Showing 17494 results

People and organizations

Albright and Kelly family

  • AFC 141
  • Family
  • 1883-1979

Frederick Stanley Albright was born on March 23, 1883 in Haldimand County, Ontario, the son of Reverend Josiah and Sarah (née Moyer) Albright. Raised in Beamsville, Ontario, Albright attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1908. While at Victoria College, Albright was the editor of the student newspaper, Acta Victoriana. Albright moved to Calgary in 1912 and was admitted to practice law through the Law Society of Alberta. Albright joined the firm of Clark, McCarthy, Carson and MacLeod and lectured in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. Elnora Evelyn Kelly was born on November 14, 1889 in Cayuga, Ontario, the daughter of Reverend S. Judson and Elizabeth (née Slaght) Kelly. In 1912, Evelyn received her BA in English and History from Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Evelyn Kelly and Frederick Albright were married on June 12, 1914 in Thorold, Ontario; they returned to Calgary shortly afterwards. Frederick Albright enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in June, 1916 and initially worked as a recruiter in Calgary. He was sent for training to Bramshott Camp in England in March, 1917 before being sent to action in France. Frederick Albright was killed in action on October 26, 1917 at Passchendaele, Belgium. He isburied at Larch Wood Cemetery in Zillebeke, Belgium.During Frederick's military service and after his death, Evelyn earned a law degree, becoming the second female lawyer in Alberta. Evelyn Albright returned to Ontario in 1920 and joined the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Arts. She became the first female instructor in the English department and was promoted to assistant professor in 1930. Leaving London in 1931 for the University of Chicago, she was awarded her Master of Arts degree. Evelyn returned to Londonand became an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario in 1935. Evelyn was appointed convener of the Committee on Laws for Women and Children for the Local Council of Women in London. She was also president of the University Women's Club. Albright retired in 1951 but remained active in the University of Western Ontario's Alumni Association. Evelyn Albright died on April 24, 1979. She is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Norfolk County, Ontario.

Harvey Blackman

  • Person

Harvey Blackman was a librarian, freelance writer, editor, and gay bookstore owner for a time. A Montreal-based activist and community builder, Blackman is best known for his association with Naches, the first Jewish gay and lesbian organization in Montreal. Blackman was also particularly involved with various counselling and social service initiatives aimed at gay and lesbian anglophones in the Ville Marie area of Montreal.

Toronto Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies

  • Corporate body
  • 1988- 1998

The Toronto Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies (1988-1998) was a Toronto-based charitable organization founded by Michael Lynch in 1988 to foster academic and community-based lesbian and gay research through grants, newsletters, speaking events, educational programs and other forms of public outreach. Throughout the 1990s, the Centre was managed by a board composed of several members of the local community, including Ed Jackson who served the Centre’s treasurer.

The Toronto Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies’ Vision Statement from 1995 reads as follows:

“We advance a critical understanding of the lives, histories and cultures of all lesbians and gay men in the context of sexuality, race, gender and class. By building a financially sound, community-based, lively organization we stimulate, support and promote lesbian and gay exploration.”

Although established as an organization independent of the University of Toronto, in 1998 the Centre would grow to become the University of Toronto’s Sexual Diversity Studies program, the first program of its kind in Canada, before becoming the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies in 2006. The Michael Lynch Grant, first administered and awarded by the Toronto Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies, continues to be administered by the Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies on a biannual basis.

Oscar Wilde Memorial Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1980- 2013

The Oscar Wilde Society was formed in 1980 in Winnipeg as a means to improve the quality of life of gay people in Manitoba. It first operatated within the Winnipeg Gay Centre at 275 Sherbrook Street. The Society put on numerous social events and published a monthly newsletter, “Wilde Times,” until about 1982. The funds generated by the Society helped fund Winnipeg's gay/lesbian health clinic, Manitoba's Gay/Lesbian Legal Defence Fund, and several other groups and activities. In 1982 the Society opened a restaurant/cabaret and event space at 277 Sherbrook Street called Giovanni’s Room. Giovanni’s Room later became Gio’s Club and Bar which operated until 2013.

Ron Nelson Photography Ltd.

