What’s new

Held June 10 2018, during the annual general assembly of the Quebec Gay Archives, five out of a total of nine board members were elected.

Board members elected were: Iain Blair (vice-president), Raymond Thibault (treasurer), Jonathan Dorey (councillor no.3), Alexandre Fortier (councillor no.4) and Robert Tessier (councillor no.5).

On even years, five positions on the Board are open for election, and on odd years the remaining four.

The Board of the Quebec Gay Archives is currently composed of:
Jacques Prince: President
Iain Blair: Vice President
Yvon D’Amour: Secretary
Raymond Thibault: Treasurer
Julie Podmore: Councillor no 1
Tony Esposito: Councillor no 2
Jonathan Dorey: Councillor no 3
Alexandre Fortier: Councillor no 4
Robert Tessier: Councillor no 5

Ross Higgins chose to not stand for re-election this year. Co-founder of the Quebec Gay Archives in 1983, he has chosen to leave the Board while continuing to be an active member of the Archives.

The new Board of the Quebec Gay Archives. From left to right: Raymond Thibault, Iain Blair, Yvon D’Amour, Tony Esposito, Jacques Prince, Alexandre Fortier, Jonathan Dorey and Robert Tessier. Absent: Julie Podmore (Councillor no 1).

Photo: Ross Higgins

On June 11 Jacques Prince, president and co-founder of the Quebec Gay Archives, was invited to speak on France’s Radio Nova along with Pierre Pilotte, Archives coordinator. Hosts Edouard Baer and Camille Diao spoke to their guests from their open-air studio at the Francofolies festival. Radio Nova’s morning show Plus près de toi attracts a daily average of 500,000 French listeners and, with this week’s visit to the Francofolies, took the opportunity to invite local social and cultural figures to the show.

The interview can be found in the second half of the podcast :

From left to right : Edouard Baer, host (actor and director), Jacques Prince (president and co-founder of the Quebec Gay Archives) and Pierre Pilotte (Archives coordinator).

Photo : Camille Diao (Radio Nova).

On May 11, the AGQ welcomed Isabelle Sentis and Lydie Doléans who visited us from France to discuss our experience as a community archives and the project to open an LGBTQ+ archives in Paris. In addition, they are behind the Queer code and Fabric’ Art initiatives. Queer Code is a feminist project that traces the lives of women who loved women during the Second World War. Fabric’ Art uses art-therapy to allow for an individual and collection exploration. Follow Queer Code on Facebook and Twitter and Fabric’ Art on Facebook and Instagram.

Since May 22nd, Jonathan Dorey has been working as an archivist at the Archives gaies du Québec. During this summer contract he will process documents donated by David Cassidy. These contain the organizational records of associations set up in the 1970s and 1980s, in the early days of the AIDS crisis in Montréal. Among others are the records of ACCM, MARC-ARMS, Integrity Montréal, in addition to his personal records. David Cassidy worked as a social worker and sessional lecturer at McGill University. This is not Jonathan’s first contract with the AGQ. In the summer of 2015, he processed the records of Ken Morrison. Then, in the summer of 2016, he produced a Research and collections guide on the history of AIDS in Montréal, a project in partnership with Carleton University and the AIDS Activist History Project.

Crédit photo. : E.G.

On May 10th, one of our volunteers, Jonathan Dorey, had the opportunity to talk about the AGQ and its collections during the course Introduction to Sexual Diversity Studies taught by Alexandra Ketchum and offered by the McGill Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminism. This group of first and second year undergraduate students were introduced to the mission of the Archives and its collections. The students handled some of the documents and used them as part of their assignment. A web page was put online for the course and shows students’ contributions. Have a look here: https://mcgillandthequebecgayarchives.blogspot.ca.

From May until December 2018, Emmanuel Galland will be working with the Quebec Gay Archives. Emmanuel will be assisting Pierre Pilotte with communications and requests for financing. He will also answer general inquiries and undertake research activities in various archival fonds. With a background in fine arts and art history from the Université de Montréal, Emmanuel has worked as an artist and curator and as a consultant in culture and communications. As a counsellor, trainer and mentor, he accompanies artists and organizations in their creative and professional development. This year, he is curator of the collective exhibit “STATUER. Les figures du socle – Partie III” at the Stewart Hall Art Gallery.

