Skip to main content
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 1980s


1985 Toronto
Stubblejumper Press published Peter McGehee’s Beyond Happiness: the Intimate Memoirs of Billy Lee Belle.
1985 Saskatoon
David Carpenter published Jewels, a novella that relates the strange and unexpected adventures of Julian Fairfax, an aging and closeted librarian in Saskatoon.
January 27 Regina
The city’s first gay volleyball practice was held at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate organized by the Gay Athletic Guild, with the support of the GCR.
January 30
The SHRC proposed at a press conference that the provincial Human Rights Code should be amended to include a definition of discrimination which would be open-ended to bring it into compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
[Perceptions, no. 13 (1985) p. 8. / “Changes to Human Rights Code sought,” SSP, (January 31 1985) p. A3.]
March Saskatoon
The Ukrainian National Federation Hall refused to accept a booking by GLSS although many other successful LG events had been held there by groups not having the word Gay in their titles. The problem was eventually resolved and the hall continued to be a popular site for LG socials and fundraising events.
[Perceptions, no. 17 (1985) p. 24.]
March 1-3 Calgary
Regina and Saskatoon teams attended the third annual Western Cup volleyball tournament.
[Perceptions, no. 13 (1985) p. 13.]
March 13 Regina
The GCR purchased a building at 1422 Scarth Street for $94,500.
[Perceptions, no. 34 (July 22 1987) p. 4.]
April Saskatoon
The Ritz Hotel was sold and torn down. In the early 1970s gays selected its Apollo Room bar as their community drinking venue.
[Perceptions, no. 15 (1985) p. 3. / “Ritz Hotel, Apollo Room pass into city history,” SSP, (April 24 1985) p. D11.]
April 17 Regina
Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force. Gary Lane, provincial Justice Minister, released a discussion paper Compliance of Saskatchewan Laws with the Canadian Charter of Rights which noted that the province’s Human Rights Code was not open-ended like the Charter on grounds of discrimination.
[Perceptions, no. 12 (1985) p. 9.]
April 29 Regina
Justice Minister Gary Lane replied to an opposition question dealing with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code: “I understand from the provisions, or the comments of the Leader of the Opposition, that he wanted it open-ended. That may well mean, in fact, preventing discrimination by virtue or reason of sexual orientation. That is not a change we are prepared to make.”
[Perceptions, no. 16 (1985) p. 11.]
May 22-25 Saskatoon and Regina
BC lesbian novelist Jane Rule undertook a speaking tour of Saskatchewan. On May 22 she spoke at the Neil Balkwill Centre in Regina and on May 23 attended a reception sponsored by Perceptions. On May 25 she participated in a panel on women’s sexuality at the Saskatchewan Writers Guild annual meeting in Saskatoon.
[Perceptions, no. 15 (1985) p. 22.]
June 14 Saskatoon
L’Anti-Troupe de Regina presented Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna in French at the Persephone Theatre.
[Perceptions, no. 17 (1985) p. 27.]
Summer Saskatoon
The Saskatoon Gay History Group received a Saskatoon Heritage Activity Grant of $400 to document the city’s LG history. The grant was used to photograph gay sites and to present a panel discussion at the 1985 Metamorphosis.
[Perceptions, no. 15 (1985) p. 15.]
Summer Saskatoon
A study was conducted on the possible establishment of a Saskatoon chapter of the Metropolitan Community Church. A pastor named Judy lead study sessions and worship services at the Unitarian Centre.
[Perceptions, no. 17 (1985) p. 29.]
August 17 Saskatoon
The StarPhoenix reported that Saskatoon’s first AIDS case was receiving care at the University Hospital.
[“University Hospital treating AIDS patient,” SSP, (August 17 1985) p. A1.]
August 24 Saskatoon
The body of 44 year old child psychologist Marvin Klepsch was found bound and beaten in a field north of Sutherland. It was widely believed in the LG community that he was a victim of gay bashing. The lengthy police investigation seemed to many more focused on investigating the gay community than in finding the killer.
[“Gays claimed focal point of Klepsch investigation,” SSP, (October 1 1985) p. A7. / Perceptions, no. 27 (1986) p. 9.]
September Regina
The GCR’s Rumours club opened for business at its new location in the warehouse district. The club’s opening had been delayed by legal difficulties and opposition from neighboring businesses. It was initially open every night except Sunday. Attendance and revenues declined as some members considered the new location dangerous and too distant from downtown. After patrons were gay bashed in 1991 the Club hired a security firm to protect members on weekends.
[Hockley / Perceptions, no. 18 (1985) p. 11.]
September 22 Regina
The Regina Public Library Theatre screened The Times of Harvey Milk, a cinematic portrayal of San Francisco’s first openly gay city councillor. The RPL Film theatre has continued to program a wide variety of LG themed films up to the date of this compilation.
[Perceptions, no. 18 (1985) p. 5.]
September 26 Regina
Saskatchewan Health Minister Graham Taylor announced the establishment of a special consultation committee on AIDS.
[Sheila Robertson, “Province to act on AIDS,” SSP, (September 27 1985) p. 1.]
October Ottawa
The Parliamentary Committee on Equality Rights released a report titled Equality for All, which recommended that discrimination based on sexual orientation be prohibited.
October Saskatoon
The Photographers Gallery presented Personal Mythologies. New Polaroids by Evergon. This exhibition of homoerotic 40 x 80 inch colour polaroids was also presented at Regina’s Mackenzie Gallery in 1987.
[Perceptions, no. 19 (1985) p. 3-5. / Perceptions, no. 31 (1987) p. 15.]
October 12-13 Saskatoon
Approximately 250 attended the 1985 Metamorphosis. Workshops included a panel on local gay history with Winnipeg historian Lyle Dick. The concert held at Third Avenue United Church featured Heather Bishop, Tracy Riley and Louise Rose.
[Perceptions, no. 18 (1985) p. 3-5.]
December Prince Albert
Perceptions published a story about the six-year-old Prince Albert Gay Community Centre.
[Perceptions, no. 20 (1985-1986) p. 3-4.]
December 18
Tom Schuck, a Weyburn lawyer appointed to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, declared that gays and lesbians should not be covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act. He also publicly disagreed with a parliamentary committee’s recommendation that the RCMP and Armed Forces lift their ban on homosexuals stating that not permitting such discrimination would allow teenagers to consider a gay lifestyle a viable alternative. Ken Norman, a former tribunal member, suggested that Schuck should zip his lip on matters of policy, and that his statements had put him in an untenable conflict of interest and undermined the credibility of the tribunal.
[Brian Laghi, “Discrimination against gays supported,” SSP, (December 18 1985) p. A1.]