  • AFC 450
  • Corporate body
  • 1946-1990

George Ronald Nelson was born on January 2, 1915 in London,Ontario. Nelson began his career as a professional photographer in 1932. For a time, he operated as G.R. Nelson Photography. He served as an official photographer for the Royal Visit of 1939. Nelson served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Navy between 1941 and 1946. Nelson received a licence from the City of London to operate a photography business in late 1946. This business was known as Ron Nelson Photography. The firm's work was primarily commercial and aerial photography, although some individual and group portraits were done as well. The Province of Ontario established a corporation called Ron Nelson Photography, Ltd. in October, 1966. Nelson transferred all of his assets to the new corporation later that same year. In 1985, Nelson began to wind the business down by selling off many assets, including his studio at 388-392 Horton St. The corporation was formally dissolved in 1990. Ron Nelson died on April 4, 1994.

University of Toronto Committee on Homophobia

  • Corporate body
  • 1989- 1995

The Committee on Homophobia at the University of Toronto had its beginnings in November, 1989 when political science professor David Rayside established a committee on homophobia. The committee, with Dr. Rayside as its first coordinator, brought together students, staff and faculty of all sexual orientations. Its aims were to combat discrimination and heterosexism, to encourage the inclusion of lesbian, gay and bisexuals in all aspects of university life, to foster cultural diversity, and to promote academic research and teaching in gay, lesbian and bisexual studies.

The Committee organized the annual Lesbian and Gay Awareness Week (the name was later changed to the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Awareness Week), conducted surveys of college residences and produced information brochures and pamphlets. They worked to challenge university policies on issues of spousal benefits, and hazing and initiation rituals on campus. In 1991, they were successful in having the University extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples.

The committee disbanded in 1995.

National Gay Task Force

  • Corporate body
  • 1973-

The National Gay Task Force is an American organization fighting for LGBTQ rights and providing information and support to its members through pamphlets and newsletters. It started in New York City in 1973 as the National Gay Task Force, then transforming to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. As of 2020, it is the National LGBTQ Task Force. It is the country’s oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group. The founding members of the task force are Dr. Howard Brown, Martin Duberman, Barbara Gittings, Ron Gold, Frank Kemeny, Nathalie Rockhill and Bruce Voeller.

Lesbian and Gay Friends of Concordia

  • Corporate body
  • 1978-

Founded in 1978, the Lesbian and Gay Friends of Concordia was founded as a support group for gay and lesbian students at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. In its inception, the group’s chief goal was to provide gay and lesbian students with mutual support in navigating an anti-gay and hostile heterosexist university environment. By 1979, the group had reoriented its focus towards an attempt to connect gay and lesbian group members with straight students and faculty to bridge the gap between misunderstanding and hate, predicated upon gay and lesbian education initiatives.

As a group, the Lesbian and Gay Friends of Concordia held weekly drop-in meeting for gay and lesbian support, often screening queer films and forwarding queer news to students in attendance. The group also hosted social events, distributed educational materials, and support LGBTQ+ groups outside of the university in their mandates. The Lesbian and Gay Friends of Concordia also hosted speakers series, a Gay Arts Festival, and Gay Images in Film events for students to engage with the queer community beyond Concordia University.

In 1992, the organization changed its name to the gender-neutral Concordia Queer Collective.

League for Socialist Action

  • Corporate body
  • 1961-1977

The League for Socialist Action/Ligue Socialiste Ouvrière (LSA-LSO) was a Canadian Trotskyist party formed in 1961 through an amalgamation of Toronto’s Socialist Educational League and Vancouver’s Socialist Information Centre. The Young Socialists (YS), an autonomous division of the LSA-LSO, were formed the same year. In 1971, the LSA-LSO adopted the objectives outlined in the Gay Liberation Report issued by John Steele. In 1973, gay liberation activist and LSA-LSO member Maurice Flood was elected as a delegate to the federal convention of the New Democratic Party; in 1974, Maurice Flood and Cynthia Flood authored a joint resignation from the LSA-LSO, citing changes in internal organization and in the party’s relationship with the NDP. Although some members of the LSA-LSO continued to work for gay liberation, the party leadership’s refusal to respond to a list of amendments to its Political Committee Statement on Gay Liberation in 1976 alienated a number of these members. In 1977, the LSA-LSO ran gay rights activist Therese Faubert in the provincial election, but the party was dissolved later that year.

