Gayblevision & Pacific Wave

 Gayblevision ProducersGayblevision & Pacific Wave I 1980-1986

Gayblevision, Canada’s first television program made “for gay people by gay people”, was produced through Vancouver’s West End Cable 10 between 1980-1986. It documented the local LGBTQ community – the issues, people, events, businesses and organizations that defined the early 1980s. It includes rare interviews with community leaders and cultural icons, and provides insight into the formation of the Pride movement and the impact of AIDS.

Co-founder and first President, Don Durrell, donated the collection in 1993. It includes over eighty Gayblevision episodes and those of Pacific Wave, a series initiated December 1983 by Durrell and other Gayblevision producers. Co-founder Mary Anne McEwen donated additional Gayblevision videos including raw footage of their Tennessee Williams interview. Other videos include an AIDS Special, Pride tapes, promotional segments, audio tracks, and working cassettes. In 2014 a donation of production stills and other ephemera was made in honour of McEwen.

ColourRGB_SCREEN small


In 2015 VIVO launched The Gayblevision Legacy Project to commemorate the series’ 35th anniversary. We will be digitizing all the videos in the collection for archival storage, restoring the audio and video components as necessary, and creating a free online archive.

VIVO is proud to announce that it has been awarded nearly $7000 from UBC’s Irving K Barber Learning Centre through its “BC History Digitization Program” representing half the project costs.

If you would like to lend your support to the preservation of Vancouver’s LGBTQ history,  our online donation platform makes it easy to give. Corporate sponsorship packages are also available.


Our Gayblevision Online Archive is now funded and will be online soon.
Future donations go towards the costs of producing an audio/visual oral history of Gayblevision and the planning and development of an educational web series utilizing the historic documentation of Vancouver’s LGBT community in the early days of the Pride movement, HIV/AIDS, and Human Rights battles.


Jolene Cumming | Garth Caron   |   Emma Curtis  |  James Goodman  | Kevin Griffin  |  Don Larventz  | David Myers In Honour of Greg Cutts  |  Dominika Nasilowski  In Honour of Phyllis McGreevey | Jan Peacock  In Honour of Daniel Anderson  |  Leon Phillips | Jayce Salloum  In Honour of a Progressive Country   |  Moira Simpson  In Honour of Meg Torwl | Daniel Gawthrop |
Anonymous  In Honour of Mary Anne McEwen | Karen Knights In Honour of Laurine Harrison | Jen Crothers | Allison Collins | Walter Quan | Steven Gibson | Mark La Fleche | James Goodman | Donald Luxton | Colin McKenna | Lisa Robison | Lisa Binkley | Michelle Normoyle | Brad Deep | Lyn Guy | Robert Samuel | James Goldie | Jenny Wright | Ken Hickling |

Thank you, also, to all our anonymous donors.

ike_barber_logo           TD_SHIELD_PRINT_LOGO_COL_RGB (1)       DXtra_LOGO_1920x1080 (2)


Queer-Arts-Festival      VQFFLogoFullColourHorizontal lsisters_logo_color_drop_300dpi      Fountainhead logo      Red Truck logo 150V        Absolut logo 300V
Sophia Ahamed small

SOPHIA AHAMED | VIVO is grateful for the creative and technical talents supporting the Gayblevision Legacy Project. Sophia offered her design services to the project as a thank-you for the work VIVO has done over the years, and we couldn’t have been more excited. If you don’t already know the design work of Sophia Ahamed, it’s time to get acquainted.

Sophia has worked as a Creative Director, Designer and Visual Artist locally and internationally over the past several years. She is the Co-Founder/Creative Director of Textbook Magazine: a publication dedicated to the creative entrepreneur. Her work has been featured numerous publications such as Gestaltin’s Start Me Up! Branding for Business and Victionaries: Illustrative Branding. She was recently being awarded Lürzer’s Archive Magazine’s Top 200 Illustrators World Wide. Her work has been exhibited internationally at several galleries such as the Soho Art House in New York and The Verge Gallery in Sydney Australia.

