Timmons, U of R President and Vice-Chancellor, and award co-recipient Wendy Li of OUTSaskatoon at the presentation of the 2019 President’s Community Award on November 28. U of R Photography

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In front of an enthusiastic crowd, University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons and Roger Brandvold, Chair of the University’s Board of Governors, presented Camp fYrefly with the 2019 President’s Community Award on November 28 at Innovation Place.

“Research shows that 2SLGBTQIAP+ youth are at greater risk of depression, excessive drug use, suicide, a life on the streets, and estrangement from their families. For many gender and sexually diverse youth, Camp fYrefly is the first safe place they’ve known. Camp fYrefly saves lives,” said President Timmons.

For eleven years, Camp fYrefly has been Saskatchewan’s only volunteer-based summer leadership retreat has been offering gender and sexually diverse youth and their allies a safe refuge where they can learn about resiliency, empowerment, and community. fYrefly has also been able to offer opportunities for educators and students across Saskatchewan to learn about gender and sexual diversity in their schools through fYrefly in Schools, a programs that brings 2SLGBTQIAP+ volunteers into schools to teach about inclusivity, diversity, and support.

“The ‘fYrefly’ is an organism that can develop its own light, and this serves as an overall metaphor for the program: To let the inner light and powers of gender and sexually diverse youth shine, even in the darkest of times,” said Jacq Brasseur, Executive Director of UR Pride, co-recipient of the award along with OUTSaskatoon.

UR Pride and OUTSaskatoon administer and oversee Camp fYrefly and the fYrefly in Schools program throughout the province, dividing responsibilities along geographic borders - southern Saskatchewan and central/northern Saskatchewan.

“Through this award, the U of R has shown two things. Firstly, that the University acknowledges and takes seriously its responsibility to promote acceptance and love for 2SLGBTQIAP+ people through education, and secondly, that fYrefly and our diverse community can look forward to a continued long and luminous partnership with the University of Regina,” Brasseur said.

The President’s Community Award was created in 2010 to recognize individuals or organizations who have a strong history working to better the lives of others in Saskatchewan.

Previous winners include: Chili for Children (2018-19); the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club (2017); Dr. Jacqui Shumiatcher, philanthropist (2016); Mrs. Cindy Fuchs for the Canadian Red Cross–Saskatchewan Division (2015); Mrs. Rena Kapoor, community volunteer (2014); The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Member of Parliament (2013); Mr. Pat Fiacco, former Mayor of Regina; Mr. Jim Scarrow, former Mayor of Prince Albert; and, in 2010, the inaugural President’s Community Award was presented to RCMP “Depot” Division for 125 years of service to the province.