What’s new

On Friday, April 30, the Quebec Gay Archives welcomed Debbie Lynch-White and a film crew from the “Moi et Cie” channel to tape an episode of the show “Histoires de coming out”. Scenes taped at the Archives will be part of an episode about our predecessors, meaning those people who fought in the past for the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights in Québec. The show will notably speak of John Banks, a long-time friend and volunteer of the Archives who organized the first gay pride parade in Montreal in 1979 and who was once the private secretary of Marlene Dietrich. You will also be able to see segments of an interview given by Pierre Pilotte, coordinator of the Archives, with Debbie Lynch-White.

The Quebec Gay Archives is very pleased to participate in this series which will, hopefully, help change mentalities!

From left to right: Debbie Lynch-White – Animator / Fabien Galipeau – Archivist for the AGQ / Pierre Pilotte – Coordinator of the AGQ. Photo: Karyan Fortin-Therrien

Since 2001, the Écomusée du fier monde has organized a benefit auction in order to finance its activities. Each year, the profits from the sales of three works are shared with three neigbourhood community organizations selected in advance. This year, the Écomusée will share the profits from the sale of a work by Jean-Paul Jérôme with the Quebec Gay Archives. The auction will take place online beginning May 18 at 8 am and ending May 30 at 8 pm. The Quebec Gay Archives thanks greatly the Écomusée for having chosen us this year as a beneficiary!

For more information on the auction, please visit this website.

May 11-13 2021, the Art Libraires Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) will hold its annual conference. This professional association brings together librarians, archivists, cultural sector workers and information professionals who work in specialized libraries, archives, and museum etc. The conference is held annually in a different North American city but this year, because of COVID, the conference will be held virtually and with the theme of “Convergence = Créativité + Collaboration”. The Quebec Gay Archives and some of our projects will be briefly presented. We thank Artexte for having thought to share our work during the event! To learn more about the conference, or to register, please visit this page.

A few months ago, the Quebec Gay Archives received 507 LGBTQ+ posters from the LGBTQ+ Community Centre of Montreal. These posters date from the 1990s and the first decade of 21st century and were produced by such diverse community organizations as Helem, Gai-Écoute (now Interligne) and Aide au Trans du Québec (ATQ) as well as for events such the M. Uniforme contest, le Bal en cuir, and the Course de la Fierté.

We thank the Community Centre for this gift which will greatly enrich our poster collections!

The Quebec Gay Archives welcomes Bruno-Serge Boucher to its Executive Committee following the departure of Albe Gilmore for new opportunities in Ottawa. We look forward to working with Bruno-Serge and thank Albe for her past contributions to the organization and its debates. May her new position bring her much happiness and professional satisfaction.

Beginning in mid-April, the Quebec Gay Archives will welcome Simone Beaudry-Pilotte as an assistant archivist thanks to a subsidy from Emploi-Québec. She will work on the preliminary treatment of archival fonds as well on the creation of a registry of copyrights held by the Archives. You might remember that Simone already worked with the Archives during the summer of 2019 and notably produced the short documentaries about John Banks and Chloé Viau.

Welcome to the team, Simone!

As part of their internship with the Quebec Gay Archives in the summer of 2020, V. Samoylenko produced a virtual exhibition entitled Walls have Ears: The Stories of Montreal’s LGBTQ2S+ Spaces.
Largely based upon human geography projects such as Queering the Map and Mapping Montréal’s Queer Spaces, the exhibition highlights various LGBTQ2S+ spaces in Montreal (from the old gay village – otherwise called the West Village – to our current Gay Village – the East Village -, the Red Light and the Main, university and cégep groups, and the Plateau) by listening to the stories of seven individuals issued from LGBTQ2S+ communities.
Obviously this exhibit is not intended to be exhaustive, and so we would like to hear your own stories. What were and what are the spaces where you felt accepted as an LGBTQ2S+ person? Do you have any photographs that you would be willing to share?
We are also very interested to learn more about LGBTQ2S+ spaces in other regions of Québec.
You can visit the virtual exhibition by clicking on this link

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