Studio Ahamed


SDHolman_portrait_w (1)SD HOLMAN | VIVO is thrilled to have the support of one of Vancouver’s most exciting artists and impactful queer activists, SD Holman. A native of Los Angeles, Holman is a photo-based artist, Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Queer Arts Festival, a multidisciplinary arts festival, and recipient of the 2014 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Arts and Culture, one of Canada’s most prestigious awards. SD Holman defines as a non-commercial artist, a participant observer employing subjective conceptual documentary practice and has exhibited and published internationally. Thank you SD, for the donatio of your photo work, BEARDO, the prize in our Gayblevision Raffle.

SD Holman


Episode Producer: Barry Spillman  | Produced at West End Cable 10 | Year: 1982 | Duration: 62:00
This tape is a celebration of two years of regular Gayblevision programming. It covers a broad spectrum of Vancouver LGBTQ experience: from the Mr. Leather Contest, to evenings at the Vanport, the first Gay Unity Parade, and Jane Rule’s controversial statement about coming out.

Episode Producer: Barry Spillman | Produced at West End Cable 10 | Year: 1983 | Duration: 04:44
Alan was Vancouver’s first out man with HIV/AIDS to die in Vancouver. In the 9 months from his AIDS diagnosis to his death on September 26, 1984, Alan committed himself to raising awareness of the disease and helping fellow HIV patients. We made the choice to screen the raw footage of his interview at a recent VIVO screening, rather than the edited version. We felt it captured the fact that he wasn’t a professional educator or someone who would speak dispassionately about the disease; he was just an ordinary – and very brave – guy trying using the time he had to help his community.

1.  1982 Coronation Ball   2.  Official declaration by the City of Vancouver of Gay Unity Week ’81   3. Jane Rule interview


The following information is taken from documents in the Mary Anne McEwen Collection. These are not original, nor are they thought to be complete, however, they do provide insight into the formation of Gayblevision.


Legal Name: GBV – Gayblevision Society

First Directors:

Donald Durrell, President
Gordon Armstrong, Secretary
Colleen French, Producer
Barry Spillman, Producer
Wendy Tractenberg

Excerpt from the Gayblevision Constitution

The purposes of the Society are:

a) to provide the gay community with a television progrramme broadcast by community television networks in British Columbia.

b) to provide the gay community with an opportunity to communicate with other gay organizations around the world and exchange views and ideas through the visual media.

c) to promote an understanding of the gay lifestyle to both the gay community and the community at large.

d) to promote, encourage, assist and support recreational, cultural, educational, artistic, charitable and community endeavours in the gay community.

e) to provide members of the gay community access to and training in video equipment mainly through the auspices of community television on a non-profit basis.

Additional info about Gayblevision 

The budget per Gayblevision episode was around $150. Equipment use was free at West End Cablevision 10 and editing was done at their Robson and Bidwell office. Videotape and set construction were paid for through fundraising efforts, often just passing the hat in a bar. Gayblevision aired on the first and third Mondays of the month at 10 pm.