Gays and Lesbians Aging

  • Corporate body
  • 1985- 1990

Gays and Lesbians Aging (GALA) was a Toronto-based nonprofit organization focused on intergenerational care and support for gay men and lesbians. GALA was formed in November 1985 following the Forum on Aging (organized by Gays and Lesbians in Health Care) that October. GALA published a newsletter and held social events, monthly meetings, and educational forums. In 1987, the GALA Housing Committee was formed to research housing needs and organize for affordable housing for older gay men and lesbians living in Toronto. The fourth (and final) Gays and Lesbians Aging annual general meeting was held in January 1990; the reasons for GALA’s ending are uncertain.

Carl Miller

  • Person
  • 1949-

Carl Miller (b. 1949) is a gay activist, a gay father, and a Trustee with the Toronto Board of Education. Miller was a founding member of both GLOBE (Gays and Lesbians of Bell Enterprises) and the Gay and Lesbian Employees Coalition (GLEC), and has served as a co-ordinator with Gay Fathers of Toronto and as the Regional Coordinator for Canada for the Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International. Miller has also served as a member of the Fraternity, Queer Nation, the Metropolitan Community Church, and the Toronto Board of Education Human Sexuality Advisory Board. Miller has received several awards over the years, including the Metropolitan Community Church’s Community Service Award (1992), the Pink Trillium Award from Gay Fathers of Toronto, and the ‘Honouring our Heroes” award at Pride Day 1993. Miller is the father of two daughters.

The Woman's Common of Metropolitan Toronto

  • Corporate body
  • 1985- 1994

The Woman’s Common of Metropolitan Toronto was a non-profit, private women’s club that was owned and operated by women. The club’s mandate was driven by its goal to offer a meeting place for lesbian and straight women in Toronto. The Woman’s Common was founded in 1985 by a small
group of women who would eventually become the club’s first Board of Directors. After years of planning and fundraising, a building was purchased at 580 Parliament Street in February 1988. The space was renovated and doors opened on June 25, 1988. Money was raised with the help of its 200 charter members who invested a minimum of $1000. Another 250 women purchased $100 memberships. When the building was purchased, the club had raised $300,000.

The Woman’s Common was designed to provide a safe space free of harassment free and fears of being eviction. The Woman’s Common operated a restaurant and bar, and would regularly
organize events, including dances, singles’ nights, exhibits, games nights, mom and tots events,
workshops, live performances, film screenings, art exhibits and comedy shows. Membership was made available to women. At its height, the club had 1600 paying members, but that number dwindled down to a few hundred.

Structurally, the Woman’s Club was overseen by its Board of Directors, all of whom were responsible for different committees or areas of the club. The restaurant was managed by the general manager who reported to the Board. Volunteers would sit on the various committees, which included the art, finance, fundraising, membership, policy & member relations, marketing, long range marketing, special events, entertainment, mom’n tots, disability, mailings, newsletter, film & speakers, literary club and programming.

In April 1994, The Woman’s Common closed its doors after 9 tumultuous years. Throughout much of the club’s history, it dealt with criticisms over its exclusivity and its lack of diversity. Some critics viewed it as a social club for middle class white lesbians. Although attempts were made to reach out to women of colour, and to structure its memberships fees to make the club financially accessible to all women, membership remained largely white.

William Atkinson

  • Person
  • 1916- 2000

William Aktinson was born on February 26th, 1916 to William and Margaret Ethel Atkinson in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. At the age of 14 Atkinson left school and took a job as an office-boy. At the age of 16, Atkinson joined the merchant service as an apprentice with F. Carrick & Co LTD of the Medensleigh Steamship Company. He was at sea for 4 years, during this time he completed his second mates foreign going certificate.

In October 1938, Atkinson began his service with the Royal Naval Reserve as a sub lieutenant. In 1942, Atkinson was appointed to commission and command the HMS “Manitoulin” which was being built in Ontario. He stayed in Canada for a year serving with the Royal Canadian Navy, until he was recalled to England for another command. While residing in Canada, he completed his Masters Foreign Going Certificate. In 1944, Atkinson applied for a transfer to the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, which was rejected on the basis that he was not a Canadian citizen. In 1945, he was promoted to the rank of acting Lieutenant Commander with the Royal Navy. In 1946, Atkinson made a second request to transfer to the Royal Candian Navy Reserve, which was once again denied. It was recommended to him to reapply once he had officially immigrated to Canada. In 1947, Atkinson retired from the Royal Naval Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Atkinson immigrated to Canada in 1948 with hopes of joining the active list of the Royal Canadian Navy. He arrived in Montreal and presented himself before the Royal Canadian Navy authorities, but due to the decline of naval jobs during the postwar period, he was added to the retired list of the HMCS “York”. During this time, Atkinson was forced to seek out employment alternatives. Atkinson found job as a Night Manager of Childs Restaurant, located on 238 Yonge Street, Toronto. He supplemented his income by writing short stories for magazines, and delivered a 3 part broadcast entitled the “Emigrant’s Report” for the BBC Toronto Office. In March 1950, Atksinson left Childs Restaurant for the position of Resident Manager at the Glen Gordon Manor Inn in Blenheim, Ontario.

