Project Staff

Karen Knights
Project Manager

Audrey MacDonald
Special Collections Archive Assistant

Clark Henderson
Digitization Tech


Special Thanks

This project was made possible through The Irving K. Barber B.C. History Digitization Program, the B.C. Arts Council Early Career Development Grant, and private donations. Special Thanks to Richard Dopson for supporting this project and Pink Triangle Press (Daily Xtra) for their media sponsorship.

Celebration ’90 | Gay Games III

The Gay Games were conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell in 1982 with the purpose of promoting the spirit of inclusion and participation, as well as the pursuit of personal growth in a sporting event.

Celebration ’90 Gay Games III & Cultural Festival was held August 4th to 11th, 1990 in Vancouver. They brought together participants from 27 countries — about 7,300 athletes competing in 27 sports.  Celebration ’90 was the first Gay Games to be hosted in Canada and was the largest up until that point.  In addition to the sporting events it included a broad range of cultural events aimed at bringing awareness to the gay community. For a complete list of activities see the Official Program.

The Celebration ’90 videos and photographs presented here are from the Mary Anne McEwen Fond, held at VIVO’s Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive.

Mary Anne McEwen

Mary Anne McEwen became interested in the Gay Games in 1982 when she was in San Francisco to direct a documentary on Christianity and homosexuality  – God, Gays and the Gospel: This is Our Story. She shot an interview with Gay Games founder, Tom Waddell, and became a strong advocate for bringing the Games to Vancouver. She not only assisted with the formation of Out On Screen in preparation for the anticipated cultural celebrations, she decided she must document the Games. This was done through her company, Fast Forward Productions Ltd., with financial assistance from the Metropolitan Vancouver Arts & Athletics Association, the local organizers of Celebration ’90.

McEwen shot footage in Berlin and Sydney, Australia, where the previous two Games had been hosted, then ran 3 video crews for the 10-day sporting event and a 4-camera operation for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at B.C. Place. (Crews included Cherene Shea and Aerlyn Weisman). In total over 72 hours of Betacam video was shot. McEwen’s intention was to produce a documentary for commercial distribution, however, she was unable to secure the needed funding. She also developed a chronic illness which halted the project moving forward. McEwen had been a VIVO producer member for many years. In March 2010 she contacted us about donating these videos to our archive. She volunteered to catalogue and digitize these and the Gayblevision tapes. She only catalogued about a dozen Gayblevision tapes before passing away on May 8th 2011 at the age of 65. It was only after her death we learned that she had been battling cancer. We are grateful that she made provisions in her will to transfer her archive to VIVO. Her archive was received in August of 2014.

The Online Archive

Mary Anne McEwen was anxious that this material be widely available. When she approached us in 2010 the idea of an online archive seemed unrealistic. Today we are thankful that it has become a reality. All material digitized is now available here with more to come as funding allows.

We are now fundraising for Stage 2 of the project. This will feature the Berlin and Sydney footage and more competition video from Gay Games III. We will also be adding an oral history segment if funding allows. Donations are accepted at any time and are eligible charitable tax receipts. 

How To Use This Site

All videos in the Celebration ’90 archive are raw footage – this means they are unedited. A variety of events may be covered on a single tape and don’t be surprised if sometimes there are only images and not sound.

To Search: Use the site’s search function to find videos with the kinds of events, people, or organizations you’re interested in. Each video has a description of its content and time codes so that you go directly to the part of the tape with the material you’re looking for.

Organization: Videos with segments spanning multiple categories (such as Sports and Context) are included under both categories. “Sports” and “Culture” are what you’d expect. “Context” is composed mostly of interviews with organizers, participants, the public, and those opposing the Games, as well as backstage looks at the organization of the games and the organizations that supported them.

Browse All: This category takes you to a page with all media on the VIVO Archive site including Gayblevision. The Gay Games videos, photos, and textual files will appear first, followed by Gayblevision. This page takes a minute to populate.


Mary Anne McEwen was the official videographer of the Games and has signed releases from the interviewees and performers. However, if your image is on this site and you would prefer it was not, please contact us and we will address your concern promptly.