“Record Date: August 4, 1980, #2” 1980
“Record Date: October 5, 1980, #4” 1980
“Record Date: November 2,1980, #5” 1980
“Record Date: November 30, 1980” 1980
“Record Date: December 30, 1980, #7” 1980
“Record Date: October 26, 1980” 1980
“Record Date: February 3, 1980” 1980
“Record Date: February 1, 1981, #8” 1981
“Record Date: February 28, 1981, #9,” 1981
“Record Date: May 3, 1981, #11” 1981
“Record Date: May 29, 1981, #12” 1981
“Record Date: June 27, 1981, #13 (part B, Best Of)” 1981
“Record Date: September 5,1981, #14 And #15” 1981
“Record Date: October 3, 1981, #16” 1981
“Record Date: November 1, 1981, #17” 1981
“Record Date: December 6, 1981, #18” 1981
“Record Date: July 27,1981, #14” 1981
“Record Date: October 3, 1981” 1981
“Record Date: June 3, 1981” 1981
“Record Date: February 16/81, Robin Tyler Special” 1981
“Record Date: August 28, 1981, Forbidden Fruits” 1981
“Record Date: December 22, 1982, #19” 1982
“Record Date: January 27, 1982” 1982
“Record Date: February 28, 1982, #21” 1982
“Record Date: May 2, 1982, #23” 1982
“Record Date: June 6, 1982, #24” 1982
“Record Date: July 4, 1982, #25” 1982
“Record Date: August 2, 1982, #26” 1982
“Record Date: September 11, 1982, #27” 1982
“Record Date: October 16, 1982, #28” 1982
“Record Date: October 28, 1982, #29” 1982
“Record Date: December 5, 1982, #30” 1982
“Record Date: April 6, 1982, Ball ’82 Special” 1982
“Record Date: February 11, 1982, H. Britt” 1982
“Record Date: October 27, 1982, Robin Tyler Special” 1982
“Record Date: January 2, 1983” 1983
“Record Date: February 5,1983, #32” 1983
“Record Date: March 6, 1983, #33” 1983
“Record Date: April 2, 1983, #34, Aids Special” 1983
“Record Date: May 14, 1983, #35b, Walk For Peace” 1983
“Record Date: May 1, 1983, #35a, Walk For Peace” 1983
“Record Date: July 2, 1983, #37” 1983
“Record Date: July 1, 1983, #38 The Sleep Of Reason” 1983
“Record Date:1982 Gay Pride 83 Van Coronation Ball 82 1983
“Record Date: August 31, 1983, #39” 1983
“Record Date: October 1, 1983, #40” 1983
“Record Date: November 6, 1983, #41” 1983
“Record Date: ? Fight For Your Rights” 1983
“Record Date: December 16, 1983, Pacific Wave #2” 1983
“Record Date: November 11/83, Dr. Kevin Cahill # 1” 1983
“Record Date: November 11/83, Dr. Kevin Cahill #2” 1983
“Record Date: April 10, 1983” 1983
“Record Date: October 23, 1983, Solidarity March” 1983
“Record Date: February 5, 1983, No Strings” 1983
“Record Date: August 10, 1983” 1983
“Record Date: July 23, 1983” 1983
“Record Date: July 28, 1983” 1983
“Record Date: August 21, 1983” 1983
Record Date: Red Cross #3 1984
Record Date: ? Pacific Wave #3 1984
“Record Date: March 4,1984, Pacific Wave #4” 1984
“Record Date: November,1984, Pacific Wave #11” 1984
“Record Date: September 13/84, Verlena Werlurmute” 1984
“Record Date: July 28, 1984, Verlena Werlurmute” 1984
“Record Date: March 27, 1984” 1984
“Record Date: May 6, 1984” 1984
“Record Date: June 3, 1984” 1984
“Record Date: August 1, 1984, Madge Episode 1” 1984
“Record Date: July 2, 1984, Pacific Wave #8, #10” 1984
“Record Date: December 3, 1984, Pacific Wave #12” 1984
“Record Date: April18, 1984” 1984
“Record Date: July 1, 1985” 1985
“Record Date: April 1, 1985” 1985
“Record Date: October, 1985” 1985
“Record Date: December 1985” 1985
“Record Date: March 3, 1986, #1” 1986
“Record Date: October 5,1986, #8” 1986
“Record Date: January 6, 1986” 1986
“Record Date: April 4, 1986, #2” 1986
“Record Date: May 2, 1986, Telethon Show” 1986
Record Date: Red Cross #1 n/a
Record Date: Red Cross #2 n/a
Record Date: ? Pacific Wave #5 n/a
Record Date: ? Aids – Allan Hicox #1 n/a
Record Date: Aids – Allan Hicox #2 n/a
Record Date: ? Magic Time n/a
Record Date: ? Pacific Wave Red #2 n/a
Record Date: ? Bloolips Outtakes n/a
Record Date: ? Preliminary Edit n/a
Record Date: ? Titles n/a
Record Date: ? David Roundell n/a
Record Date: ? Sharing The Obvious n/a
Record Date: ? Private Members Bill n/a


Photographs are currently being digitized and identified.
If you have information about the subject or photographer, please contact


Photos – 4  3 1/2″ x 5″ colour photos documenting “Farewell to Vanport” with “Dixie”, taken at the Vanport Hotel bar on 645 Main Street near Keefer Street.

Photos – Misc B&W photos, various sizes, taken on shoots, in the West End Cable 10 studio, and of friends, members and producers.
Mary Anne passes video on web gayblevision crew small Greg Cutts and Mary Anne McEwan webOutdoor shoot web group at Malkin Bowl web gayblevision out of the closet small


crowd around woman in closet webMary Anne and woman in closet webTennessee Williams in VancouverTennessee Williams in Vancouver outdoor


If you are the photographer or subject of these photos, please contact us at