Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LEZ CON -- Onya Hogan-Finlay's photographic exhibit at the CLGA January 20 - April 10, 2012

On Saturday December 10, 2011, Canadian artist Onya Hogan-Finlay hosted a photo shoot entitled 'LEZ CON' at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA). Hogan-Finlay's work aims to document all spectra of the rainbow from "haggard bull daggers, baby dykes, saucy queens, bossy bisexuals, telepathic transgenders, ambidextrous allies, leathery leather daddies young and old, interested intersex people, soft butches, closet cases, as well as staff, board members, volunteers and friends of the CLGA." The final print will be shown as part of an exhibition in the CLGA Gallery, January 20 - April 10, 2012. This exhibition is in conjunction with 'Coming After,' an international group exhibition on queer time, arriving too late and the spectre of the recent past, curated by Jon Davies at The Power Plant, Toronto, 10 December, 2011 - 4 March, 2012 http://www.thepowerplant.org.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The World of Gay Pulps

Just want to (very belatedly) thank Matt Rohweder for his great lecture on gay pulp fiction. Those who braved the rain to hear Matt were rewarded with a funny and informative presentation and a fabulous Q & A. Thanks again, Matt!

We're always looking for new queer-history-themed lecture proposals, so please get in touch if you've been itching to share your research!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Memories of the summer.....my visit to the Schwules Museum, Berlin

I have been to Berlin many times but this summer, when I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go back I wanted to do all the things I had never done there before.

After speaking to others who share my fondness for Berlin, the Schwules Museum was recommended for a visit.  Some of the CLGA’s archivists have visited and formed friendships with Schwules archivists over the years so I worked the visit into my brief time in Berlin.
Schwules was founded by three men, two of whom wanted to build a museum and collect and show “gay” art.  The other founder was interested in archives and set out to build an archives attached to the museum.  As a result the collection, which is housed in a 4 storey building contains one floor of a library (in which the audio visual collection is held), and archival materials, one floor that serves as the museum and exhibition space and two floors that house the massive art and poster collection.

The museum entry fees (5 for the exhibit I saw) funds the whole organization almost entirely and is staffed by volunteers.  There is a full-time Archivist and General Manager (who also produces the exhibitions), though part-time staffing for the archives is also provided by the Berlin version of work-fare (one Euro jobs) and a host of volunteers and practicum students.  Some funding is provided by the Berlin government and this has been a reasonably stable source of funding for the archives.
I was very interested to learn that there is no electronic database for the archival holdings, only excel sheets and some very detailed finding aids which seemed very useful.  The art collection is still largely uncatalogued but they are working on this.
oversized archival materials
During my visit I also became aware of the SpinnbodenArchives a few blocks away which is the lesbian archives.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it there in my brief time in Berlin, but it was interesting to hear how the two archives have begun to work together.  The dream is to someday have a single building which could house both archives in different wings and house the entire story of the queer communities of Berlin in one place without dissolving either original archival collection.  Currently the Schwules archives collects items from the trans and lesbian communities as an interim solution and meets with the Spinnboden Archives regularly looking for opportunities to collaborate or find funding for a permanent home together.

It was interesting to see how another community archives has formed, so much in common with the CLGA but also taking a much different approach to management of the collection, staffing, access and fundraising.  Definitely worth a visit if you
find yourself in the vicinity of Kreuzberg but check the website for hours before going.

standard sized archival materials

The view from the Archives
entrance to Archives (rear of building)

Queer fonds
time line in the library

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The World of Gay Pulps: A Talk with Matthew Rohweder

The World of Gay Pulps: A Talk with Matthew RohwederThis talk will discuss Matthew's recent work and give insights into the CLGA's Pulp Fiction Collection.

7:30pm-9:30pm Thursday, September 29, 2011
Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives
34 Isabella Street, Toronto, 3rd Floor

This event is Free,donations are gratefully accepted.
Reservations are required as space is limited. Email: lectureseries@clga.ca to book your space.

Friday, September 2, 2011

GV and the Glorious Bird

GV and the Glorious Bird
an exhibition by Sholem Krishtalka
September 15 – October 27
Opening reception September 15, 2011 7:30pm-10pm, Archives Gallery, 34 Isabella Street
Krishtalka's work is an exercise in queered history: a deconstruction of his life, a document of his relationships, and an attempt to create a philosophy from and about queerness. GV and the Glorious Bird is a sweeping epic about Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams. Captivated by their strange position in the American 20thcentury, Krishtalka imagines the two as recorders and witnesses whose own stories unfold in a suite of narrative paintings. As with all of his work, he imagines this series as an opera, in which he casts his immediate social circle as its actors.
Sholem Krishtalka is an artist and writer.  He holds a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from York University.  He is the art critic for Xtra Magazine and his writing has been featured in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Taddle Creek, and CBC Arts Online, in addition to which he is a regular contributor to Ryeberg.com, a curated video blog.  His artwork has been featured in Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting, a survey of contemporary Canadian painting.  Most recently, he had a solo show in Brooklyn, New York, at Jack the Pelican Presents, where he launched a commissioned folio of prints with ArtInvestor, a Munich-based multiples store and magazine. His paintings were featured in the premiere issue of Headmaster, a queer arts and culture magazine out of Providence, Rhode Island.  He maintains a web-project called Lurking, which can be seen at sholem.tumblr.com.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Older LGBT Empowerment Conference at 519...Save the date

