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Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity

Celebrating a History of Diversity:

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

The 1970s


January Saskatoon
The Saskatoon and District Labour Council passed a resolution calling for the province’s human rights legislation to be amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
[Gay Saskatchewan, v. 2 no. 3 (March 1979)]
January 12 Saskatoon
The GCCS celebrated the opening of its new rented premises in the basement at 245 – 3rd Avenue South. Alderman George Taylor attended the opening.
[Gay Saskatchewan, v. 2 no. 2 (February 1979) / “Gay community centre opens,” The Sheaf, (January 11 1979) p. 1.]
February 21 Regina
Kay Bierwiler, Brian Gladwell and Doug Wilson of the SGC met with Attorney-General Romanow for the first time since 1974 to discuss their brief Lesbians and Gay Men: A Minority Without Rights. They reported that Romanow was unwilling to commit himself and was in no way encouraging. He mentioned a hot debate in the NDP caucus and that if human rights protections were granted to the LG community those rights might exclude teachers and childcare workers.
[“Coalition meets with Attorney-General,” Gay Saskatchewan, (March 1979) / “Attorney- General urges group to continue pressure,” The Body Politic, no. 51 (March/April 1979) p. 13.]
February – March Saskatoon
The GAU presented its third LG film series at Place Riel Theatre. The series included The Children’s Hour, A Bigger Splash and Word is Out.
[Gay Saskatchewan, v. 2 no. 3 (March 1979)]
February – March Regina
Dick Collver, Conservative party leader, jumped on a flippant comment to a reporter by Brian Currie, president of the GCCS. Currie had mused about the statistical possibility of there being a gay cabinet minister. Collver demanded in the Legislature that the Premier answer the charge noting that homosexuals were easily blackmailed. Blakeney called Collver’s comments contemptible and added that he had not surveyed the cabinet - “I know the cabinet ministers well, but not that well.”
[Rudy Lukko, “Gay spokesperson just assumes one minister is homosexual,” RLP, (February 28 1979) p. 14. / “Premier attacks Collver rumor of gay minister,” Globe and Mail, (March 1 1979) p. 9. / “Dick Collver’s charge causes second thought,” Prince Albert Daily Herald, (March 3 1979) p. 2.]
March 29 Saskatoon
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo presented an evening of classical dance parodies at the Centennial Auditorium. Les Trocs are a New York based all male company who satirize ballet’s icons and conventions in cross-dressed performances. Years later the company visited Regina on November 1 1995 to perform at the Saskatchewan Centre for the Arts.
[Eva Schacherl, “Les Ballets Trockedaros (Review),” SSP, (March 30 1979) p. 17.]
April 21 Regina
The NDP government decided not to extend human rights protections to lesbians and gays. Reports indicated that it had been deterred by public opposition and by a fear that it would be seen as protecting one of their own after the Collver gay cabinet member charges. In response the SGC organized a protest demonstration at the Legislature on May 5.
[“Homosexuals not included in addition to rights code,” RLP, (April 21 1979) p. 8.]
September 4 Saskatoon
An arsonist set fire to the GCCS during the night causing over $10,000 in damages. The Centre reopened on September 15 but the cost of repairs weakened the organization’s financial situation.
[Gay Saskatchewan, v. 2 no. 10 (October 1979) / “Arson confirmed in gay centre fire, ” SSP, (September 5 1979) p. D7.]
September 14 Prince Albert
A Board of Reference ordered the reinstatement of teacher Don Jones who had been dismissed for being gay. Jones had been an elementary teacher in Smeaton for three years when two local adult men charged that he had made passes at them. The Nipawin School Board dismissed him on the grounds of immorality, alleged mental instability and unprofessional conduct. Although Jones stated he was willing to resign if he was reinstated he requested the hearing to clear his name. The Board of Reference rebuked the School Board’s arbitrary process of dismissal, stating that it was not convinced that an indication of homosexual behavior was grounds for dismissal or that an admitted homosexual would be automatically rejected by the local community.
[After Stonewall, no. 10 (Spring 1980) p. 3-4.]
Fall Saskatoon
The Winnipeg based journal After Stonewall resumed publication in Saskatoon after two of its collective members, Walter Davis and Bill Fields, moved to the city. The new Saskatoon collective included Amy Gottlieb, Wiesia Kolasinka and Doug Wilson. Number 9 was the first issue published in Saskatoon.
November 2 – 4 Saskatoon
Three Saskatoon NDP constituency organizations again submitted resolutions to the party’s annual convention again pressing for human rights protections.
[Gay Saskatchewan, v. 2 no. 11 (November 1979)]
November Fort Qu’Appelle
Eighty-four people attended a one day workshop organized by the United Church of Canada to examine issues relating to homosexuality in the church and society.
[Gay Saskatchewan, v. 2 no. 12 (December 1979)]
November 25 Prince Albert
The Prince Albert Gay Centre celebrated the official opening of its first rented facility at 4- 241 10th Street East. The small rented apartment was the site of Saturday night socials presented by the Zodiac Club and of the group’s information phone line. The facility was also frequently open on a drop in basis Wednesday through Friday.
[Gay Saskatchewan, v. 2 no. 12 (December 1979)]