Bruce Bursey

Bruce moved to Ottawa from Newfoundland in 1984, beginning his life in Centretown. In the 1990s, as a resident and community activist, he was Co-chair, of the Centretown Traffic Calming Working Group, the first successful introduction of traffic calming measures, “Bursey-bumps”, on a neighbourhood-wide basis, in Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

From 1998-2001 he chaired and spearheaded the community-initiated Ottawa Carlton Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Wellness Project, Working Towards Increasing LGBT Wellness - A Community Challenge. This innovative, ground breaking work completed the first wellness needs assessment of a LGBT community in Canada. It also created the first comprehensive source of LGBT wellness resources in the region.

Working closely with the Medical Officer of Health, funded by the City of Ottawa, and a community grant from the Trillium Foundation, the goals of the Project, were to:

  • Reduce barriers to health care and prevention services,
  • Develop an awareness of LGBT health/wellness issues,
  • Enhance and sustain wellness resources for LGBT people throughout the region, and
  • Prevent illness and promote health/wellness.

This was accomplished by creating and fostering partnerships between local health and social service agencies, and the more than 80 participating organizations and businesses within the LGBT Community. In recognition for this work, Bruce received the Capital Xtra Community Activist of the Year, 2000, and was the Capital Pride Parade Grand Marshal in 2001.

Bruce was a member of Board of Directors for Pink Triangle Services (PTS), from 1999 to 2004, serving two terms as President. During these years the focus of the Board was to build and expand the capacity of the organization to meet the growing demands for services. With particular focus on creating new partnerships between local services providers and the LGBT community. During his time as President, PTS was successful in securing on-going core funding from the City of Ottawa, that continues to this day. This sustainable funding, along with an increase in donations, grants and new partnerships, enabled PTS to hire its first full-time Executive Director. In recognition for this work, he received the Capital Xtra Community Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007.

As a founding member of the Government of Canada Public Service Pride (PSP) Network, Bruce represented Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) employees from 2000 to 2012. During this time the PSP Network grew from three departments in Ottawa, to become the largest employee diversity network in the federal government with active members from every department, across the country. In 2008, the PWGSC Pride at Work Network, organized and participated in the first Government of Canada job recruitment booth at a LGBT Pride in Canada. In recognition of his role in this work, he received the PWGSC Deputy Minister Award of Excellence in 2009.

A co-founder of Gay Prostate Cancer Buddies in 2005, Bruce still volunteers as a coach and facilitator, working closely with The Ottawa Hosptial to provide support for gay and bi men living with prostate cancer.

Bruce was an enthusiastic founding member of the Ottawa LGBT Village Committee from 2006-2011. The installation of rainbow flags along Bank Street, as a clear and visible symbol of the Village, was a dream come true.