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Edmonton Pride Festival Society / Pride Events

  • AR-MS-595-S-5
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1999-current

Edmonton’s Queer History Project timeline suggests that several gay groups in Edmonton came together in 1982 to organize a mini-Pride Festival, and expanded it to a week-long celebration in 1983 with events such as an art exhibition, film festival, and music night. For the early years of the Pride Festival (ca. 1983-1998), planning for the festival was accomplished by a GALA committee, and then a GLCCE committee. In 1999, the Edmonton Pride Festival Society was formed as the official non-profit organization charged with managing the Pride Festival events. In subsequent years, Pride Festival events have included rallies, fairs, poetry readings, art shows, picnics, sporting events, a film festival, an awards show, a mayor’s brunch and since the early 1990’s, a parade. The festivities take place annually, usually in mid-June.

University of Alberta Gay Organizations

  • AR-MS-595-S-6
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1978-present

The Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE) organization, described in Series 1, had its beginnings as a campus-centered group in that its meeting space was adjacent to the campus, and early members of the group were primarily University of Alberta students and faculty. By the late 1970’s, GATE had moved downtown, and in 1978 the short-lived Edmonton Lesbian and Gay Rights Organization (ELGRO) registered as the first queer official student club. In 1984, 75 students formed GALOC (Gays and Lesbians on Campus) and an early initiative was publishing 'The Pink Triangle', a gay oriented supplement to the student newspaper 'The Gateway'. GALOC launched Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA) week ca. 1985, as the University of Alberta’s first Pride celebration. In the fall of 1994, GALOC rebranded itself as LesBiGay UofA, and the name changed again in 1995 to B-Glad. Since the 1990’s there have been several queer based groups organized on campus, and in 2008, the Institute for Sexual Minority Policies and Services was established as a research centre in the Faculty of Education. (Information referenced from Bruce Cinnamon’s article found at

The Vocal Minority Music Society / Edmonton Vocal Minority

  • AR-MS-595-S-8
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • [ca. 1983]-present

The Vocal Minority Music Society (VMS) formed ca. 1983, was, according to member Herbert Tay, the first mixed gay choir in Canada, and the second gay choir to be formed, following the Vancouver Men’s Chorus. The choir’s mandate was to provide a cultural organization to bring together singers, musicians, and interested individuals, both gay and gay-supportive. Their printed goals state they wanted to foster interaction between lesbian women and gay men, as well as between the gay community and the rest of society. The choir met weekly, and new members were on a one-month trial period. The choir was particularly active from 1983 through 1985, taking part in Canadian Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) choruses and performances.
However, by 1986 their numbers were dwindling and with interest waning, the Board of Directors for the Vocal Minority Music Society announced its dissolution in May 1987. In 1993, a new LGBQT choir, Edmonton Vocal Minority (EVM), was started by David Hicks who was active at that time with the Gay and Lesbian Community Centre of Edmonton. The name of the newly-reestablished choir was a nod to its predecessor, and EVM continues to perform in several self-produced concerts each year, and actively participates in the Canadian GALA choruses Festivals. The choir remains committed “to playing a vital role in preserving and celebrating the rich culture and history of the Queer community, while at the same time championing equality and embracing the diversity of all people regardless of sexual orientation”. (EVM webpage:

GALA Civil / Human Rights

  • AR-MS-595-S-9
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1971-1991

The Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE) formed ca. 1971-1972 was an early advocate for civil and human rights for Edmonton’s gay community, presenting briefs on behalf of the community to the Alberta Human Rights Commission. GATE joined in June 1975 the Canadian National Gay Rights Coalition (NGRC) to ensure a stronger voice in speaking on behalf of rights for gays, and in 1979 hosted a provincial conference on the theme of “devising strategies for the gay civil rights movement in Alberta”. ALGR (Alberta Lesbian and Gay Rights Association) was formed in Edmonton in 1981, and joined efforts with other Alberta groups to petition for inclusion of sexual orientation in provincial and Canadian human rights protection legislation.
By the mid-1980’s, the GALA Civil Rights Committee was struck as an offshoot of the broader Gay and Lesbian Awareness Society, to continue advocating and working towards having the phrase “sexual orientation” included in the Individual Rights Protection Act of Alberta, the Canadian Human Rights Code, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To accomplish this, the committee sponsored educational forums, letter-writing campaigns, and presented briefs to government committees. Its broader goal was to generally work for equality rights for lesbians and gay men at the federal, provincial and civic levels and to increase public awareness and understanding of gay and lesbian issues. The firing in 1991 of Delwin Vriend from his position as a lab instructor at King’s College in Edmonton because of his sexual orientation led to GALA’s Civil Rights Committee forming the Delwin Vriend Defence fund. Advocacy for the rights of Edmonton’s queer community is ongoing, and a timeline of significant Edmonton Queer History events can be found on a timeline compiled by the Edmonton Queer History Project: (ttps:// events)