The CLGA has been asked to participate at the Older LGBT Empowerment Conference this fall with an interactive booth and presentation by the host of the conference, the 519 Community Centre.
The theme of the conference is "Opening the Closet on Aging: LGBTQ 50+ Empowerment Conference" and it is a collaborative event of the Senior Pride Network.
Many community groups will be participating and it is shaping up to be a very interesting event, and a great opportunitiy to share experiences and make new connections.

Save the Dates November 28-29, 2011 and check out the website or check back for more details as they develop.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What do queer neighbourhoods do for cities?

What do queer neighbourhoods do for cities? Rebecka Sheffield, CLGA volunteer and doctoral student at the Toronto iSchool, will be participating in a panel tonight (!) that will be debating this question at the Urban Space UnConference, the kickoff to this year’s Queer West Arts Festival. The QWAF is an annual celebration of the vibrant queer community in Toronto’s west end. You can read more about te UnConference and the QWAF at www.queerwest.org.

The panel will include: Catherine J. Nash, Brock University, Michael Went, co-author of Community Advisory Panel recommendations to Pride Toronto, Michael Erikson, a high school teacher and photographer, and Rebecka Sheffield, representing the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA). The event is free and takes place tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 at Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre at 220 Cowan Avenue at West Queen West.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Canadian Committee on the History of Sexuality (re)launch a new and improved website

I am pleased to report that the Canadian Committee on the History of Sexuality (CCHS) has launched a new and improved website. Have a look at http://www.chashcacommittees-comitesa.ca/cchs/

Established in 1996, the CCHS is an official subcommittee of the Canadian Historical Association (CHA-SHC). The aim of the CCHS is to provide an organizational focus within the Canadian historical profession for all those who are researching, writing, teaching, and otherwise interested in the historical study of sexuality.

The site remains in its original design, but its contents and links are now updated. In the "News" section, for example, you'll find a couple items related to the upcoming conference in Vancouver, "We Demand: History/Sex/Activism in Canada." The other pages, such as the bibliography and web resources, have also been updated.

The hope is to turn the website into a useful resource for all those working on the sexual past in Canada. Thanks to CCHS co-chair Steven Maynard for passing along the information. I'm sure that it will be useful to many who use the CLGA for their research!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Khush: A Show of Love

Have you checked out our new exhibition in the Archives Gallery?
Read Xtra!'s interview with the Curator, Andil Gosine or come by to have a look Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday evenings from 7:30pm-10pm.
Khush: A Show of Love runs until September 1, 2011.

How Grassroots Community Archivists Can Succeed in Ten Easy Steps!

Inspired by Ben Stein’s book, How to Ruin Your Life, Guelph-based columnist Joseph Jolley published his own step-by-step guide for community activists on how they, too, can be total failures. The guide serves as a benchmark for activists to measure their attitudes and behaviors against worst practices that ensure that any activist community becomes an isolated irrelevancy. It should be required reading for any grassroots organization working for social justice or political change. In turn, Jolley’s work has inspired archival scholar Rebecka Sheffield to put together a step-by-step guide for community archivists with activist roots.

From Rebecka's blog:

…You say community activist; I say community archivist….

For those of you who know me or read my work regularly, you will know that I am very interested in the work of community archives with activist roots. These often grassroots archival initiatives include LGBT archives, aboriginal and ethnic community archives, labour archives, and other collections that document the experiences of people and communities that are not always accurately or adequately represented within public heritage institutions. The act of constituting a community archives creates intellectual space for community activists to document the work that they do and opportunities to communicate their knowledge to others. Community-based collections provide researchers with the touchstones to write histories that challenge dominant narratives and present new interpretations of historical events that form part of our shared cultural memory. Community archives with activist roots are not afterthoughts, but part of the social and political movements upon which they are established.

Community archives are championed by and cared for by community archivists, many of whom pursue the task of archiving without professional training or awareness of the well established communities of practice that already exist. They simply see the value in the work that they do and once the archival bug bites, it’s a difficult fever to break. Sadly, many of these community archives fail, as community archivists struggle to sustain long-term investment in the preservation and management of their records. In some cases, collections are handed over to other heritage bodies; in other situations, they end up in basements or dispersed to the custody of individual community members. In either scenario, the constituent community can lose their sense of ownership over their own documentary heritage.

