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