Welcome to the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive

The Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive (CDMLA) at VIVO Media Arts Centre houses Western Canada’s foremost repository of videotapes by artists and independent producers. Spanning over 40 years of production, its 7500 media works reflect the rich history of video art in Canada and abroad. The collection includes videos,films, audio tapes, books, periodicals, directories, photographs, Special Collections, extensive equipment archive, Media Artists & Activists (MAAD)  documentation, and the records of the Satellite Video Exchange Society (legal name) since our 1973 incorporation. While the primary focus is on Canadian artists, international artists and video centres are well represented.

Featured Collections

Gayblevision 1980-1986

Gayblevision was Western Canada’s first TV series produced “by gay people for gay people”. It was broadcast on Vancouver Cable 10 through its West End Neighbourhood production centre (located in the West End Community Centre) between 1980 and 1986.

The  Gayblevision Collection is comprised of materials donated by Gayblevision founders Don Durrell and Mary Anne McEwen (MAM Fond), producer Lloyd Nicholson, the Satellite Video Exchange Society Fond, and anonymous donors. It includes over 70 video tapes (episodes and raw footage), textual materials, and photographs.  The majority of this material is freely available on this site. All digitized material is available to view on request.

The Gayblevision Legacy Project was launched in honour of Gayblevision’s 35th Anniversary. The fragile 3/4″ U-matic videotapes were digitized and this online archive established thanks to the generous support of the Irving K. Barber BC History Digitization Program, Daily XTRA, TD Community Grants, and numerous individual and corporate donors.

Episode audio has been re-mastered. The History page continues to be  expanded and we will be adding oral histories with Gayblevision alumni shortly.

If you have original materials or stories to contribute to the Gayblevision Collection, please contact library(at)vivomediaarts.com.

Celebration '90 Gay Games III

The Celebration ’90 Gay Games fond was donated to the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive by media producer Mary Ann McEwan. The Vancouver Games were the first hosted in Canada and featured 7300 athletes from 27 countries, the largest participation up to that time. Gay Games III was also notable for its expansive cultural component.

The fond includes 143 unedited 30-minute Betacam recordings of sporting competitions, cultural events, opening and closing ceremonies, backstage activities and interviews with organizers, athletes, artists, community representatives, and opponents. The footage was shot in anticipation of a feature-length documentary entitled, “Legacy: The Story of the Gay Games”, that McEwen was unable to complete due to insufficient funding. The fond also includes her photographs, Celebration ’90 ephemera, and extensive textual materials.

Over 45 videos, 120 photographs, and the first textual materials are now posted on this site. We are currently fundraising to digitize the rest of the footage. This material represents only a portion of the Mary Anne McEwen Archive (MAM). All unrestricted materials are available to view by appointment at VIVO Media Arts Centre.

If you have original materials or stories you would like to contribute to the Gay Games Collection, please contact library(a)vivomediaarts.com. If you do not wish to have your image online, please contact us and we will remove the relevant footage.

We hope all Gay Games participants will enjoy reliving those times through these rare recordings.