So, how might community archivists work more effectively to establish sustainable archives? Here are a few suggestions:

How Grassroots Community Archivists Can Succeed in Ten Easy Steps

1. Make the archives as cozy, welcoming, and easy to access as possible. Never greet visitors with apprehension and or confront them with a lengthy research agreement prior to providing any reference services. Answer questions in a non-judgmental manner that makes visitors feel reassured, engaged, and excited to learn more.

2. Keep a record of your acquisition policies, appraisal decisions and descriptive standards. And yes, please, you need some standards… If there is a mandate, make sure that it is clearly posted on your website and made available to everyone who walks through the door. And on that note…

3. Create a strategic plan to attract and retain volunteers. When volunteers provide service, provide them with clear guidelines about expectations and acceptable behavior. Always ensure that they know how much their work is appreciated and how grateful you are to have them contribute their time and effort to sustaining your archives.

4. Plan outreach and community engagement activities that engage both your own community and the general public. Make sure that your message conveys the importance of your collections and the services that you provide to researchers.

5. If you work with a tangible repository, make sure to establish an online presence. In this day and age, it is not only a good idea to have a website, but expected. Keep your webpage up-to-date with important information such as public hours, the archives’ mandate, contact information, and any policies and procedures you have established for operations. The mandate of the archives should be easy to find and written with a clear purpose in accessible language.

6. If you work with a virtual repository, make sure that your website is accessible, clearly readable, and easy to navigate. I would recommend using accessible design that makes it easier for people with cognitive and visual impairments to find and use the collections that you keep. If possible, do not pay for web hosting out of your own pocket, but ask visitors to support the site through donation.

7. Apply for grants, ask researchers for donations, and don’t be too embarrassed or inflexible to ask private donors for operational funds. Archives, whether virtual or tangible, are expensive. One community archivist many not be able to support the archival initiative for very long, but a carefully considered financial plan can help extend the life of the archives.

8. Draft a succession plan that outlines how you want the collections to be managed after you are no longer able to work with them. Don’t force future community archivists to guess why you made the decisions you did when you were in charge. Help them understand the context for these decisions, what challenges you have faced, and successful strategies that you have developed over time and with experience.

9. When engaging with media or the public, avoid esoteric language and political rhetoric. If you appear smug or inflexible in your methods, the general public can easily dismiss the important work that you do as utterly pointless. Whatever social and political struggles you have justifiably taken on, it is not a good idea to show contempt or little regard mainstream society. Your perspective will never be heard if it is shouted, forced or kept to yourself.

10. And most importantly, remember to give yourself the freedom to define and redefine your own success. Political and social movements change over time as goals are met and new challenges emerge. Aspirations also wax and wane; take time off if you need to refocus or re-energize. When you have the archival fever, work like hell to collect, preserve and make accessible your precious collections!

We need strong community archivists now more than ever before. Such organizations help democratize heritage, challenge us to look at our own histories in different ways, and work with researchers to help bring to light stories that would otherwise be silenced. We need grassroots community archives and the community archivists who work with them to help us understand the collective memories of our communities, whether we are part of them or not.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Archives to Reopen for Public Service Thursday

We are back on track with good weather on our side! 
The Archives will reopen for public service on Thursday, August 4, 2011 from 7:30pm-10pm. 
Thank you for your patience and understanding during the closure of the Archives. 

2012 – 2013 Call for Exhibition Proposals

It’s that time of year again!

We are well under way for an excellent 2011 series of exhibitions from our call for proposals last year and now we are ready to accept applications for 2012 and 2013.  The Call for Exhibition Proposals is now open again.  The call closes August 31, 2011.
Please download and complete the application package, noting the changes from last year.
If you have questions about the process or the application please refer to our FAQs or email us: exhibitions@clga.ca (please allow one week for reply).
Best of luck with your application and we look forward to hearing about what is happening in the community.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mapping Queer History in Now - UPDATE

Only minutes after we sent the letter to Now, we received a call from the Editor.  The response from Now was apologetic that the CLGA had been misnamed, left off the map (which was a complete oversight and not intentional) and for the inaccurate information attributed to us.
They have promised to print the letter in a CLGA approved abreviated form.
One of the main issues for us here at the archives is that we want to encourage engagement with the past but in a sensitive and accurate way.  The Editor at Now as suprised and happy to hear that the good news is we're here to help navigate through the innaccuracies and muddled accounts to get at the real stories.  Part of how we keep our stories alive is by provide support to local and international journalists, artists, writers, filmmakers, students, academics and the general public.  We hope that more Torontonians and the writers from Now will come to us for assistance with projects of this kind now and in the future.

