What’s new

The Quebec Gay Archives have recently put in place a series of measures designed to ensure that, when our offices reopen, the health and well-being of all will be taken into account.  These measures are subject to change and will be updated according to the evolution of pandemic.  Please see below the decisions that were taken by the employees and executive committee of the Archives concerning probable dates of reopening and the re-launch of volunteer activities:

  • On site consultation at the Quebec Gay Archives will be begin by the month of September, and will be on an appointment-only basis. Until that time, reference question can be directed to the archivists at agq@videotron.ca.  Our regular Thursday evening opening hours will not begin before the month of October, and will take place on an appointment-only basis two Thursdays per month.  Supplementary information will be provided at a later time concerning precise dates and the necessary health protocols to be followed.
  • Volunteer activities will not restart before the month of October, and only when the situation permits us to do so in a manner respectful of all public health guidelines.  A maximum of three volunteers per activity will be permitted and all volunteers must register in advance.  If any volunteers would like to be involved in “virtual committees”, they are asked to contact us.
  • Only one stagiaire will be permitted on site at any one time during the pandemic.
  • The Quebec Gay Archives will continue to accept donations of materials, but encourages all donors to wait, if possible, until conditions are more favourable to inter-personal contact.

You should note that, when our offices are open again for consultation and volunteer activities, face masks will be mandatory for employees, volunteers and visitors.  The Quebec Gay Archives will be able to offer masks to those who do not have one.  All activities are to be proscribed if a social distance of two metres between individuals is not possible.

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Quebec Gay Archives at (514) 287-9987 or by email at agq@videotron.ca.

In solidarity,

The team of the Quebec Gay Archives

The Quebec Gay Archives recently welcomed a new intern, V. Samoylenko, who will be working with us until October. Their internship will allow them to complete their undergraduate public history program at Concordia University. With a Mitacs Research Training Award (Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that supports industrial and social innovation in Canada, https://www.mitacs.ca/en), as well as a Canada Summer Jobs contract, they will be doing research in order to plan an exhibit using documents from the Quebec Gay Archives.


The film on transgender activist Chloé Viau produced by Simone Beaudry Pilotte during her time with the AGQ in the summer of 2019 will be shown as part of the Lesflicks Festival.

Lesflicks is a web platform offering lesbian and bisexual themed films. Normally the Lesflicks festival is held in Manchester, England, each year, but has moved to a virtual format in 2020 due to COVID-19. The virtual festival will take place from July 24 to July 26, while the film on Chloé Viau will be available for the entirety of this period.




Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the offices of the Quebec Gay Archives have been closed since March 25 2020.  We know that the times are, and will continue to be, difficult for the LGBTQ+ community.  We were as disappointed as you to learn of the cancellation of the 2020 Montreal Pride Festival (La Fierté), an event that has become an important feature in the yearly calendar of LGBTQ+ organizations as well as the local businesses of Montreal’s Gay Village.

We send you all our best wishes and will inform you as soon as we are able to open our offices once again.

In solidarity,

The team of the Quebec Gay Archives

On January 30 at the Galerie Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, the Quebec Gay Archives held a draw for the work generously donated by artist Kent Monkman.  Held in the presence of gallery owner Pierre-François Ouellette, vice-president of the Quebec Gay Archives Iain Blair and AGQ coordinator Pierre Pilotte, this event marked the conclusion of our 2019 fundraising campaign.  We congratulate donor and friend of the Archives Gregg Blachford, who won the piece by Kent Monkman.

We would like to thank all our donors for their generosity, without which the 2019 campaign could not have been such a great success.  We exceeded our objective of $20,000 by some $5000.  Our warmest thanks also to the Galerie Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain (www.pfoac.com) and of course artist Kent Monkman (www.kentmonkman.com). 

Mr. Pierre-François Ouellette with Iain Blair during the draw. Photo: Fabien Galipeau
Mr. Gregg Blachford with his husband, Mr. David McGillivray. Photo: Jonathan Proulx Guimond

Jonathan Proulx Guimond, a recent graduate in visual and media arts at Laval University, joined the team of the Quebec Gay Archives at the end of January as communications assistant.  He has been hired for six months thanks to a grant from Emploi Québec’s work experience program.  He will help manage our communications programs and participate in our upcoming fundraising campaign as well as compile a press review and update the organization’s website.

The year 1967 was a notable one for Montreal. Expo covered all aspects of the city. Lorne Haliday and André Laflamme opened a bar on Drummond Street between Ste Catherine and Maisonneuve, next to Concordia University and down the street from McGill. The Taureau d’Or got running on the 3rd of July. It was a going concern with the students. Unfortunately, when expo closed in the fall, their clientele went with the wind. That’s when it became gay. By 1968, it was THE bar in Montreal. Even in the middle of winter, there were line-ups to Ste. Catherine. On entering the club face a fireplace. A top on the wall was a large circular copper ecusson (90 cm across) of a minotaur embossed. It is the work of André Laflamme and now hangs in Archives gaies du Québec, a gift from George Sarakinis.

The Taureau d’Or’s badge. Photo: Fabien Galipeau

In August 2019, a new prize was created in honour of great friend and volunteer of the Quebec Gay Archives, John Banks.    The prize bears John’s name and will be given to people who have contributed to the advancement and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.  The prize will be given by Fierté Montréal in recognition of the lifelong participation of Mr Banks in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights.  The Quebec Gay Archives are proud to count him among its members.  John Banks was the first recipient of this prize and received it in the presence of Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.  Our warmest congratulations to John!

