Announcing: Proud to Be: Queer Canadian Histories of the 1960s-1970s

June 8, 2023

Defining Moments Canada / Moments Déterminants Canada, an educational not-for-profit, announces a new project showcasing the histories of 2SLGBTQ+ people across Canada in the 1960s and 1970s.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA  — On 01 April 2023, digital heritage organization Defining Moments Canada (DMC) embarked on their latest project, Proud to Be: Queer Canadian Histories of the 1960s-1970s. Over two years, this project will showcase diverse stories of queer people and communities across Canada by creating educational resources and corresponding historical materials to support teachers in bringing these stories into elementary and secondary classrooms.

Proud to Be will shed light on the histories of 2SLGBTQ+ people and communities across Canada in the 1960s and 1970s—decades that were especially fulsome and fraught with impassioned activism and change, as well as harmful retaliation. As a digital heritage nonprofit organization, DMC creates a variety of content available to the public in both English and French, free of charge. The resources created as part of Proud to Be will include digital multimedia archive kits featuring definitional moments from the 1960s and 1970s, supported by lesson plans using our Curatorial Thinking framework, as well as an interactive StoryMap sharing walking tours of historically significant places for queer people across Canada. From the first gay rights protests and Pride marches and the founding of queer presses, theatres, and archives, to the RCMP surveillance of queer people and crackdowns against gay bars, Proud to Be will feature intersectional stories that build context for queer movements and solidarities—as well as their ongoing relevance. 

This initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. DMC will collaborate with organizations including The ArQuives and Esri Canada, and looks forward to opportunities to engage with other community partners. 

“The ArQuives holds amazing stories and I know that Defining Moments Canada’s Proud to Be project will make an important contribution to the heritage landscape and can help to educate Canadians about the role that 2SLGBTQ+ communities played in Canada’s history and heritage. We look forward to working with them and lending our support to the project.”

Raegan Swanson, Executive Director, The ArQuives

This project lines up with the 50th anniversary of The ArQuives, founded in 1973 as The Canadian Gay Liberation Movement Archives and then renamed as The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives before finally becoming The ArQuives. The ArQuives is the only archive in Canada with a mandate to collect queer histories at a national level and is one of the largest independent 2SLGBTQ+ archives in the world. It was established to aid in the recovery and preservation of 2SLGBTQ+ histories and has a mandate to be a significant resource and catalyst for those who strive for a future world where 2SLGBTQ+ people are accepted, valued, and celebrated.

Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada is a digital heritage and education organization, leading innovative educational engagement and the commemoration of Canada’s history using twenty-first century tools and storytelling skills. DMC is dedicated to exploring moments throughout our shared histories by engaging with the lesser-known, often-excluded, and dynamic stories that impart significance and influence. 

For media inquiries & further information, please contact:

Jenifer Terry, Executive Director