In 1951, Atkinson requested to be transferred to the RCNR’s active list through an application for a short service appointment. He was granted the role of Area Recruiting and Public Relations Officer for Western Ontario on the HMCS “Hunter”. This appointment was followed by a similar role in British Columbia on the HMCS “Discovery”. From 1954 to 1955, Atkinson completed the Junior Officer’s Technical and Leadership Course on the HMCS Stadacona, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was later appointed as First Lieutenant Commander of the HMCS “Quebec”. In 1956, Atkinson was dispatched to Vietnam and served as a Naval Advisor to the Canadian Delegation to the International Truce Commission.

In 1958, Atkinson returned to Canada, where he served as a Staff Officer in Ottawa. At this time, the Navy and the RCMP had begun its targeting of gay officers and recruits. After being subjected to RCMP and Canadian Naval Intelligence interrogations over the span of 10 months, Atkinson was given the option to be fired or to resign “voluntarily”. Atkinson submitted his resignation and was “Honourably Discharged” with the position of Lieutenant Commander in November 21, 1959. Atkinson would have qualified for a full pension on August 1, 1961, if he had been allowed to complete his ten years of service.

Following his forced resignation from the Royal Canadian Navy, Atkinson returned to the hospitality business. He managed a number of golf clubs in Quebec and Ontario. These clubs included the Kanawaki Golf Course, the York Downs Country Club, the Islington Golf Club, and the Brampton Golf Club. From 1961 to 1965, Atksinson owned a coin laundry service company called the “Coin Wash Limited”, located at 730 Charlevoix Street, Montreal. Atkinson spent a short period of time working at the Southern Palms Hotel located in Barbados from 1969 to 1970. He supplemented his income with acting and modelling which lasted until the 1990s, and was featured in commercials and shows, from a Bell Telephone Commercial, La Femme d’Aujourd’hui, Night Heat, and the Littlest Hobo.

Atkinson served as the President of the Sprucewood Court Condos located in Agincourt, Ontario, where he resided for over 15 years. In 1988, Atkinson moved to 19 Maple Street, Ajax, Ontario, where he lived until his death on January 17th, 2000.

Throughout his life, Atkinson had an interest in writing. From 1939 to 1946, he was enrolled in the London School of Journalism’s Short Stories’ Writer’s Program, which conducted its courses via correspondence. Atkinson submitted a number of works of fiction and non-fiction to various publications. This included a piece that was submitted to The Reader’s Digest and The Body Politic, that dealt with his interrogation and forced resignation from the Royal Canadian Navy.

In 1991, Atkinson made a request for his military personnel records from the National Archives of Canada under the Privacy Act. This search yielded a number files relating to his service, performance, medical, and dental records. However, the search did not result in any records from the RCMP or Canadian Naval Intelligence interrogations that pertained to his sexuality, which he was subjected to for 10 months.


  • Corporate body
  • 2012- 2016

Videofag (2012-2016) was arts space located in a storefront in Toronto, Ontario’s Kensington Market. It was operated by Jordan Tannahill (1988-) and William Ellis, a couple who converted the former barbershop into both a home and arts space. Videofag made a name for itself as a venue for queer counterculture and was used as a cinema, art gallery, nightclub, or theatre space, depending on the event. It also provided residency to artists including performance artist Michael Dudeck, visual artist Sojourner Truth-Parsons, and theatre creator Stewart Legere. It also assisted in both developing and premiering shows. These include Sheila Heti’s All Our Happy Days are Stupid which subsequently played at the Harbourfront Centre and The Kitchen in New York City. It held poetry readings by Bill Bisset, exhibitions of work by artists such as Keith Cole and R. M. Vaughan, performances by Karen Hines and Nina Arsenault among others. It collaborated with other institutions to co-present events such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Buddies in Bad Time Theatre, and the Inside Out Film and Video Festival. The space was closed following the break-up of Jordan Tannahill and William Ellis. In 2017 Bookthug released The Videofag Book, edited by Jordan Tannahill and William Ellis, which chronicles the space in a collection of essays, photos, scripts and reflections.