Photo: Danny Godbout

We thank André Chénard, Claude Gosselin, Pierre Landy, Charles Lapointe, Gilles Legault and Pierre Pilotte, as well as Fonds Diversité sexuelle-Laurent McCutcheon, Québecor,  the estate of Frank W. Remiggi, and Fierté Montréal.  It is thanks to their generosity that the exhibition on Histoires des communautés LGBTQ2S+ du Québec could be produced.

This show was launched at the Cinéma du Parc on August 1 2019 and will end on September 22.  In the evening of August 14, we invite you to attend a benefit lecture and screen showing held in coordination with the exhibition.  Louis Godbout will address the negative point of view that “viril” gay men sometime hold towards their less traditionally masculine brothers, and this lecture will be followed by the documentary GUILDA – Elle est bien dans ma peau, about Québec’s most famous female impersonator.

We thank all our donors who have made this possible.

Credit: Simone Beaudry-Pilotte

69 POSITIONS:

PORTER TÉMOIGNAGE / OUR VANISHING

MAI,3680 rue Jeanne-Mance, Montréal (PQ) H2X 2K5

August 8-24 2019

In 1969, the crime of sodomy was removed from Canada’s Criminal Code, along with laws governing birth control, gun control and gambling. If only two people enjoyed it in private, anal sex, which had previously carried a 14-year prison sentence upon conviction, was no longer a criminal matter.

In the new legal landscape, divisions of appropriate sexual expression hardened around notions of public and private space. The government had opened the bedroom door to assimilation and homonormativity for some of the populace. Nevertheless, our 2LGBTQ communities’ rich collective expressions have demonstrated brilliant resistance to Canada’s hollow narratives of progress and assimilation.

Examining queer life on the 50th anniversary of 1969, this lucid, critical, and playful exhibition features archival works from the collections of VIVO Media Arts, Vidéographe, les Archives gaies du Québec, the ArQuives, and ARTEXTE, alongside works by collectives such as the Front de Libération Homosexuelle and works that flutter out of the archive by contemporary artists Hazel Meyer, David Widgington and Projet Hybris.

Curated by Jamie Ross

Facebook Event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/494781777944508/

Opening: Thursday August 8, 6-9pm

Curator’s tour: Saturday August 10th, 2-3pm

Laurent McCutcheon (1942-2019)

It is with great sadness that the Archives gaies du Québec have learned of the passing of Laurent McCutcheon, great friend, volunteer, and donor of the Archives, who had been  battling with cancer since December 2016. For more than 35 years, Mr. McCutcheon had actively fought for LGBT+ rights, with personal involvement in the Association pour les droits des gais et lesbiennes du Québec (ADGLQ), Gai Écoute, and as Vice-President of the Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité. He was also the founder of Fondation Émergence, an organization that promotes LGBT+ awareness through education. He is survived by his partner, Pierre Sheridan, his family, and numerous friends

On June 19 more than 80 people attended a lecture given by Antoine Idier at the Goethe-Institut of Montreal.  The evening was hosted by Monique Giroux.  Antoine Idier is the author of Archives des mouvements LGBT+ : Une histoire des luttes de 1890 à nos jours, a book about LGBT+ archiving in France.    Jonathan Dorey, PhD, archivist, translator and member of the board of the Quebec Gay Archives gave a short presentation before the lecture on the development of and challenges faces the Archives.  The evening was a great success and we thank those who made the event  possible:  the Fondatin Jasmin Roy/Sophie Desmarais, the Consulat général de France, and of course the Goethe-Institut.

The Quebec Gay Archives are hosting a student intern from April until the end of July 2019.  Fabien Galipeau is finishing his Masters at the School of Library and Information Studies at the Université de Montréal.  Fabien also holds a bachelor’s degree in French-language literature from the same university.  As part of his internship, he will focus principally on archival work and is currently processing several specific “archival fonds”.  The Quebec Gay Archives welcome Fabien to our team for the coming months.

Credit: Fabien Galipeau

The Quebec Gay Archives are moving, but not far. Our offices are relocating one floor higher in the same building at 1000, rue Amherst.

The move will be completed by the end of June. We will continue to welcome researchers during our regular opening hours, Thursday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, until the end of May. It is still suggested to inform us in advance of your visit by email or by telephone (voicemail).

The move will enable us to double the size of our offices, and offer our visitors a more spacious and comfortable work environment.

We thank you in advance for your understanding and your patience. Our operations will have returned to normal by the beginning of September.

From now until then, we wish you a very good summer season.

New address : in the same building but one floor higher. Only the office number will change.

Archives gaies du Québec
1000, rue Amherst, suite 201-a
Montréal (Québec) H1L 3K5

On Saturday April 13, Jacques Prince, co-founder and president of the Quebec Gay Archives, met with ex-members of the now disbanded community group, Diversité Sourds du Québec (DSQ). Jacques Prince took part in this meeting to inform former members of the DSQ of the steps being taken to preserve the organizational papers, transferred to the Quebec Gay Archives at the time of the DSQ’s dissolution.

In the photo, we see Jacques Prince in the foreground to the right of Marc-André Bernier in the plaid shirt, volunteer with the Quebec Gay Archives and person responsible for organization of the DSQ papers.

We thank Mr Bernier who made possible the transfer of the DSQ papers to the Quebec Gay Archives and hence their preservation.

Photo : Kashif Ahmed Bin Arif