Our West Coast News PDF Print E-mail

UVic's Award Winner Writes About Mixed-Race Identities and Gay Beauty Standards

Lukas Bhandar, the latest winner of the Lambda's award at the University of Victoria, is halfway through an undergraduate degree in Writing and Gender Studies, with a minor in Journalism.


Lukas Bhandar Winner of the Lambda Foundation’s award


Lukas focuses on both fiction and nonfiction writing, with the goal of introducing more queer narratives and voices—both his own and those of others —to the Canadian literary scene. His most recent essay is forthcoming in Plenitude Magazine and explores body hair, mixed-race identities, and gay beauty standards. He is pictured here with Pat McKenna, the partner of the late Candis Graham. Pat is the founder of our Candis Graham Writing Scholarship and among the generous donors who built this endowment.

Lukas is involved with several organizations on the UVic campus. In September 2013 he started an internship as an editor with the Malahat Review, the Canadian and international literary journal based at UVic. In November, he became the Financial Coordinator for the university's Pride Collective, where he has been a volunteer for over a year and a half. He hopes to work with both the Malahat and the Pride Collective until he graduates.

Joy Fisher, the winner of the 2012 Candis Graham Award, has written a tribute to Graham. Joy has completed the undergraduate creative writing program with a concentration in creative non-fiction, play-writing and screenwriting. Much of her creative non-fiction explores LGBT and diversity issues. Graham was a mentor to many aspiring writers, straight and LGBT alike.  Joy's article appeared in Plenitude Magazine.

Plenitude is edited by a former Graham Award winner, Andrea Routley. She writes: "Plenitude Magazine aims to promote the growth and development of LGBTQ literature through a biannual publication of literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic narrative and short film by both emerging and established LGBTQ writers. Plenitude aims to complicate expressions of queerness through the publication of diverse, sophisticated literary writing, graphic narrative and short film, from the very subtle to the brash and unrelenting."

Our first even Candis Graham Award winner, Arleen Paré of Victoria, has had much success in her writing career. Arlene will be on tour across Canada this spring with her latest book of poetry, Lake of Two Mountains. Her previous books are Paper Trails and Leaving Now. Look for Arleen at Open Space in Victoria on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the company of other fine writers. She will also be reading in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg,  Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal. For more information on where and when,  go to


Our West Coast High School Winners - Jack Hallam Human Rights Awards for 2013

Bailey Dalton Photo Brooke Middleton Photo

We have two new Lambda winners at Gulf Islands Secondary School, Salt Spring Island, BC. Bailey Dalton and Brooke Middleton.  Both of them have been very active in the school's gay-straight alliance, and have organized and participated in a number of activities at the school and in the community to help LGBTI students feel at home, and heterosexual students to become their allies. Congratulations to Bailey and Brooke! You two are an inspiration to us all.


OUR DONOR: Jack Hallam

Jack Hallam, a resident of Salt Spring Island, BC, is Lambda's pioneer in sponsoring human rights awards in high schools. Through his generous donation to Lambda, we were able to set up two such awards at Gulf Islands Secondary School on the island. These $1000 awards foster and reward youth who establish gay/straight alliances, foster anti-bullying initiatives and take positive action against racism and other forms of discrimination. We at Lambda hope to  establish similar awards in other Canadian  secondary schools with donations from people like you who care about our youth - just like Jack Hallam does.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 00:04