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What do you picture when you hear the word “archives”? Old and dusty documents, preciously held away by a white-bearded elder? Think again! Although the AGQ does have a few of those, we also have splendid collections of photographs, paintings, films, many books, and a vast quantity of varied artefacts related to LGBTQ2S+ communities. One day, perhaps, when we are rich, will we be able to open a small museum?

On top of a breath of fresh air after many months of confinement, July 2021 came with a wide array of additions to our iconographic collections. Three important donations added significantly to them.

In early July, the Quebec Gay Archives received many boxes from Denis Lessard, archivist, in which there were books, drawings, periodicals, booklets, bookmarks, newspaper clippings, and varied annotated articles and documents related to homoerotic and gay art. Most notably, this donation includes a portrait of pornographic film actor and producer Al Parker (1952-1992), drawn by Gary Hatcher (1983). This laminated drawing was autographed by Al Parker himself, on the occasion of a visit in Montreal.

Later, in mid-July, Québec City collector Yves Beauregard donated 686 postcards and a few photographs from many different countries, related to the male figure across the ages. This donation is a wonderful addition to an already extensive postcard collection that Mr. Beauregard began to donate to the AGQ in 2017. The shown postcard should give you an idea of the uniqueness of this collection.

Still in Mid-July, another donation was entrusted to the Quebec Gay Archives by Bernard Mulaire, a long-time friend of our organization. It consists of a large photograph (more than 1.5 x 1 m of size) showing a couple, André Landry and Alain Bouchard (the latest of whom is seen sitting in an armchair), that would be separated by death soon after the photograph was taken. The artwork is called Je m’ouvre au matin comme l’éveil / Et pourtant j’ai le regard figé sur la fin (1993), title given by Alain Bouchard (1954-1994). André Landry has now been living in Paris for the past 25 years. In addition to this splendid photograph, Mr. Mulaire also donated a series of six photographs (30 x 28 cm), titled Comme la vague (1993), which completes the first artwork. This donation also includes other documents related to André Landry.

A very warm thank you to these three donors who greatly enriched our iconographic collections.

Pride March, August 15th 2021. Photo: Vincent Beaubien

This year’s Pride Week was an eventful one for the AGQ.

Towards the head of this year’s Pride March, on August 15th, the AGQ banner was proudly waved by our contingent of a dozen members. This yearly celebration was once again an opportunity for John Banks to recall the first Montreal Pride March, instigated by him on June 16th 1979. It is with the AGQ that John now celebrates, comfortably seated in a golf cart.

This was also an occasion for Pierre Pilotte to make the AGQ known to some politicians and members of the Parliament, among them Quebec Ministers Simon Jolin-Barette and Ian Lafrenière. During the march, Pierre Pilotte also connected with members of the ARC (Aînés et retraités de la communauté), as well as with partner organizations from the LGBTQ+ communities.

Open house, August 14th 2021. Photo: Ian Blair

On August 14th, Pierre Pilotte and 3 other members of the AGQ (Simone Beaudry-Pilotte, Iain Blair, and Tony Esposito) welcomed a dozen visitors at the open house. Visitors were able to consult a few showcased archives, buy books, and were given a tour of the premises. The quality of the location and installations was appreciated by all. This initiative will certainly be repeated next year.

On August 12th, Pierre Pilotte and Marion Daigle represented the AGQ at a Community Day stand on Sainte-Catherine Street. They distributed copies of the Archigai and of postcards to visitors. Many students and researchers asked questions and expressed an interest in contributing to the AGQ with volunteer hours when Covid-19 restrictions are fully lifted. As a whole, Community Day was a success.

Last June, the Quebec Gay Archives received a special gift from Gaspare Borsellino, who became president of the Gruppo Italiano Gay e Lesbico di Montreal (GIGL) in 1996, nine months after its foundation. He remained so until 2001.

The group had up to 70 members, of which about 20 were women. Its activities ceased in 2006. For about ten years, the group members have collected a wide variety of documentation. In addition to the numerous publications (journals, magazines, brochures, newspapers, etc.), there are several administrative documents from which we can learn a lot about the group’s activities. It is rare to receive a donation from a cultural community. Most of the documents are in French, because this group was mostly focused on what was happening in Montreal, as well as the entire province of Quebec.

We are thankful for this enriching gift to our collections.

On July 4th, the annual general assembly of the Quebec Gay Archives was convened.

On this occasion, elections were held. There were four (4) positions to be voted on: president, secretary and two (2) advisors. Jacques Prince was re-elected for a two (2) year term as president, as well as Yvon D’Amour as secretary, and Tony Esposito as advisor. The other advisor position is now assumed by a new recruit, the young archivist Fabien Galipeau.

The continuity is renewed. At this meeting, we also adopted a new version of the General By-Laws. In spite of the difficult months we have just gone through, the assessment of our activities remains very positive. The summer promises to be rich in events, and the future, full of promises.

Our friend Fabien, archivist and assistant coordinator at the Quebec Gay Archives, is leaving us for a new position.

The AGQ board members, employees, and volunteers sincerely thank him for his excellent work, his great professionalism, and his unwavering commitment during the past three years.

We wish him great success in his career.

On June 17th, Éric Giroux, director of the Écomusée du fier monde, offered a $550 cheque to the Quebec Gay Archives.

Following its annual auction, the Ecomusée du fier monde committed to donating half of the selling price of a Jean-Paul Jérôme painting.

We would like to thank Éric Giroux, director and research and collections official, René Binette, advisor on strategic projects, and Manon Belleville, executive assistant, for their generous contribution.

The Québec Gay Archives will be collaborating with the LGBTQ+ archives of France as part of the Commission permanente de coopération franco-québécoise (CPCFQ)’s 68th project campaign, and as well as the Fonds franco-québécois de coopération décentralisée (FFQCD)’s 11th project campaign. An artist exchange between countries will take place as part of this collaboration. This will develop networks for archive-based artistic creation, as well as nurture the connections between the AGQ and the LGBTQ+ archives of France. The AGQ would like to thank the Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie for making this project possible.

We are excited to announce that Marion Daigle will be part of the Quebec Gay Archives team for the next 11 weeks as an exhibition coordinator.
Thanks to funding from Canada Summer Jobs, Marion Daigle will be mostly working on setting up the exhibition Walls Have Ears on the pedestrian portion of Sainte-Catherine street in the Gay Village.

After a B.A. in Gender, Sexuality, Feminist and Social Justice Studies and in Indigenous Studies from McGill, Marion currently studies at l’École supérieure de théâtre de l’UQÀM in the acting program.

Welcome to the team!

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and this day was created in 2003 as an initiative of the Fondation Émergence. Each year, the Foundation organizes an awareness campaign centred upon specific themes. This year’s theme is “For Some, Showing Their Colours Isn’t a Choice” and deals with the violence inflicted upon LGBTQ+ people around the world.

On Saturday May 15, Le Devoir will publish a special section to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The Quebec Gay Archives celebrate this initiative and support any action which aims to educate the public on the reality of LGBTQ+ lives.

To learn more about the 2021 campaign of the Fondation Émergence, please click on the following link.

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.

The Annual General Meeting of the Quebec Gay Archives will be held online this year on Sunday, July 4 at 2:00 pm. The list of available positions and candidates will be communicated later.

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.