We are regularly open for public service Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 7:30pm-10pm, or online via remote access by emailing info@clga.ca

'Mapping Queer History' feature in NOW Magazine

As part of their Pride coverage, Toronto's NOW Magazine published a map listing sites of historical interest as well as current institutions and organizations. We had some problems with the article, but we've been in touch with NOW and they've been very receptive. They're publishing a shortened version of our letter in an upcoming issue, but we wanted to share the whole thing. Big thanks to volunteers Gordon and Harold for combing through the original piece and correcting the inaccuracies.

NOW Magazine

189 Church Street

Toronto, ON M5B 1Y7

July 12, 2011

Dear Editors:

We are writing in reference to your recent piece, “Mapping Queer Toronto” (compiled by Julia Hoecke, Fran Schechter and Susan G. Cole, V.30 No.44). While we applaud any efforts made to teach Torontonians about queer history, we wanted to bring your attention to some of the inaccurate information presented in the article. We were also puzzled to see the reference to the ‘Lesbian and Gay Archives of Toronto’ at the end of the piece; as far as we know, this organization does not exist. (we are the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, or CLGA). Finally, the fact that we were not included in the list of current organizations is somewhat disheartening, given that we have been active for nearly 40 years and our General Manager was asked to assist with research.

Here is an overview of the errors that we noticed should you wish to make corrections.

Current Organizations and Institutions

4. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The first performance was in 1978 at the Dream Factory on Queen Street.

6. Community AIDS Treatment. The name is actually the Community AIDS Treatment Information Exchange, though it is more widely known by the acronym CATIE.

Commemorative Sites

2. AIDS Memorial. The permanent memorial was completed in 1993, but there was a list of names presented in a temporary yearly memorial between 1988 and 1991.

Historical Locations

1.The Albany. The bar and the club seem to have been confused. The Albany Bar operated for about five years at 90 King St. E, while the Albany Club is at 91 King St. East. The latter is the one founded by Sir John A. MacDonald.

The Body Politic. The original address should be 65 Kendal Avenue, Apt.8, not 4 Kensington. CLGA General Manager Elizabeth Bailey sent an e-mail to Julia Hoecke with this information on June 27, 2011.

14. Gay Alliance for Equality. This organization was in Halifax. The Toronto organization was called Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE).

15. Glad Day Bookshop. Founder Jearld Moldenhauer used his apartment at 65 Kendal Avenue (see #5) as the first location of store.

17. Health Emporium. This was actually called the Richmond Street Health Emporium.

23. Remington’s. This is not a bathhouse and was founded in 1993, so it was definitely not targeted in the 1981 raids. The bathhouses targeted in the raids were: Club Baths, the Roman II Health and Recreation, the Richmond Street Health Emporium and the Barracks.

24. St. Charles Tavern. This was not located at Yonge and Charles, but rather several blocks south at 488 Yonge Street (near Alexander St.). An article from NOW’s 2008 Pride Guide (“10 Places to go to get in touch with Your Inner Gay” by Enzo Di Matteo) cites the correct address.

In light of these errors, we hope that you understand our position. Queer history is so often marginalized and/or misrepresented that accuracy is of paramount importance to us. We invite your reporters to visit us at 34 Isabella Street should they wish to learn more.

Sincerely, The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Archives closed for construction

The Archives will be closed for some much needed exterior repairs and maintenance from July 18 - July 25. There will be no access to the Archives during this time.
As this work is weather dependent, duration of the work may change. Keep checking here or call us before you come to avoid disappointment. Enjoy the time off and we'll see you in August!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 Pride Toronto Funding at Risk....Again

I received this message from Proud of Toronto today calling for a Ward Organizing meeting at the 519 tomorrow.
Can you believe that Mammoliti has found a way to put the funding in jeopardy again?!!?
Even though Pride Toronto was guaranteed funding by the city earlier this summer they don't actually reecive the funds until after the event.  In this case threats are being made that they may not receive the funds as promised.

Keep that great energy from Pride going a bit longer to help secure this important Toronto event!

As we speak, Toronto City Council is making plans to balance a huge operating deficit in the 2012 budget. Everything is under review, all city services are on the line, and decisions are being made very quickly about the future of our city and which programs and services will be cut.   The impact of these cuts will be felt by all Torontonians for years to come.

