Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CLGA in Pride Toronto coverage

This article was sent to us courtesy of Tourism Toronto, who came for a tour of CLGA along with American, European and Japanese members of the press (whose articles we will also post when we receive them).
It was so great to meet people from other countries who were here to celebrate Pride. It made me really appreciate the level of support and freedom that the community has in Canada, even if there is still a long way to go. It also made me proud of Pride Toronto as an event and of the organizers for finally making the right decision even if it might cause funding tensions later.

Cyndi Lauper and her blues band perform for Toronto Pride (Source:www.pridetoronto.com)

Out in Toronto

Everywhere--from billboards celebrating the gay lifestyle to art shows, dance, music, theatre, and bars-- Toronto embraces all things gay.

There is also a sense that the struggles to achieve gay rights have already been won here, making it easier to relax, and to be comfortably (and publicly) seen as you are and as you wish to be seen. And it must be noted that there is substantial public and private financing to make sure that Pride Week comes off successfully.

Toronto is a rational, clear-thinking place that promotes civilized behavior. And it takes its history seriously. A visit to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (
www.clga.ca), a library open to the public at 34 Isabella Street , is a must. The library--open Tuesday-Thursday and by appointment--also houses an art gallery, currently displaying portraits of gay community leaders, including councilor Kyle Rae, who, over the years, have worked to make a difference. The Archives offers evidence that the gay community has roots, and ensures that the community will be thriving in Toronto for a long time to come.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Toronto, ON, July 13, 2010 - The Canadian Lesbian + Gay Archives (CLGA) needs your help to nominate individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth of diverse, out and proud lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities in Canada.

Do you know people who have made significant contributions to your LGBT community?

Successful nominees will be inducted into CLGA's National Portrait Collection (NPC) with a new commissioned portrait. Nominations are due September 1, 2010.

For more information, visit www.CLGA.ca/NPC .

The NPC is a central part of our archival holdings at the CLGA. The collection was established in 1998 with 25 original portraits, and coincided with our 25th anniversary. Since then, the collection has grown to 70 portraits of various mediums that include photography, oil and watercolour. The collection is regularly exhibited in our home in Toronto as well as at other venues across Canada, in celebration of all LGBT communities. We are committed to continuous expansion of the collection, thereby actively engaging in the creation of our own historical record.

The CLGA is the second largest LGBT archive in the world, and is a leader within the global community. The CLGA aspires to be a significant resource and catalyst for those who strive for a future world where LGBT people are accepted, valued and celebrated. For more information, visit us at www.CLGA.ca .

For more information, interviews and images, please contact:
Peter Lam, CLGA National Portrait Collection Sub-Committee - NPC@CLGA.ca

Friday, July 9, 2010

CLGA Call for Exhibition Proposals

We are looking for exhibitions to form a year of programming in our gallery to begin in 2011.
Are you an artist?
Do you work with a community group?
Are you a researcher familiar with the CLGA or another archival collection?
If your work can help the CLGA in its mandate to give public access to information and materials by and about LGBT people in Canada or helps us to fulfill our mission then we want your exhibition proposals.

The opening of the new CLGA facility on Isabella Street has provided the Archives with a new and exciting addition: an art gallery and museum space to be used for the exhibition of CLGA materials and for independent artist work that concerns the diverse history and currents of queer people and culture, particularly in relation to the Canadian experience. The gallery opened with the first of its annual exhibitions of the CLGA National Portrait Collection and will continue with an annual program of exhibitions for projects as proposed by a broad range of applicants. In addition to exhibitions of artist work, proposals may also be completed by individuals familiar with the collection and who wish to curate shows of materials from the CLGA.

To propose an exhibition, please review and complete the Gallery Exhibition Proposal. Proposals must be exhibition ready. Deadline to apply September 15, 2010.

You may also wish to refer to our Frequently Asked Questions or send contact us with further questions: exhibitions@clga.ca

Monday, July 5, 2010

CLGA goes to Washington

Librarians have played a key role in the quest for freedom and equality for LGBT people. Professional librarian Barbara Gittings was instrumental in forcing the American Psychiatric Association to drop homosexuality as mental disorder. She also coordinated the first gay caucus of the American Library Association (ALA) and continued to work as a political activist until her death in 2007. Today, that gay library caucus has evolved into the GLBT Round Table of the ALA. There are roughly 1,000 members of this Round Table who work to make libraries queer positive, develop collection strategies that support LGBT patrons, and develop programming for LGBT communities across the continent.

Each year the GLBTRT organizes a session about queer libraries and information professionals for the annual ALA conference. This year, the CLGA was invited to present in Washington DC on the outreach and advocacy that we undertake as part of the Community Engagement Committee. CLGA volunteer and University of Toronto iSchool doctoral student Rebecka Sheffield took up the charge and went to Washington to participate.

The Session, titled Rainbow Hollinger Boxes was organized by radical cataloguer K.R. Roberto and chaired by Houston-based UWO-educated librarian Shawn Vaillancourt. The session also included presentations by manuscripts librarian Steven Fullwood with the New York Public Libraries Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author and historian Phillip Clark, who works with Washington’s Rainbow History Project. Rebecka’s presentation rounded out the group. Each discussed their unique collections of LGBT material and shared the difficulties and triumphs their organizations have experienced throughout the years.

For more information about the ALA, the GLBT Round Table, or to request a copy of the slides for this presentation, please contact Rebecka here.