What’s new

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

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



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