VIVO Media Arts Centre Archive > Every Queer Thing Exhibit

The CDMLA opened a modest companion exhibit of queer materials from the CDMLA archive timed with the launch of Every Queer Thing on Wednesday, March 11. The intention was for the exhibit to run for a month. This was also the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

That weekend, VIVO discussed possible work options to keep everyone safe. Conditions changed daily. By Monday, the Province directed anyone who could stay home to do so. On Tuesday the 17th, the BC government declared a public health emergency. VIVO closed to the public, derailing our exhibition plans.

thank yous

The CDMLA thanks Emily Guerrero, Karen Knights, Syr Reifsteck and Sophie Roberge for their contributions to the Every Queer Thing exhibit. Special thanks to Clark Henderson, Video Technician, and Jae-Woo Kang, Technical Assistant.


Display materials were selected from VIVO’s Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive and represent a small percentage of the queer materials in our collections. The bulk of items were produced between 1973 and 2006.

The objects were drawn from our International Exchange Network Files (1971-1999), Time & Space Publications Library (1968-), Media Artist & Activist Documentation files (1973-) Mary Anne McEwen fonds (1961-2011), Sara Diamond fonds (1970-2000), Metro Media fonds (1971-1986), Gayblevision fonds (1980-1986), Meg Torwl fonds (1990-2013), Satellite Video Exchange Society fonds (1971-).


Due to our closure documentation is limited. The exhibit photos were snapped the day of the launch for social media.



Transsexual Lifestyle
Roberts Kaligirou/Metro Media, 1971, 60min.
In Vancouver, a Canadian Gay Activist Alliance spokesperson introduces a discussion between two trans women and some local youths after they had experienced a number of attacks. Canadian Gay Activist Alliance existed from February 1971 to autumn of 1971.
Host: Dick Rulens. First woman: Cathy. Second woman: Linda.
Gay Alliance Meeting
Metro Media, 1974, 60min.
A panel discussion at UBC on the subject of Contemporary Society and the Gay Struggle. LGBTQ activists talk about their experiences. Questions are asked by the audience. Organized by the Gay People of UBC and The Gay Alliance Towards Equality. Participants: Pat Smith – Women’s Liberation Movement;  Jearld Moldenhauer – Editor of The Body Politic; Maurice Flood – Gay Alliance Towards Equality;  Jean Arrington – Vancouver Status of Women; Rev. Dr. Phillip Hewett – Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver”
Lesbians Organizing Against the Right
Amelia Productions, 1981, 45min.
Is being a homosexual a personal or political choice? A panel at the 1981 Lesbian Conference discussed the attempts of the right to blame the ills of society on gays, lesbians, immigrants, unions and independent women. The workshop sparked the formation of many anti-right groups across Canada.
Gay Alliance Meeting
Lesbians Organizing Against the  Right


Making “Gay” Televisible: Gayblevision Excerpts
The Gayblevision excerpt compilation “Making ‘Gay’ Tele-Visible” was one of two programs in “Radical Rewind” screened at VIVO on November 27, 2015. “Radical Rewind” was a part of VIVO’s programming during the first Vancouver Independent Archives Week, a project of grunt gallery, Western Front, and VIVO, highlighting their unique archival collections.
Combining entertainment and documentary, Gayblevision recorded a specific moment in Vancouver’s LGBT community. Excerpts for this screening lean towards the polemic: Gayblevision’s efforts to education the community regarding HIV, the role of the LGBT community in political debates around Human Rights and BC’s Solidarity movement, and its satiric response to homophobic messages in mainstream media.
Making “Gay” Televisible
Part 1, 24min
–Intro to the first Gayblevision episode, July 7, 1980
–Gay Unity vs City Hall: First Gay Unity Week Proclamation Request, August 4, 1980
–All Candidates Meeting for Gay Rights, November 3, 1980
–Coronation Ball, 1982.
–Sharing the Obvious (satire of CBC homophobic “investigation” into the Gay lifestyle), March 2, 1981.
Making Gay “Televisible”
Excerpts Part 2, 22min
–Interview with the First Out Lesbian Comedian Robin Tyler, March 2, 1981.
–MP Svend Robinson, Human Rights Act Speech, August 3, 1981.
–Jim Tremholme, Society for Political Action for Gay People (S.P.A.G.) on Gay Unity Week, August 3, 1981.
–City Proclaims Gay Unity Week, August 3, 1981.
–BC Operation Solidarity Rally, August 14, 1983.
Making “Gay” Televisible Parts 1 &2


Celebration ‘90 Gay Games III, Mary Anne McEwen fonds
Excerpts. 6min.
— Drag and Leather at the Gay Games: Interviews with Bill Monroe as Queen Elizabeth.
–Celebration ‘90 Executive Director Mark Mees, writer Jane Rule.
–Censorship of “Queers In Art”: Responses by QIA Committee member, Domino, writer Dionne Brand.
–Fantasy Ball Parade of Dignitaries, Commodore Ballroom.
The Facts on AIDS Introduction
August 22, 1983
–Alan Hicox (Vancouver’s first AIDS death of an out gay ma) Unedited Interview c1983.
–Kiss, July 4, 1980.
Celebration ’90 Gay Games III
Facts on AIDS Introduction