University of Toronto Homophile Association

  • Corporate body
  • 1969- 1973

Established in 1969, the University of Toronto Homophile Association served as Canada’s first university- based homophile association. On October 15, 1969, Jearald Moldenhauer, one of the UTHA’s founding members, placed a personal advertisement in the University’s paper The Varsity, seeking “those interested in discussing the establishment of a student homophile association”. On October 24, 1969, 8 University of Toronto students and members of the public met at Moldenhauer’s McCaul Street apartment for the Association’s first meeting. The UTHA’s first official public gathering was held on November 4, 1969 at University College. Within a month, the UTHA registered under the University of Toronto’s Student Administrative Council and became an official student organization. The Association’s office was located at 12 Hart House Circle. The UTHA’s initial membership was 18, which increased to 45 by the end of 1969. A membership costed $3 per calendar year. Some of the group’s earliest members included Jearald Moldenhauer, Bill McRay, Ian Young, Charles Hill and Disa Rosen. Charles Hill was appointed as the UTHA’s first chairman, who was then followed by Ian Young.

The University of Toronto Homophile Association’s mandate centered around educating the community about homosexuality, combatting legal discrimination against homosexuality, and bringing about social and personal acceptance towards homosexuality. The Association's work included weekly discussion groups, public forums with invited guests, high school speaking engagements, an informal counselling service, research, political advocacy and referral services.

As a part of their education and outreach efforts, the UTHA provided resources through UTHA literature, brochures and bibliographies. The Association regularly set a table up in the free speech area of the University of Toronto’s Sidney Smith Hall, where material was distributed, books were sold and questions answered. Weekly discussion meetings were organized to discuss a variety of topics from sexuality and gay liberation, which were held at the upstairs lounge of the Graduate Student Union. The UTHA also organized talks given by guests including: Dr. Franklin Kameny, the President of the Washington Mattachine Society, English Buddhist philosopher Scott Symons, D.E. Harding, Dr. Persasd of the Ontario Department of Health and playwright John Herbert. Members of the Association also gave talks on homosexuality to student groups, high schools and more. The UTHA offered informal counselling services run by volunteers, which would deal with personal, psychological, religious, social and legal questions. UTHA Dances on and off campus were organized regularly.

In efforts to combat legal discrimination, the UTHA was involved in political advocacy and research projects on a variety of issues. The Association prepared and submitted a number of briefs to the Federal and Provincial governments, on the Immigration Act, the War Measures Act, the Criminal Code and lobbied for the protection of homosexuals in the Federal and Provincial Public Service. The UTHA also conducted and participated in research projects, including one that examined religious groups’ attitudes towards homosexuality and the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry’s study on male homosexuality in Toronto. Additionally, the UTHA worked on getting the Ontario Ministry of Health’s venereal disease pamphlet revised.

Soon after its founding, members of the UTHA became aware of the group’s wider appeal and interest amongst members of the general public. The need for a community group eventually led to the founding of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto in 1971, which was spearheaded by members of the UTHA, including Charles Hill. The UTHA disbanded in 1973.

Supporting Our Youth

  • Corporate body
  • 1997-

Supporting Our Youth (1997-), otherwise referred to as SOY, started as a project by the Coalition for Services for Lesbian and Gay Youth in 1997. The Coalition, formed in 1991, was created to provide accessible services for youth and advocate on their behalf. It operated out the Central Toronto Youth Services (CTYS). SOY came to be an initiative as a result of the 1995 Other Young Lives Conference as well as the 1996 Other Young Lives Conference II. Both conferences convened to discuss pertinent issues facing LGBTQ youth with the former being Toronto-based and the latter extending province-wide. It was evident at these dicussions that marginalized LGBTQ youth in the Greater Toronto Area needed a support system focused on outreach and mentorship. Following the 1996 conference, the Coalition and its volunteers submitted a funding proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Health’s AIDS Bureau for purposes of needs assessment and feasibility study. The Coalition held forums, interviews, and focus groups of adult and youth stakeholders. The scale of the project grew and SOY applied to the Trillium Foundation for further funding to facilitate an initiative rooted in outreach and mentorship. Between the years of 1997 and 2000, the Coalition functioned as the sponsoring organization of SOY in spite of SOY being run by its own advisory committee. The Coalition dissolved in May 2000, but SOY remained housed at CTYS until 2004 and was managed as part of CTYS. Additionally, SOY absorbed the Bill 7 Trust Award in October 2000, which was focused on giving access to post-secondary education through scholarships for LGBTQ youth.