With no time to waste, we have started a campaign that calls on local residents like you to demonstrate your
Commitment 2 Community (C2C). Many of your fellow community leaders and neighbours have joined the campaign to protect the community services that make our city a healthy, safe and vibrant place to live. Sign up to be part of C2C - connect with other residents who live in your ward who are passionate about our communities and want to protect our vital city programs and services. Join us at a deputation training session to prepare to speak up at City Council!
Commitment 2 Community Campaign Presents:

Speak up for your City! A Deputation Training & Ward Organizing Meeting  

 Location: 519 Church Street Community Centre (Church & Wellesley) 

Date: Thursday July 7, 2011

 Time: 7pm - 9pm  

The 519 is a wheelchair accessible space. 

Please register for this event online:

To stay informed, please join the C2C mailing list by signing up at:

Questions? Contact Jonah or Anita at c2c@socialplanningtoronto.org or 416 351 0095 x256, or, visit our website at: www.commitment2community.org

Thursday, June 30, 2011

We're in the news....

On the eve of Pride in Toronto we're in the news.
Check out this article in the Torontoist by our President, Robert Windrum and an article in Now magazine, Toronto for which we provided research assistance (too bad they left us off the map and didn't get our name right but oh well).

Happy Canada Day and Happy Pride Toronto!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pop-Up Museum of Queer History

Going to Brooklyn anytime soon? If so, be sure to check out the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History! "The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History is a grassroots organization that transforms spaces into temporary installations dedicated to celebrating the rich, long, and largely unknown histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people...In an intellectual climate where even the Smithsonian can be forced to bow to the will of homophobia and remove the work of seminal queer artist David Wojnarowicz, we must create alternative venues for our art and history. By utilizing empty and/or public spaces, the pop-up format turns economic reality to our favor and expands our reach beyond a single location, while the online presence serves as the connecting thread between physical installations".

Monday, June 27, 2011

Open House for Pride Toronto weekend

We have two excellent exhibits on view during Pride.

In the Archives Gallery is a selection from our National Portrait Collection featuring this year's inductees: Nancy Nicol, Jearld Moldenhauer and Sky Gilbert.

On the 3rd floor, an archival exhibit from our poster and photographic collections on early pride celebrations in Toronto.

Stop by for a chat or to see our exhibits before hitting the parades and the parties.  We'll be here from 10-2 Saturday and Sunday (July 2-3).

Happy Pride!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toronto Children's Aid Celebrates Pride

Well, it's that time of year again and the Toronto Children's Aid (our neighbours) have done something wonderful again.
It warms my heart when I pass through George Hislop Park.
I particuarly love the figures dancing and floating on rainbows.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just Sayin'

In light of the hoopla around a certain recent article, we'd just like to remind everyone that it's hard to know who you are without knowing where you came from. We're open for public service hours Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30 - 10:00, so come on by and check out an exhibit, chat with a volunteer, or find out how you can contribute. Even though we're in the Village.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bent Aging panel

Bent is a monthly event that showcases community members who discuss their
knowledge and expertise on various chosen topics that change each month. A
one-hour moderated panel discussion is followed by a one-hour open format Q&A
with the audience, creating an educational and interactive experience.

This month we present Bent Aging looking at how the LGBT community adapts to
ageing. Do queer people have different concerns on ageing compared to
heterosexuals? Are resources in place to accommodate queer individuals as they
reach retirement age? Should an exclusive queer seniors residence be an option?
Do queers have health issues more specific to themselves as they age? How does
our current government infrastructure facilitate the transition into elder
care? What resources and counselling are available for queer seniors? Let's
talk about sex!

Drop by, listen in, and have your say.

John Gaylord - AIDS Committee of Toronto
Ernie Lacasse - PFLAG
Paul Cogan - Gray Queers Association
Herbert Harms - Long-Term Care Homes and Services, City of Toronto

Contact the administrator if you are interested in video recording our monthly
series for podcasts. Intern or students preferred, but will consider all.

Moderator: Andrew Vail, writer, The Middle Edge,

The Details - Tuesday May 31, O’Grady’s Bar, 518 Church Street, 7pm to 9pm, Free
Admission - All Welcome -

Facebook Event Page -

Future Topics – Theatre, Astrology, Body, Travel, Fashion, Design, Cuisine, Art,
Youth Culture

Join our Facebook Page and be the first to know -

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Southern Huron District High School

For the second time this month I was treated to the enthusiastic company of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) chapter, this time from the Southern Huron District High School, Exeter Ontario. The troupe -- comprised of six inquiring youths and Chuck Mallette, an English teacher and GSA representative -- were such keeners they arrived early despite the drizzling rain. Throughout the visit we discussed CLGA concerns such as the conservation of queer heritage and public outreach to the extent that after sharing time together we ultimately went for lunch to further the conversation. Prior to their arrival, the GSA visited the Glad Day Bookstore and upon leaving they moved onwards to the Central Toronto Youth Services and the 519 Community Centre on Church Street. Once again, friends from the GSA, you made our day and we very much look forward to seeing next year!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ALMS 2011

Rebecka Sheffield presented on the CLGA at the recent 
ALMS conference in Los Angeles. 
Photo Credit: Don McLeod. 

