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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 1980s


1989 Moose Jaw
Diana Wieler published Bad Boy, a young adult novel concerning hockey violence and teen friendship. Sixteen 16 year old A. J. becomes the troubled bad boy of the Moose Jaw Cyclones hockey team when he discovers his best friend and teammate is gay. The book won the Governor General’s award for children’s fiction.
1989 Regina
Rumours was renamed The Scarth Street Station in early 1989 when the name Rumours was registered by a Saskatoon business. Regulars now usually referred to the club as The Station.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 1 (January 18 1989) p. 7.]
January Regina
Activists formed EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) Regina to replace a short-lived chapter of CHE. The group initially undertook to lobby MLAs and to coordinate a special issue of Saskatchewan’s independent magazine Briarpatch.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 1 (January 18 1989) p. 4. / Sexual orientation. A special issue of Briarpatch v. 18. no. 8 (October 1989). Included contributions by Joanne Abrahamson, Glen Brown, Shauna Checkley, Gens Hellquist, Peter Millard, Doug Wilson, and Ralph Wushke.]
January 26 Saskatoon
CBC TV presented a forum at Holy Cross Collegiate entitled Should Homosexuals Be Ordained?
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 1 (January 18 1989) p. 12-13.]
January 28-29
Members of the Imperial Court of Edmonton visited Saskatoon to perform at Numbers and to discuss sponsoring a sister court in Saskatoon. Local drag performers elected a board on February 5.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 2 (March 1 1989) p. 5.]
February 19 Saskatoon
Gay activist Peter Millard received the John Stratychuk award from the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights for his contributions to human rights. At the time Millard was the spokesperson for CHE.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 3 (April 12 1989) p. 5.]
March 2 Regina
EGALE Regina held a public event A Celebration of Our Rights to publicize the need for human rights protections. Speakers included City Councillor Doreen Hamilton and NDP Finance critic Ned Shillington. Statements of support were presented by the Saskatchewan Action Committee on the Status of Women, the SFL, the Anglican and United Churches, and two of the candidates for the Saskatchewan Liberal Party leadership.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 3 (April 12 1989) p. 6.]
March 4 Saskatoon
A rental booking for an International Women’s Day dance was cancelled on short notice by St. Joseph’s Church Hall. The Catholic hall had been advised by Bernadette Mysko of Alliance for Life that “the dance is known to be for lesbians.” The dance was moved to Club 23 Below and attended by 250 women.
[Jim Burgoyne, “Coalition denies lesbianism reason dance cancelled,” SSP, (March 4 1989) p. A3. / “Women’s group unhappy with lesbian label, ponders legal action,” SSP, (March 11 1989) p. D15.]
March 20-22 Regina
AIDS Regina produced of As Is, William Hoffman’s award-winning play about AIDS, at the Venue. Douglas Hicton’s production was seen by 480.
[Kevin 0’Connor, “AIDS play is a poignant examination,” RLP, (March 21 1989) p. F7.]
March 24-26 Calgary
Saskatoon sent two co-ed teams to the Apollo Western Cup volleyball tournament.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 3 (April 12 1989) p. 10.]
March 25 Saskatoon
Dennis and Ruthie were selected the first Mr. and Ms. Gay Saskatoon at a pageant and dance at the Holiday Inn attended by 130. The judges included NDP MP Chris Axworthy and String Bean the clown.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 3 (April 12 1989) p. 10.]
April 12 Regina
Perceptions reported that Lyndon Surjik, an openly gay student, had been elected Finance Vice-President of the University of Regina Students’ Union. Surjik was also involved on the boards of the GCR and EGALE Regina. Before coming out he served as URSU President in 1986.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 3 (April 12 1989) p. 6.]
April 18 Regina
EGALE Regina held a media conference to respond to Social Services Minister Grant Schmidt’s recent claim that treating gay couples as families was “contrary to the rules of Allah, God and the Great Spirit.” Speakers included EGALE’s Evanna Simpson, Lyndon Surjik from the GCR and Rev. Dr. Richard Hordern of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 4 (May 31 1989) p. 8-9. / “Gay couples aren’t families: Schmidt,” SSP, (April 15 1989) p. A3.]
