MoveUP Creates Award to Honour Ardell Brophy
When MoveUP Union Representative Ardell Brophy came to the October 25th Council meeting, she had no idea what was coming. MoveUP’s Table Officers conspired with Ardell’s partner, LeeAnn Keple, to get her to the council meeting under false pretences.
Vice-President David Black announced the creation of an annual Ardell Brophy Award, to be presented to MoveUP stewards who demonstrate fierce dedication and commitment to their union, and who provide mentorship to new union activists.
This award is the latest in a series of awards associated with Ardell – in the summer Ardell won a Woman of Distinction award presented by the YWCA.
A long line of well wishers jumped to the speaker’s microphone to offer Ardell their love and support, underscoring the appropriateness of the honour. The speakers noted Ardell’s tirelessness in support of members and those in need, her spirit and her humour. Council meetings can be dry affairs, but the room was warmed with emotion as members and union staff paid tribute to Ardell, telling her how she inspires them, how selflessly she gives of herself, and how she helps and encourages those around her.
Ardell donates her talents as a stand up comedian to raise money for countless causes and has mentored many up-and-coming female comics. She served MoveUP first as an Executive Board member before becoming a Union Representative for over 18 years. Ardell lives with pulmonary fibrosis.
Ardell is a unique and distinct force within the Canadian comedy scene. She started her own troupe called the Laff Riot Girls which has established itself as Canada’s longest-running female comedy group. Over the years Ardell has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for many worthwhile charities, and despite her illness, she shows no sign of stopping. When thanking the Councillors, Executive Board and Table Officers she said, “I’m not thinking about what I can’t do, I’m concentrating on what I can.”
In 2001 Ardell was honoured by the Government of Canada for her outstanding volunteer contributions and the City of Burnaby awarded her the Local Hero Award in 2006 for her exceptional gifts to the community.
The Ardell Brophy Award will be given out for the first time at next year’s Steward Seminar.