The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives hosted the Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections (ALMS) Conference, held in West Hollywood, May 12-15, 2011. Billed as an international academic LGBT conference with a grassroots flavour, ALMS attracted 125 delegates. The featured keynote speakers were noted historian Lillian Faderman and activist Cleve Jones. Numerous simultaneous sessions featured academic papers, panel discussions, performances, and films. Highlights of the conference included visits to local archives and libraries to examine LGBT collections, including those at the Mazer Archives, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC, and the Young Research Library at UCLA,
Three volunteers from the CLGA were able to attend (Don McLeod, Alan Miller, and Rebecka Sheffield). Rebecka’s presentation, “Sustaining Passion and Encouraging Diversity: Community Engagement at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA)” was well received.
ALMS 2012 will be hosted by the Internationaal homo/lesbisch informatiecentrum en archief (IHLIA) in Amsterdam the first week on August 2012, and will coincide with Amsterdam’s Gay Pride festivities. 

Don and Alan at the conference. 
Photo Credit: Graham Willett.
Written By: Don McLeod

National Portrait Collection Induction Ceremony

Click here for tickets 

Join us as we celebrate the induction of Sky Gilbert, Jearld Moldenhauer and Nancy Nicol with a ceremony and reception to unveil their newly commissioned portraits. For more information about the new inductees visit: clga.ca/npc

An exhibition these portraits and a selection of past inductees will open in the Archives Gallery Saturday, May 28 10-4.  The exhibition runs May 28-July 14.
For more information about the exhibition click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pride Toronto will be funded by the city

It has been an interesting time for the queer community in Toronto.
After heated debate and a report advising that QuAIA's name isn't hate speech, today city of Toronto council voted unanimously to fund Pride Toronto this year.
Apparently out of the debate (and real examples of homophobic hate speech from councillors like Mammoliti and others) came a requirement of Pride Toronto to give QuAIA the boot if they show up at official Pride festivities.
It is a victory to be sure, but it is a bitter sweet victory.
I am glad to see that PT will get funding and live to fight another year, and happier still to see the solidarity of the community with QuAIA voluntarily abstaining from official PT some weeks back.  The bitterness comes from the fact that the Fordite sect (that has gained increased power and visibility since Ford became mayor) have been emboldened in their regular expression of homophobia.
I can't help but feel that though this year's Pride is safe, we have uncovered a tolerance for homophobia that I used to think Torontonians found distasteful at the very least.

Somehow hearing Mammoliti saying "QuAIA had better stay away...they can't just do what they want" sounds like a challenge and borders on the kind of censorship that can cause real division in the queer community.
Continued solidarity in the face of such opposition is challenging so let's hope we can keep it going.

For this year at least we can all look forward to a happy Pride in Toronto in just a few weeks!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Awfully Devoted Women - Author Talk and Book Signing

Author Talk and Book Signing
Awfully Devoted Women: Lesbian Lives in Canada, 1900-65 (UBC Press) is the
first book-length study of lesbian sexuality, relationships, and community
in Canada before 1965. Awfully Devoted Women has been selected for the 2011 Over the Rainbow Book List, a Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association.

Vancouver based independent researcher, historian and author Cameron Duder
will give a talk at 6.30pm on Wednesday June 1st, Toronto Women’s Bookstore,
73 Harbord Street, Toronto. Free and open to the public.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Anti Homophobia and Transphobia Rally

Pearse Murray - Director, Dennis Findlay - Vice- President,
CLGA Board of Directors in the Rotunda
This is a busy week!  On Monday after giving tours to GSA students two of our board members and I headed down to City Hall for the Proud of Toronto, Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia rally.  This was a chance for community groups to show our solidarity and support for Pride Toronto which is facing threats of defunding.
A great turn out including several city councillors (and notably missing Mayor Ford!) and sponsored by our own Kristyn-Wong Tam.
Some of my favourite moments from the night include Wong-Tam's "if you wear leather or nothing at all" speech about inclusiveness and the GSA from a catholic school in Mississauga - it was great to see such courage and commitment to tolerance and equality in the face of such opposition.  It gives me hope as we collectively face strengthening opposition from increasingly right wing governments.

Andrea Houston from Xtra was tweeting out the highlights as they happened - read the full article.

The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) tour the Archives!