April 23 Saskatoon
CHE elected a new board including Ben Blanchette, Sally Boyle, Henry Scheer, Erin Shoemaker, Don McNamee and Peter Millard. Guests at the annual general meeting included NDP MP Chris Axworthy, newly elected Sask Liberal leader Lynda Haverstock and NDP MLAs Peter Prebble and Ann Smart.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 4 (May 31 1989) p. 6.]
June 17 Saskatoon
Midnight Carousel Ball, Saskatoon’s first coronation ball was held at the Manhattan Ballroom. The Imperial Court of the Prairie Lily (ICPL) was officially recognized and Ghedo and Miss K were crowned Emperor I and Empress I. The ICPL worked to raise funds for PWA support.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 4 (May 31 1989) p. 15.]
June 19 Regina
City Council proclaimed the weekend of June 21-25 Lesbian/Gay Pride Weekend by a vote of 6-4. After much furor (Councillors reported receiving death threats) a special meeting was called a week later to rescind the proclamation.The attempt to rescind failed when Councillor Joe McKeown refused to give the unanimous consent necessary. According to McKeown: “Hate mongering, in my mind, has no place in this city.”
[Therese Macdonald, “Council backs lesbian/gay proclamation,” RLP, (June 20 1989) p. A3. / Therese Macdonald, “Gay proclamation survives,” RLP, (June 24 1989) p. A1.]
June 24-25 Regina
Regina’s first LG Pride weekend included a barbecue, worship service and a mixed dance at the Core Ritchie Centre.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 1 (May 31 1989) p. 24.]
July 4 Regina
The PC government introduced amendments to the Human Rights Code that did not include sexual orientation. Justice Minister Bob Andrews told the media “that it isn’t a priority. Maybe it will be for someone else?” The NDP opposition did not propose amendments or publicly criticize the government’s inaction. Some NDP MLAs stated that they had promised the LG community legislative protections when they next formed government.
[Neil Scott, “Gays ignored; rights advocate criticizes govt,” RLP, (July 6 1989)]
August 4-6 Ravenscrag
The Spring Valley Guest Ranch advertised a gay only Ranch Rendezvous weekend in the Cypress Hills. This became a popular annual event attracting visitors from across the West for a weekend of country fun. The weekends were presented in each of the next 15 years (to 2003).
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 4 (May 31 1989) p. 5.]
October 6-28 Saskatoon
Dik Campbell presented Pressing: Reading the Signs, an exhibition of multimedia works at the AKA Gallery. The show examined homophobia in the media and the concept of personal privacy. The exhibition was attacked in a letter writing campaign.
[Perceptions, v.7 no. 7 (October 4 1989) p. 15. / “An Atmosphere of violence,” SSP, (October 21 1989) p. Prism12.]
October 8 Saskatoon
The 1989 Metamorphosis event was scaled back due to organizational burnout. The weekend concluded with a catered banquet featuring NDP MP Svend Robinson, Toronto poet Ian Young and Vancouver comedian Jackie Hegadorn. The Metamorphosis organization disbanded in 1990. The event was restaged in 2001 and with less success in 2002. (See below)
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 6 (August 23 1989) p. 15.]
October 14 Saskatoon
The ICPL and the Persons Living With AIDS (PLWA) Network presented Festival of Friends, a fundraising night of performances at the Ukrainian Hall.
[Perceptions, v. 7 no. 7 (October 4 1989) p. 15.]
December Saskatoon
City Council waded into a controversy over an exhibition of homoerotic photographs by Ottawa artist Evergon being held at the Mendel Art Gallery. After Terry Goudy of Christian Counselling Services protested the display and its availability to children Councillor Mark Thompson said a warning notice should be posted. Councillor Morris Chernesky declared the city shouldn’t be funding art that is considered offensive.
[“Art Display Restriction Sought,” SSP, (December 4 1989) p. A3. / Elizabeth Philips, “Evergon but not forgotten,” NeWest Review, v. 15 no. 5 (June/July 1990)]