Stewart Hamilton

  • Person
  • 1930- 2017

Stewart Hamilton was born in Regina, Saskatchewan to Florence Hamilton (née Stuart; 1893-1983) and James Shire Hamilton (1897-1954). His mother was from North Dakota and worked as a nurse (she later remarried under the surname Twiss), and his father, James Shire Hamilton, was from Galt, Ontario, and worked as a corporate lawyer. They had five children: Peter, Dorothy, Douglas, Stewart and Patricia (Patsy). Stewart went to Davin Public Elementary School and attended and graduated high school at Regina Collegiate which later renamed Central Collegiate Institute. His first musical training was in the Lakeview Boys Choir in Regina, under the direction of Kay Hayworth. In 1943, his parents agreed to send him to piano lessons with Martha Somerville Allan. In 1946, when Hamilton's parents moved to Saskatoon, he decided to stay in Regina to continue his lessons, moving into an apartment with Mrs. Annie Hailstone, a dress-maker. Hamilton moved to Toronto in 1947 to join his sister Dorothy Marshall (née Hamilton), who was pursuing her own singing career. He began his piano performance studies at The Royal Conservatory of Music with the Chilean-Canadian composer, pianist, and teacher Alberto Guerrero. In 1948, to help support his studies, he worked as a uniformed usher at Eaton Auditorium, Canada's premier concert stage. This job allowed him to see many performances of The Eaton Auditorium concert series. He also coached singers on the side for twenty-five cents an hour. In 1950 he earned certification as an Associate of The Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT).
Hamilton spent much of his time in the 1950s involved in the Toronto classical music scene. These seminal years laid much of the ground for his future career in Canadian music. He started frequenting performances and social events of The Royal Conservatory Opera (later known as the Canadian Opera Company) with Herman Geiger-Torel, Nicholas Goldschmidt, and Arnold Walter.
Hamilton accepted an offer from soprano June Kowalchuck, founder of Opera Hamilton, to become the chorus director, rehearsal pianist, and occasional conductor for the Royal Conservatory Opera School, which he held for five years. He accepted his first position as a voice teacher at the local Music Conservatory in Hamilton and spent the rest of his time in Toronto, coaching Elizabeth Benson Guy, Maureen Forrester, and Lois Marshall, as well as accompanying Greta Kraus's lieder classes.
In 1967, he took up a significant technical and musical challenge by accepting the role of pianist and singer in a production of Beyond the Fringe. The show was performed in Buffalo, New York for six weeks, in Toronto for six months, and he later toured across Eastern Canada. During afternoons and off days, Hamilton practiced for his New York City Town Hall piano recital. After a second New York recital in 1968, and a third one in London's Wigmore Hall in 1971, Hamilton decided not to further pursue a concert career and concentrated his efforts on the Toronto classical music scene.
In 1974, Hamilton initiated the annual Opera in Concert series at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto, acting as artistic director, producer, and accompanist. Hamilton was the first Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble and in 1981 he relinquished the position, to act as Lois Marshall's accompanist on her farewell recital tour.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Hamilton was in regular demand as an adjudicator for competitions such as the CBC Young Performers' Competition, Opera America Auditions, the Sullivan Foundation Awards, the Oralia Dominquez Competition (in Mexico), and the George London Foundation Awards
In 1984 he was made a member of the Order of Canada and in 1989 he won the Toronto Arts Award in the Performing Arts Category. In recognition of his significant contributions to performing arts in Canada, he received the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in 1992.
In 1981, he became the host of the opera quiz on the CBC's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera April–December broadcasts. From 1982-2007 Hamilton worked as the Quiz Master on CBC's weekly Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, as well as appearing regularly as a panelist, and occasionally guest quiz master, on the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts in New York City. Hamilton's last Opera Quiz for Saturday Afternoon at the Opera was in the fall of 2007.
In 2000, Opera Canada Magazine awarded him the first Ruby award and in 2004, he was awarded the Beckmesser Award from the Los Angeles Opera League. He received an honorary doctorate (honoris causa) in 2008 from Dalhousie University. Hamilton continued to teach opera repertoire and diction at the University of Toronto and maintained a full coaching schedule and devoted time to master classes across Canada.
His autobiography Opening Windows was published by Dundurn Press in the fall of 2012 and the same year he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Stewart died on January 1, 2017 after a battle with prostate cancer.

