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Gay and Lesbian Archives of Edmonton fonds (GALA) Anglais
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Gay and Lesbian Archives of Edmonton fonds (GALA)

  • CA EDM MS-595
  • Fonds
  • 1969 - 2010

The Gay and Lesbian Archives captures many aspects of Edmonton’s gay and lesbian population, ca. 1970 to the mid-2000s and the growth of organizations and groups to facilitate and serve them. The primary organizations represented in the fonds, and described as the first four series of the fonds are: the Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE), Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA), the AIDS Network of Edmonton Society, and the Gay and Lesbian Community Centre of Edmonton (GLCCE). Within each of these organizations, are administrative records including bylaws, constitution, meeting minutes and documents, financial statements, and correspondence, as well as any type of activity or committee records maintained by the said organization.

There is inter-relatedness to many of these organizations, and the boundaries between their activities and mandate can be hard to distinguish from one another. Series 5, as an example, is the Edmonton Pride Festival Society records, which had origins with both GALA and GLCCE but outgrew both organizations to form its own society in 1999, and is concerned with numerous on-going annual pride events organized for Edmonton. Other series in the fonds that have origins in earlier organizations include Series 9: Civil/Human Rights; Series 12: Organizations; and Series 13: Resources and References. Responsibilities for collecting in these series shifted as organizations and their committees closed and reopened under new names and structures, and so the decision was made to organize the records within separate series to better describe them and capture this evolution.

The remaining series in the fonds represents a way to organize the records to reflect what has already been donated, but also allow for expansion as further accruals are received.

Smaller series in the fonds include series 6, the University of Alberta Gay organizations; series 7: Sporting Associations; and Series 10, Youth Related Organizations and Resources. While relatively small yet in extent, there is the potential for growth within each of these series as new University-related groups, sporting organizations, and youth-focused associations relating to Edmonton’s GLBQT population form. Gay cultural and social organizations were also established in Edmonton, and two of the series in the fonds relate directly to these: Series 8 is records of the Vocal Minority Music Society which later became Edmonton Vocal Minority, and Series 11 contains records from some of the clubs and entertainment venues that operated in Edmonton. The connection between series is again obvious, as for example, the gay entertainment clubs often hosted events and activities as fundraisers for the Aids Network of Edmonton. Continued expansion in these series is also likely.

A final series was created to capture those files created by Michael Phair, a well-known Edmontonian and activist for the gay community of Edmonton. His name is connected with many of the groups represented in this fonds, and he was a prime mover behind the gathering and preserving of the Gay and Lesbian archive.

Series are as follows:

  • Series 1 – Gay Alliance Toward Equity (GATE)
  • Series 2 – Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA)
  • Series 3 – AIDS Network / HIV Edmonton
  • Series 4 – Gay and Lesbian Community Centre of Edmonton (GLCCE) / Pride Centre of Edmonton
  • Series 5 – Edmonton Pride Festival Society / Pride Events
  • Series 6 – University of Alberta Gay Organizations
  • Series 7 – Sporting Associations
  • Series 8 – The Vocal Minority Music Society / Edmonton Vocal Minority
  • Series 9 – Civil / Human Rights
  • Series 10 – Youth Related Organizations / Resources
  • Series 11 – Clubs / Entertainment Venues
  • Series 12 – Organizations
  • Series 13 – Resources and References
  • Series 14 – Michael Phair records

Gay and Lesbian Archives of Edmonton

Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE)

This series consists of GATE’s administrative records including their bylaws and constitution, financial statements, meeting minutes and correspondence. In addition, there are copies of the GATE newsletter, two grant applications, and records related to GATE’s counselling program, and their social activities.

Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE)

Youth Related Organizations/Resources

This is a small series, but one that may well expand as further accruals are received. The records consist of documents related to GATE’s Gay and Lesbian Youth Group, the Pink Triangle Youth Group of Edmonton and other GLCCE youth initiatives. The bulk of the series consists of printed resources and reference materials related to counselling gay and lesbian youth; related youth studies and reports; and some correspondence. Included with the papers are three pink triangle t-shirts created for Pride ’92 week.