GALA Youth Related Organizations / Resources

  • AR-MS-595-S-10
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • [ca. 1988]-present

The history around Edmonton’s Gay youth related organizations and resources is not easily separated from the broader Gay and Lesbian organizations established for the entire Edmonton queer community, regardless of age. However, in recent years there is growing attention paid to the role of gay-straight alliances in schools, and creating safe spaces for LGBQT youth to express their sexuality. Historically in Edmonton, an organization for Gay and Lesbian Youth (GALYG) was offered as a program of McMan Youth Service and GATE (Gay Alliance Toward Equality); with the group producing their first newsletter in January 1988.
The Pink Triangle Youth Group of Edmonton was formed ca. 1993 and operated out of the Gay and Lesbian Community Centre (GLCCE) of Edmonton. It offered space for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 to gather for social interaction, education, and information sharing.
Operating from November 1994 through September 1995 was a committee titled the Edmonton Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth working committee, which reported to the GLCCE Board of Directors. A program titled Youth Understanding Youth was established at the Centre ca. 2003, and once the GLCCE became the Pride Centre, similar meeting spaces and programs for youth continued to operate (under names including: Queer HangOut; Queer Youth CampOut; YouthSpace; and Pride Youth).

William Hamilton Architect Ltd.

  • AR-MS-740
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1968-current

The creator of these records was Woolfenden Group Architects, a predecessor of the firm William Hamilton Architect. The project leader, and principal of the firm at the time, was Brian Woolfenden, who practiced architecture in Edmonton for approximately thirty years, ca. 1966-1995. Other key members of the project team were David Brookes, specification writer and responsible for project documentation, and Dennis Hooke, technologist, who was responsible for, among other things, preparing the drawings.
Woolfenden Group Architects was hired to dismantle the Alberta Hotel by the City of Edmonton, which wanted to preserve key building components for its eventual reconstruction.

Booth, John

  • AR-MS-758
  • Pessoa singular
  • [ca. 1890]-1977

John Booth was born in Scotland, ca. 1890 and immigrated to Canada, ca. 1911, moving to Edmonton in 1913. He joined the Edmonton Fire Department in 1914 and retired in 1955. He was Edmonton’s first Fire Marshal.
John Booth died on 25 Jan 1977.

Edmonton Burns Club

  • AR-MS-761
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1919-present

The Edmonton Burns Club (EBC) was established in 1919 in Edmonton as a branch of the Burns Clubs of North America to celebrate the Scottish poet and bard, Robert Burns (1759-1796). The EBC takes an active role in encouraging awareness of Scottish literature and art through recitations of poems, singing, and historical awareness. The Club meets annually at their Burns Night Banquet to celebrate, recite the works of Robert Burns, and discuss matters for the year past and the year ahead. Although the center of the Club’s activities pertains mostly to its namesake, the EBC works to foster a love of Scottish heritage in general.

Myckan, Orest

  • AR-MS-767
  • Pessoa singular
  • 1943-current

Orest Myckan was born in 1943 and is a long time resident of Edmonton. He worked as a processing operator at Dow Chemical in Fort Saskatchewan for many years and then worked in human resources. He has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for over 20 years.

Morrow, C.W.

  • AR-MS-773
  • Pessoa singular
  • 1897-1980

Charles William Morrow was born in Prescott, Ontario in 1897. He was educated in British Columbia and began his law career in 1920. He was an MLA from 1945 to 1952 and named Queen’s Counsel in 1956. Morrow was elevated to the bench in 1956 and led several Royal Commissions for the British Columbia government. Charles William Morrow retired in 1972 and died in 1980.

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