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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 2000s


January 10 Regina
I Can See Queerly Now: Seven Women Speak received its first public screening. The video included contributions from seven Regina women – Jean Hillabold, Mirtha Rivera, Ingrid Alesich, Tanya Wolk, Brita Lind, Tracy Kidd and Lori Reid – which sought to challenge societal stereotypes of queer culture. The project received support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board and Sask Lotteries.
[SSN, (January 2004) p. 3.]
January 22 - March 4 Saskatoon
The U of S chaplains in conjunction with the USSU LGBTA Centre hosted What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, a four week series of speakers.During the same period Grace-Westminster United Church hosted a series Coming Out to God: Exploring Christian Spirituality as Lived by LGBT people.
[Dan Kinvig, “Activist sees place for gays in Christianity,” SSP, (January 10 2004) p. A3.]
January 28 Saskatoon
Headquarters Pub advertised its opening as a private lounge for gay men at 122 - 20th Street West. It soon changed its policy to welcome women. The lounge suspended operations in May 2005 and resumed operation under new ownership and management in July 2005.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 1 (January 28 2004) p. 31.]
January 31 Saskatoon
A testimonial dinner was held to honor Gens Hellquist for his 12 years leading GLHS. Hellquist moved to the executive directorship of the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition, which had recently received $2.3 million in federal funding for a 29-month project. Bruce Garman succeeded Hellquist as GLHS executive director.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 8 (December 21 2003) p. 9.]
February 6 Saskatoon
AKA Gallery hosted Bini, a performance by Mirha-Soleil Ross, at the opening of an exhibition of her videotapes. Ross is a transsexual sex worker, artist and activist for the rights of animals, prostitutes and queers.
[Event flyer – SAB NR]
March 17-20 Saskatoon
The USSU LGBTA Centre presented five performances of Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project at St. Thomas More College. The play explores negative and violent responses to gays by examining the experience of residents of Laramie, Wyoming, in the aftermath of the murder of gay student Matthew Shepard.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 2 (March 10 2004) p. 7. / Joanne Paulson, “Play explores anti-gay violence,” SSP, (March 17 2004) p. C3.]
March 20 Saskatoon
The seventh Breaking the Silence conference explored practical means of creating safer schools for students and staff. Patti Rowley, a teacher at Saskatoon’s Mount Royal Collegiate, related her experience in establishing Saskatchewan’s first Gay/Straight Alliance in 2001.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 3 (April 21 2004) p. 10.]
March 20 & 27 Regina
St. James United Church, an affirming congregation of the United Church of Canada, offered workshops dealing with the recognition of same-sex relationships.
[SSN, (March 2004) p. 14.]
April Regina
SSN published a notice for Out on the Air, a thirty minute gay radio program on community radio 91.3 FM CJTR.
[SSN, (April 2004) p. 15.]
April 15 Saskatoon
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation presented Dr. Don Cochrane its Arbos Award for outstanding services rendered to the cause of education. He was cited for his impassioned commitment to promoting the human rights of gays and lesbians. Cochrane was the principal organizer of the annual Breaking the Silence conferences.
[STF News Release (April 16 2004)]
April 24 - May 11 Regina
The fifth Biennial Queer Film and Video Festival featured films on the historical representation of homosexuality and special programs of queer youth and aboriginal videos. For the first time the festival occurred with little public controversy. Jason Dearborn, Culture Critic of the Saskatchewan Party which had attacked the event in the past, commented: “We don’t have a problem with it going forth…there’s a plethora of depictions of expression of art.”
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 3 (April 21 2004) p. 12. / Kevin O’Connor, “No flak for film festival,” RLP, (April 26 2004) p. B2.]
June Saskatoon
Perceptions reported that Conservative Party MPs were making same-sex marriage an election issue. Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott distributed literature emphasizing his opposition to same-sex marriage.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 4 (June 2 2004) p. 9. / Keri Dalman, “Conservative MPs gather opinions during Humboldt stop,” Humboldt Journal, (May 6 2004) p. 2.]
June Saskatoon
The Special Collections Department of the U of S Library launched Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity, a website designed to guide those interested in Saskatchewan’s LGBT communities.
June Saskatoon
GLHS received $90,000 from the federal Department for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women for a three year project to address abuse issues in lesbian relationships. GLHS also announced biweekly meetings for transgender people and their allies.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 4 (June 2 2004) p. 11.]
June 5 Moose Jaw
The Gay and Lesbian Association of Moose Jaw (GLAMJ) held its first dance featuring drag performances at the Golden Nugget Centre.
[SSN, (June 2004)]
June 12 Regina
The Prairie Pride Chorus presented the premiere of Watershed II,composer David L. McIntyre’s second cycle of songs based on the experiences of chorus members, at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral.
[Nick Miliokas, “Music for a soggy weekend,” RLP, (June 12 2004) p. A10.]
June 12-19 Saskatoon
Saskatoon’s Pride Week featured a day long community fair and dance at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival site as well as queer bowling, film screenings and a women’s night at Steamworks.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 4 (June 2 2004) p. 8.]