GALA Youth Related Organizations / Resources

Clubs/Entertainment Venues

This series consists of records of some of the clubs described above, but predominantly Club 70, The Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose (ISCWR) and The Roost Nightclub. There are early administrative records for Club 70, as well as newsletters and photographs. ISCWR records include Coronation programs and information from the first coronation in 1976, and then further programs and records from courts held from 1985 to 2009. There are numerous event and promotion files for The Roost Nightclub, including monthly event calendars, broadsheets and flyers, news clippings and event posters. Included with the records were Roost Nightclub plaques and trophies.

Clubs / Entertainment Venues

Organizations

This series consists of the records of an array of organizations, and have been arranged in the following broad geographical sub-series: Organizations – Alberta; Alberta – Edmonton; Alberta - Calgary; British Columbia; Manitoba; Maritimes; Ontario; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Australia; Europe; and the U.S.A.
Within these geographical headings, the files are arranged alphabetically by file title (this often being the title of the specific organization represented). The records consist primarily of published brochures or newsletters and an assortment of printed information including news clippings, articles, news releases, and general correspondence. While some files have a lot of information, others are skimpy in their content. However, the range of organizations represented in this series, and the span of years captured, provides valuable insight into the rich diversity of the LGBTQ community during this time period.

Resources and References

This series, the most extensive of the fonds, consists of the following sub-series: Bibliographies/Directories; Reports and Reference Texts; Articles and Clipping files; Conference information; and Periodicals. The periodicals include both local publications, as well as those published across Canada, in the United States, and elsewhere. For some of the serials, such as The Advocate and Times .10, there are many issues, while others may be represented by just a single issue or volume.
The clipping files, likewise, include some topics that are thick with clippings and articles (such as ‘Civil Rights-Equality Rights’, while others may consist of a single item. It is interesting to consider which subjects were deemed important enough or of broader interest to warrant creating a clipping and article file.
The Conference files provide information on conferences held locally, nationally and internationally, and often consist of promotional brochures, and related correspondence and printed information.

Michael Phair Records

This series consists of files kept by Michael Phair, including correspondence files, an issue related file on police action in parks, and artifacts including a t-shirt and service award plaque. While this is a very small representation of Michael Phair’s work and impact on the growth of Edmonton’s LBGQT community, it must be stated that in almost every series described in the GALA fonds, researchers will glean the importance of Michael Phair’s contributions. He was instrumental in establishing and helping to maintain many of Edmonton’s LGBQT associations, and was a mover and shaker behind collecting, preserving and eventually donating the Gay and Lesbian Archives to the City of Edmonton Archives.
Michael Phair would be the first to recommend that all that he donated be incorporated as part of GALA, and this was achieved with most of what he brought in. The few files listed in this final series are those that could not easily be separated from Phair the individual: correspondence to and from him; his own written notes on specific topics, and his personal artifacts. His donated material included clipping files, subject topic files, and other material, but all was intended as further contributions and accruals for GALA. Needless to say, the researchers studying the history of gay activism in Edmonton will learn about the work and significance of Michael Phair.

Michael Phair

Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA)

This series consists of GALA’s administrative records including their bylaws and constitution, financial statements, meeting minutes and correspondence. In addition, there are copies of GALA grant applications, and records related to a GALA sponsored Symposium entitled “Flaunting It!” held in Edmonton in 1990. The meeting minutes and documents of the GALA-Police Liaison Committee are retained in this series, although after 1994, the Committee broadens its title to the LGBTQ Community/Edmonton Police Service Liaison Committee, and committee records continue until 2005.

Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA)

AIDS Network/HIV Edmonton

This series consists of the AIDS Network of Edmonton’s administrative files including constitution and certificate of Incorporation; fundraising and educational resources; as well as a sub-series of records related to the Gay Men’s Outreach Committee (GMOC). The records are organized as Administration, Information/Resources and GMOC.

AIDS Network/HIV Edmonton

Gay and Lesbian Community Centre of Edmonton (GLCCE) / Pride Centre of Edmonton

This series consists of GLCCE records, and one file of Pride Centre records. The files are related to the administration of the Centre, and include correspondence, financial statements, meeting documents, and information resources. A set of five audio cassette tapes are included with the series, involving interviews with individuals significant to the gay movement and history of Edmonton.

Gay and Lesbian Community Centre of Edmonton (GLCCE) / Pride Centre of Edmonton

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