News & Events
Recent News

Business Leadership Award Winners Announced

November 16, 2022

The winners of the 2022 LGBT+ Business Leadership Awards have been announced by Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC). Over 500 attendees gathered at the Carlu in Toronto and online to take part in the organization’s 7th annual Black & White Gala on November 11, 2022. As part of the CGLCC’s mission to contribute to a thriving and inclusive Canadian economy, these awards honour companies and individuals making significant contributions to the LGBT+ and business communities in Canada. Nominations for this award were accepted from a broad call throughout the community.

“The landscape of the Canadian LGBT+ business community has been walked and shaped by so many individuals, organizations, and companies over the years,” said Darrell Schuurman. “These are some steps of many, but we celebrate those today who fearlessly tread forward to build new paths.”

Please join us in celebrating the amazing achievements of each of these incredible winners.

Terri McDowell, Business Leader of the Year

Presented by Accenture

“I can’t believe how much visibility matters, and the reality that we get to stand here, we get to celebrate, we get to normalize our existence – Just how far we have come deserves to be celebrated. As we look ahead, the Trans community does not need more mourners, we do not need more martyrs. We need more allies and we need more advocates.”

– Terri McDowell

Suzie Yorke, LGBT+ Business Advocate of the Year

Presented by CGLCC / Supplier Diversity Program

“I became an entrepreneur. I took a huge risk, I launched a brand, we smashed records, I won tons of awards. This is the best award – it’s my heart, it’s my family. I was the old lesbian founder sitting across the blue suits asking to raise money and equity and I realized we still have a lot of work to do, female founders. I’m on a mission. I’m launching my second brand next month. I’m driving change with low sugar and making a difference but also being very loud, very proud, and continuing to push a message with all of  the retailers in Canada to celebrate diversity, celebrate love is love. This award inspires me to keep going.”

– Suzie Yorke

Robertson & Company Ltd., LGBT+ Business of the Year

Presented by EY

“How we’ve just progressed, how far we’ve come, but we have so much further to go…
It’s such important work that the CGLCC does – the advocacy, the trade missions that we’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of, the Elevate program with partners like BMO – we owe you a debt of gratitude. We are truly honoured to be nominated with such respected and talented professionals.”

– Brian McDonald, COO, Robertson & Company

Thierry Alcantara-Stewart, Young LGBT+ Entrepreneur of the Year

Presented by RBC

“To be here tonight is huge… The hospitality industry has [paid] a huge toll during the last two years and I have managed to open a business, to be successful, and to embrace the LGBT community, the community at large where I am. And I am incredibly thankful for everybody who supports me.”

– Thierry Alcantara-Stewart

BDC, National Corporation of the Year

Presented by EDC

“Through our Supplier Diversity program we’re working to build a more inclusive supply chain. Through our work with human resources we’re ensuring all employees feel safe and included in the workplace, and of course we’re working hard to make sure that all Canadian entrepreneurs have the access to the resources, the financing, the advice, the networks, and the tools they need to succeed. ALL entrepreneurs… I am so proud to be part of an organization that really means it when they say they’re working hard, it’s a journey for all of us to build diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do… We are all truly in this together”


Katherine (Katie) Dudtschak, Legacy Award

Presented by Scotiabank

“Like so many can relate to, I was paralysed by fear – fear of rejection, fear of judgment, fear of hurting my family, fear of losing my job. And what happened was the alternative – the total opposite – I’ve experienced profound kindness, profound love, and so many people from all walks of life opening up to me about their own struggles. And how vulnerability and transparency allows them to feel safer and feel a greater sense of belonging in the world that we all live in.”

– Katie Dudtschak

Bobbie Racette, LGBT+ Founder Award

“I am proud of the awesome team that have adopted and braced themselves for this crazy ride that we’re on together and I’m blown away to be receiving this honour from a community as inspiring and supportive as the CGLCC.”

– Bobbie Racette

The CGLCC would like to thank all those who have been involved in the 2022 LGBT+ Business Leadership Awards. Find out more about all the amazing Finalists, Founder and Legacy Award Recipients, as well as past winners on the Leadership Wall of Fame.

We appreciate the work these individuals and businesses put into making our community better each day – through your shining example, we all win.