June 16 Ottawa
Statistics Canada issued survey results from a study of 84,000 Canadians aged 18-59 conducted as part of its Canadian Community Health Survey. According to the survey only 1.2% of Saskatchewan respondents would label themselves gay or bisexual compared to 1.7% for Canada as a whole and 2.3% for Quebec. Saskatchewan activists cautioned that it was unlikely that many gay people in the province would talk to anyone publicly about their sexual orientation.
[Karen Brownlee, “Survey results underestimate gay, lesbian numbers: activist,” SSP, (June 17 2004) p. A8.]
Summer Saskatoon
Perceptions reported that four members of the GLHS youth group had attended Camp Fyrefly, a gathering near Edmonton to build the leadership skills and knowledge of queer youth.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 6 (September 15 2004) p. 11.]
July 29 - August 7 Saskatoon
Winnipeg performance artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan scored a critical and popular hit at the Saskatoon Fringe with their Lesbian Rangers project. They left “no stone or lesbian unturned to recruit junior rangers.”
[Darren Bernhardt, “Lesbian National Parks and Services Wants You!” SSP, (July 31 2004) p. C11.]
October 15 Regina
I Could Not Speak My Heart; Education and Social Justice for Gay and Lesbian Youth, a collection of essays edited by James McNinch and Mary Cronin, was launched at an educational symposium on gay and lesbian youth at the U of R. The book was published by the U of R’s Canadian Plains Research Center and was nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award.
[Pamela Cowan, “Gay, lesbian youth face big pressures,” RLP, (October 18 2004) p. D8.]
October 23 Regina
Okie van Tol and Gisela Stuhm advertised their tenth anniversary in the Leader-Post.
[SSN, (December 2004) p. 6.]
October 28 Saskatoon
McNally Robinson Bookstore hosted the Saskatoon launch of Anthony Bidulka’s second Russell Quant mystery A Flight of Aquavit. The book received the Lambda Literary Award for best Gay Men’s Mystery of 2004.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 7 (October 27 2004) p. 20. / Jenni Mortin, “Bidulka returns with home-grown mystery,” SSP, (December 4 2004) p. E4.]
November 3 Saskatoon
Five same-sex couples (Julie Richards & Nicole White; Lenore Swystun & Kelley Moore; Erin Scriven & Lisa Stumborg; Martin Bonneville & Ted Atkins; James & Willie Hein Blackmore) sought an order from the Court of Queen’s Bench that the definition of marriage in Saskatchewan included same-sex couples. Neither the federal or provincial government opposed the order. The case received financial support from the SFL.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 7 (October 27 2004) p. 9. / Jason Warick, “Gay couples seek licences to marry,” RLP, (November 4 2004) p. A1.]
November 5 Saskatoon
Justice Donna Wilson of the Court of Queen’s Bench ruled that the right to equality of persons in same-sex relationships was violated by their exclusion from the institution of marriage and ordered that the definition of marriage in Saskatchewan be changed to include same-sex couples. Saskatchewan became the seventh Canadian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage. The Saskatchewan Party justice critic told reporters that his party did not support same-sex marriage.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 8 (December 8 2004) p. 20.]
November 6 Saskatoon
Erin Scriven and Lisa Stumborg became the first same-sex couple to be married in Saskatchewan when they were wed by Rev. Margaret McKechney at St. Thomas-Wesley United Church.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 8 (December 8 2004) p. 20. / Richard Hall, “Gay couple legally weds,” SSP, (November 8 2004) p. A1.]
November 8 Regina
Rev. Dave Manley, a preacher in Consul, SK returned his certificate to issue marriage licenses after the Court’s decision requiring marriage commissioners to issue licenses to same-sex couples. A Saskatchewan Party MLA said that requiring reluctant commissioners to issue such licenses violated human rights law as no person should be refused employment on the basis of their religious beliefs.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 8 (December 8 2004) p. 14. / Trilby Knutson, “Minister won’t marry anyone,” RLP, (November 9 2004) p. A1. / “Minister protests same-sex marriage court decision,” SSP, (November 9 2004) p. A3.]
November 13 Saskatoon
Anglican Bishop Rodney Andrews instructed St. John’s Anglican cathedral to cancel a rental booking made for a Saskatoon performance of Watershed Stories by Regina’s Prairie Pride Chorus. He cited as his reason current controversies in the Anglican Communion. The cancellation became a front-page story in the StarPhoenix prompting several articles, editorials and angry letters to the bishop and paper. Three congregations volunteered their churches for the performance; the concert was held on the scheduled date (November 13) at St. Thomas-Wesley United Church. A near capacity audience included a group of Anglican priests who attended to support the choir.
[Perceptions, v. 22 no. 8 (December 8 2004) p. 9. / Jason Warick, “Bishop bans gay choir: Church split over sexuality issues,” SSP, (November 2 2004) p. A1.]
December 9 Ottawa
The Supreme Court of Canada responded to questions referred to it by the federal government. It declared that the federal government could legally change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and that religious leaders could not be compelled to perform same-sex marriages. The Court declined to answer whether the Charter required such a change.