On Monday May 16th, 2011 the folks at the CLGA enjoyed the honour of meeting over 40 enthusiastic students from the GSA chapter of Richmond Green Secondary School. The Springtime showers didn't hold these kids back as they eagerly toured the premises asking thoughtful questions along the way. The CLGA was but the first stop on a fieldtrip led by activist Enza Anderson. In my experience as a volunteer, the Richmond Green group was the largest student turnout the CLGA has seen and it was great to see such a rallying of interest. Upon leaving the Archives the students visited the George Hislop Park, Glad Day Bookshop, Pride Toronto, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, Proud FM, the Bank of Montreal and Woody's. The fieldtrip was coordinated by the GSA representative Tiffany Cece and I would like to say thank you for connecting the Archives with Richmond Green students. You guys were great!

Pearse Murray -
"Everyone loves a hero, George Hislop was one of ours,
I hope you find your hero"

So many students! 
Andrea Houston of Xtra caught up with the tour and wrote a very nice article which really captures the energy and engagement of the students.

Friday, May 6, 2011

CLGA is a community sponsor for Inside Out film festival

The Sons of Tennesse Williams
By Tim Wolff

International Premiere Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:15pm
The Bell Light Box Cinema

The Sons of Tennessee Williams documents the story of the men in late 1950s New Orleans who brought the first drag balls to Mardi Gras and who paved the way for people's freedom to perform in the fabulous pomp and pageantry that is enjoyed today.

At a time when police raids on gay bars, violent hate crimes and public shaming of known homosexuals were commonplace behaviours, a handful of gay men pushed back against those systems of oppression by forming underground drag crews and hosting lavish secret balls. Originally conceived as a political send-up of their mainstream straight society counterparts, these drag crews persevered and eventually became a hallmark of modern Mardi Gras.

The Sons of Tennessee Williams interweaves powerful archival footage of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and the journey of drag balls with contemporary interviews with key players and historians. This tremendously rewarding film is entertaining, captivating and joyful in its celebration of one of the most valuable stories in gay history.

Director and special guests in attendance.

International Premiere

This program is rated 14A

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Doors Open Toronto 2011

The CLGA is open for Doors Open Toronto 2011.
We will be open May 28-29, 10:30-4:30 Saturday and Sunday offering tours of our facility throughout the day.
In the Archives Gallery will be the newly unveiled portraits of this year's National Portrait Collection Inductees.
On the 3rd floor is an exhibit from our photographic and poster collections around early Pride celebrations in Toronto.
See you there.
for more information about Doors Open Toronto 2011 visit: http://www.toronto.ca/doorsopen/

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Visit to Fudger House

On Wednesday April 27th, I  chatted over tea with the gay and lesbian seniors at Fudger House on Sherbourne St. about the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
Fudger House was the first City owned Seniors Care Facilities to identify the need to acknowledge the sexual diversity of some of their residents. In the last few years, that has changed and all of the facilities now have it as part of their mandate to provide services and recognition of the diversity within their residents. Some are more successful in incorporating these concepts into practice.

I did a summary of when the Archives was started, what we have in our collection and how it is used and how we are dependent on private donations to keep us financially afloat.This was followed by some good discussion and memories of some of the residents.  As one might expect, many of the businesses that they talked about no longer existed today. I really did get the feeling that the residents enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

by: Dennis Findlay

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Patient Zero - A great success!

Alan Miller, CLGA LGBT Serials Lead (left),
Dr. Richard McKay (right)
 Thanks so much to all those who attended last night's talk by Dr. Richard McKay.
We were fortunate enough to have a packed house for this informative and engaging lecture.
McKay's work is incredibly interesting as was his presentation style which created a narrative about Dugas and provided insights into this man and the process by which he was labeled "Patient Zero".

Thanks also go to Richard McKay, Craig Palmer and Ed Jackson for organizging this event and for helping us to raise much needed funds for the CLGA.  It was a generous crowd!

Recipient of the LGBT Giving Network's Outstanding Volunteer Award our own Alan Miller

At the LGBT Giving Network's Philanthropy Conference Alan Miller was honored for his 30+ years as a volunteer with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

In his more than 30 year volunteer career with the CLGA Alan has been our one of our volunteer Leads, specializing in the LGBTQ Serials Collection.  Out of the few boxes in the basement of the Body Politic in the 1970’s, Alan has built the collection of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives into the largest periodicals collection of its kind in the world.
Alan regularly works with researchers, students and volunteers on Thursdays and Sundays weekly at the Archives.  In 2010 he hosted a walking tour for Jane’s Walk Toronto where he demonstrated his enthusiasm and vast knowledge of this queer history in Toronto. 
Congratulations Alan! and thank you for your tremendous contributions to the Archives!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

National Portrait Collection Induction Ceremony - SAVE THE DATE

The National Portrait Collection will unveil 3 newly commissioned portraits honouring Sky Gilbert, Jearld Moldenhauer and Nancy Nicol at an Induction Ceremony Thursday, May 26, 7pm at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
SAVE THIS DATE and check out our website for more information as it becomes available.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Got the Post Long Weekend Blues?