Crédit photo. : F.L.

On April 18 2018 Jacques Prince and Ross Higgins, cofounders of the Quebec Gay Archives, were invited to testify before a committee of the Canadian Senate in Ottawa. Their testimony was heard as part of a parliamentary bill to establish a procedure for expunging certain historically unjust convictions relating to consensual sexual activity between persons of the same sex in the mid/late 20th century. Their statements were broadcast in real time. The testimony of Ross Higgins was given in English, while that of Jacques Prince was given in French..

The Ross Higgins and Jacques Prince segment starts at 12:39


You can now make a online donation on the website of the Quebec Gay Archives

The process is very easy. First click on the tab “Donate”, and then click on “Make an online donation with CanadaHelps”. You can then enter the amount you would like to donate. Setting up monthly contributions is also possible.

CanadaHelps will send to you a tax receipt when the donation is finalized.

The Board of Directors and volunteers of the Quebec Gay Archives thank in advance all of our generous donors.


Each year, the collections of the Quebec Gay Archives grow in importance due to the documents, photos, artworks and other objects given to us by members of the LGBTQ+ communities. We would like to enhance our collections of materials relations to places that were an important part of LGBTQ+ life, and so are especially interested in photos of bars, discotheques, restaurants, saunas, parks, rooming houses etc where LGBTQ+ people gathered. Promotional objects, such as matchbooks, ashtrays, lapel pins, Tshirts etc, are also valuable, and any materials concerning lesbian are particularly welcomed. If you have such materials, please do not throw them away. Give them to the Quebec Gay Archives so we can keep our history alive for future generations. Too many treasures are discarded when a community member passes away, or when people are not aware of the mission of the Quebec Gay Archives. In this, our 35th year, we make a special request that you help us preserve these materials for posterity.

Les membres du Conseil d’administration et les bénévoles des Archives gaies du Québec remercient le réalisateur du documentaire Montréal, mon amour, mon histoire, Paul Carvalho, d’avoir généreusement accepté que nous mettions en ligne la séquence avec John Banks et Ross Higgins.

Centre-ville : L’âge des lumières souligne les batailles menées à Montréal : la lutte contre la prostitution et les maisons de jeu et la communauté gaie face à la répression.

Centre-ville : L’âge des lumières, du coffret Montréal, mon amour, mon histoire
Réalisé par : Paul Carvalho
Produit par : Les Films Perception Inc. ©2015


Pierre Pilotte has been working as coordinator at the Quebec Gay Archives since the summer of 2017. After having worked for three decades in cultural industries as director of communications, he reoriented his career several years ago towards the community sector. He has been on the boards of RÉZO and of the Portail VIH sida du Québec while also working for both organizations. As coordinator of the Gay Archives, Pierre researches funding opportunities and develops promotional activities and communications strategies in consultation with the organization’s Board of Directors. (Photo: Oz Yilmaz)

Board members and volunteers of the Quebec Gay Archives would like to thank all donors who participated so generously in our 2017 financing drive. The Quebec Gay Archives exceeded its objectives in this campaign and the amount received will allow us to complete several projects which have already been initiated. Visitors to the Archive’s website will already have noticed what has been accomplished thanks to incoming donations. The Quebec Gay Archives thanks all of its donors and wishes them a very Happy New Year.

The animated short film “In a Heartbeat” was written, co-produced and directed by Esteban Bravo and Beth David. It is one of the first animated shorts on homosexual love. As part of MAMMOUTH on Télé-Québec, the co-producers received the prize for most inspirational foreign contribution. “In a Heartbeat” is also nominated for the 2018 Oscars.

The first ever broadcast of MAMMOUTH took place December 15 2017 on Télé-Québec. This gala organized by and for young people from all regions of Québec had as its goal the highlighting of 20 acts meant to inspire, motivate or change the world. Among the inspiring acts, we take note of three with links to the LGBTQ+ communities, either because of the creators or because of the subject: that of Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay, transgender actor well known to the Québec public; Xavier Dolan, actor and director and winner of several awards throughout the world, and finally Yan England, director of the film 1:54 on bullying and intimidation, distributed in several countries. During the broadcast, we also saw an interview with a young trans person. We congratulate Télé-Québec on this initiative.