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Gay Pride Flag Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity
Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity

Celebrating a History of Diversity:

Lesbian and Gay Life in Saskatchewan, 1971 - 2006
A Selected Annotated Chronology

The 1970s


April 27 Saskatoon
Doug (later Gens) Hellquist and Dan Nalbach placed an advertisement in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newsmagazine proposing the formation of a group titled Saskatoon Gay Liberation.
[“Classifieds: Out of Town,” Georgia Straight, (April 27-30 1971) p. 23.]
August 28 Ottawa
The first public gay demonstration on Parliament Hill demanded changes to laws and policies affecting homosexuals.
Autumn Saskatoon
Two small activist organizations were launched: The Gay Students Alliance at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and Saskatoon Gay Action (SGA). Organizers included Bruce Garman, Doug Hellquist, Dan Nalbach, and Erv (later Tom) Warner.
[“News of the Gay: Saskatoon,” The Body Politic, no. 5 (1972) p. 16.]
Autumn Saskatoon
Gens Hellquist wrote that in late 1971 a group of gay men discussed the need to establish a regular drinking venue for Saskatoon gays. The group’s choice was the Apollo Room at the downtown Ritz Hotel. Although the Apollo Room (adorned by murals of the lunar landing) was considered unattractive it was spacious and relatively uncrowded. The Apollo soon had a sizable and committed gay and lesbian clientele that continued to patronize ‘the Ritz’ for many years. The management and staff welcomed the new clientele and dealt quickly and firmly with anyone harassing LG patrons. The hotel closed in 1985.
[Gens Hellquist, “Adventures of a prairie fag. Part 2,” Perceptions, v. 19 no. 3 (April 25 2001)]
October Saskatoon
Respondents to the Georgia Straight ad and others were invited to a meeting to discuss the establishment a gay social organization. Several fundraising parties were held at private homes to finance the effort.
[Gens Hellquist, “Adventures of a prairie fag. Part 2,” Perceptions, v. 19 no. 3 (April 25 2001)]