Zelda's is at it again tonight with Dirty Bingo to benefit the CLGA.
Bingo starts at 8:30 but your best bet is to call for a reservation: 416 922 2526.
See you there.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Patient Zero - a lecture by Richard McKay

Richard McKay (formerly from Vancouver and now at King's College, London) will talk about the truth behind the media's creation of Patient Zero, the original AIDS flash point, GaƩtan Dugas. Rich's presentation will use rare images and oral history clips, and draw out the aspects of the Randy Shilts and Dugas stories, quit different from those depicted in Shilt's book And the Band Played On (1987).

Tuesday, April 26, 6pm-9pm
Ryerson University
Thomas Lounge, Oakham House, 63 Gould St
Toronto, Ontario
Tickets not required - donations at the door are gratefully appreciated and will benefit the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Book on the History of Yorkville features interview with Cliff Collier

Following the memorial service at the archives for Clifford Collier March 19, 2011 there is news of his legacy already coming back to us.
Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s will be published in late April by the University of Toronto.
"One chapter in the book relies heavily on Clifford Collier's experiences and recollections.  His contributions to my research were indispensible" wrote author Stuart Henderson, in an email to the Archives.
"On a personal note, I was so sorry to hear of Mr Collier's recent death. He was among the loveliest men I have ever had the chance to meet. I wish he could have seen the book that he so enriched."

We couldn't agree wit Stuart more! and it is so nice to see that while we are all feeling the loss of Clifford we are also already able to see the impact that he made.

A public book launch will be held at the Gladstone Hotel on May 3rd at 7:30pm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Supporters of the Toronto Pride festival are being called upon to sign a petition to prevent the loss of funding for the parade from the City of Toronto. People can show their support to Toronto City Council for its valued assistance by signing the petition embedded in this hyperlink: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-toronto-city-council-to-support-diversity-and-pride-toronto

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dirty Bingo at Zelda's to benefit CLGA

From Monday, April 4 - Monday May 9, Dirty Bingo at Zelda's will benefit the CLGA!
If you aren't familiar with Dirty Bingo, it is definitely worth coming out to see what it is all about.
Bingo starts at 8:30pm each Monday on the second floor and reservations are recommended.
The best part of all is that you can chase away the Monday blues with a fun night out and support the CLGA!
Check out Zelda's website for more info: http://zeldas.ca/2010/03/monday-dirty-bingo/
See you there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Community Exhibit at Queen's Park - AIDS Memorial in Toronto

Yesterday Jenna Danchuck and I had the pleasure of installing our community exhibit at Queen's Park.
The display will be on view until the end of September.  To get a look you can join any tour (they are open regular business hours but after Victoria Day they are open weekends too).  Definitely worth making the trip since there will be several other exhibits from community groups.  When we were there only two other exhibits had been installed but they were pretty cool too (see the bottom).

Here is some information about the display though unfortunately not everthing we had ready could be fit into the case.

The AIDS Memorial, situated in Toronto's Cawthra Park, serves as a permanent tribute to all those who have died of AIDS-related illnesses. Members of the city's gay community, which had been particularly hard-hit by the epidemic, worked to create a space in which they could remember and celebrate the lives of those they had lost. Upon completion of the monument the records were donated to the Canadian Lesbian + Gay Archives (CLGA), which seeks to recover and preserve the stories of LGBT Canadians.

In the mid-1980s, the chief official response to the AIDS crisis was silence; within this context, gay community groups sought to make the disease visible and its victims human. Beginning in 1987, the AIDS Memorial Committee (founded by Toronto writer Michael Lynch and composed of representatives from the 519 Community Centre, the CLGA, the AIDS Committee of Toronto and others) began collecting names of those killed by AIDS-related illnesses. Between 1988 and 1991, the Committee presented a temporary memorial in Cawthra Park during Pride Day and this soon became an emotional focal point for thousands of visitors. In 1990, the Committee launched a competition in cooperation with Toronto's Public Art Commission to choose a design for the permanent memorial. After two rounds of submissions, a jury of design professionals and community representatives chose the winning design from Toronto architect Patrick Fahn. The AIDS Memorial, completed in 1993, provides a focus for personal and public grief while countering the silence, isolation and rejection often experienced by those living with the disease.

This display strives to document the Memorial's creation while also exposing visitors to the broad range of materials collected by the CLGA.

Other community exhibits currently on display at Queen's Park:
Lamps from the Smith Potteries Exhibit

Lamps from the Smith Potteries Exhibit

Gardening themed exhibit from the Hamilton Library

From the Hamilton Library

Seed catalogues from the Hamilton Library