Edmonton Queer History Project

Celebrating the People, Places, and Events that built the Queer Community in Edmonton

Historical Timeline

For a history of the Edmonton PRIDE Festival, please see: http://www.dipity.com/ismss/history-of-pride/

(What are we missing? Can you help us supplement a story? What was your experience? Help us fill in the gaps! Email your event or story to edmontonqueerhistoryproject@gmail.com and we will post it online with your story and photos!)
2014 – Pride flag flies at legislature and city hall for Sochi Olympics
2009 – Bill 44
2005 Legalize same-sex marriage
2004 – Carl Swanson – gay high school student starts a GSA.
1999- ATA resolution. Membership vote to include sexual orientation as a protected ground against discrimination in their Code of Professional Conduct. Expanded in 2003 for trans-identified students.
1998: Supreme Court of Canada Rules in favor of Vriend.
1991 – Delwin Vriend fired from province. 1998 Supreme court rules in favor of Vriend.
1985: Alderman Ed Ewasiuk makes his second attempt to bring forward a request to City Council requesting a declaration that June 27th be recognized as Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day. Amid “giggles” City Council once again denies the request. GALA states that they will not give up and pride celebrations are held in the month of June. Image supplied by The Edmonton Journal.
1984: The Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA) committee petitions the city to declare June 27 a Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day. Mayor Decore and the city alderman express their disgust at approving such a day. The mayor publicly states that “[he is] not prepared to entertain that kind of political activity.” Alderman Julian Kinisky states, “I would never in one minute endorse such a thing…. Personally, I have no sympathy whatsoever for their cause.” Despite this reaction, the third annual Pride celebration commences without official recognition from the city at Rundle Park with a community picnic. Other Pride events include a public forum with a keynote speaker from The Body Politic, film night, art exhibition, children’s concert and a pride dance. Image supplied by The Edmonton Journal.
1984- AIDS Network of Edmonton Society is formed. Ross Armstrong, the first patient to be diagnosed with AIDS in Edmonton died.
1983: Edmonton’s gay community comes together to celebrate a week long pride that includes events such as an art exhibition, film festival, and music night. Pride is “an acceptance of self and others within the community and facilitating good feelings about ourselves as lesbians and gay men and as individuals”, says Kathy Baker, film festival organizer. Image supplied by The Edmonton Journal.
1982: First Gay Pride March and Pride at Camp Harris. Several gay groups organize a mini Pride Festival in Edmonton at Camp Harris. It includes a pot luck, hotdog/hamburger roast, and sport games.
May 20, 1981 – Pisces Bathhouse Raid
1980: Unconfirmed reports suggest pride celebrations started this year in Edmonton when 75 people came together for a baseball game and camp fire.
1978  – Womonspace founded
1977: Anita Bryant War on Homosexuality
1975: GATE – The Gay Alliance Towards Equality was formed
– first same-sex union held at the Unitarian Church
 – We are aware there was a centre for women called the Lesbian-Feminists, meeting at 10421-98Ave in Edmonton, Alberta. (Source: 1973 preview issues of “Branching Out” – Canadian Magazine for women – Preview issue, December 1973 $1)
1972 – Individual rights protection act. 1975 onwards lobbying to include sexual orientation in the grounds.
1970: Club 70 opens and then is closed almost immediately by landlord. They sue, win, and then relocate.
1969 May 14 – Bill C-150 Amending Criminal Code of Canada to decriminalize homosexuality
1942: The theatre scandal of 1942. Court cases going through regarding “gross indecency” charges.

One thought on “Historical Timeline

  1. You appear to be missing any mention at all of the oldest continually operating gay organization in the city, The Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose. I would think that at minimum the timeline might recognize the creation of the organization in 1976.

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