Society for Political Action for Gay People

  • Corporate body
  • 1978- 1982

The Society for Political Action for Gay People (SPAG), also formerly known as The Society for Political Action for Gays, was an organized gay civil rights group established on October 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since 1981, SPAG worked with the British Columbia Human Rights Commission to get sexual orientation into the Human Rights Code, lobbied for changes in the Federal Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. They also worked with other organizations to help build the Vancouver gay community and became registered under the British Columbia Societies Act. SPAG dissolved on December 31st, 1982.

Sidney Hugh Godolphin Osborne

  • Person
  • 1887- 1958

Sidney Hugh Godolphin Osborne (1887-1958) was born in London, England on December 28, 1887, the son of Sidney Francis Godolphin Osborne and Margaret Dulcibella (Hammersley) Osborne. Sidney’s brother was Francis D'Arcy Godolphin Osborne, 12th Duke of Leeds, KCMG. Sidney lived openly with men with whom he was romantically involved. Perhaps due to this, he was persuaded to immigrate to Canada as a young man (year unknown). His estate was located outside Niagara Falls, Ontario. Sidney travelled frequently to the United States. He was killed in a car accident on the Queen Elizabeth Expressway on October 9, 1958. The name(s) of his companion(s) have not survived, though the donor's mother knew the last one well.

Raj, Rupert

  • Person
  • 1952-

Rupert Raj (1952-) is a Eurasian (East Indian and Polish) pansexual trans man who came out in 1971 in the queer community of Ottawa as a bi-sexual trans man. He provided peer-counselling, research and education for transsexual and transvestite men and women and their significant others, as well as for the medical/health communities of Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto between 1971-1990, and later, from 1999 to 2015. He founded several trans organizations: 1) Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Transsexuals (FACT) (1978-1986); 2) Metamorphosis Counselling Services (1982-1983) (which morphed into Metamorphosis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) (1983-1988)); 3) Gender Worker-cum-Gender Consultants (1988-1990), which changed its name in 1989 to Gender Consultants, with his wife Michelle Raj-Gauthier as partner; closed in 1990), 4) the Trans Men/FTM Peer-Support Group (1999-), 5) the Thursday Night Group (2000), 6) the Trans (Health) Lobby Group (2001-), and 7) TransFormations (2003-2004). He also co-led the Gender Journeys group from 2006 to 2013. He also founded three transsexual periodicals: 1) Gender Review: the FACTual Journal (1978-1981); 2) Metamorphosis newsletter-cum-Metamorphosis Magazine (1982-1988); and 3) Gender NetWorker (2 issues, 1988). Rupert worked at Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto from 2002 to 2015 as a psychotherapist and gender consultant in its LGBT Program, and also had a part-time private practice (RR Consulting).

In the first newsletter for FACT, Nick Ghosh writes that he was born in Ottawa in 1952, the second oldest of five siblings, and was raised Roman Catholic but subsequently became atheist. He lists a number of jobs he has held, including: landscaper, hotel clerk, encyclopedia salesman, medical research assistant, security officer, librarian, caterer, cab-driver. He graduated with a BA in Psychology in 1975, and an MA in Counseling Psychology in 2001. Raj’s given surname was Ghosh. He changed his name first to Nicholas and then changed both names to Rupert Raj. The name "Rupert was inspired by his childhood teddy, Rupert the Bear. Raj chose a new surname because he sought a “measure of protective anonymity” when he went “high profile” in the course of his trans advocacy. He chose "Raj" (East Indian king) to reflect his South Asian ethnic heritage.

He had male chest-construction surgery in Yonkers, NY in 1972, a pan-hysterectomy in Calgary in 1978 and a metoidioplasty ("bottom" surgery) in Montreal in 2012. In May of 1988, Raj closed out Metamorphosis due to “two years of chronic burn out”; the magazine also ended at this time. In July 1990, Raj phased out Gender Consultants due to “personal and professional” reasons.

In January 1978, while living in Calgary, Raj founded F.A.C.T: the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Transsexuals (F.A.C.T) as a lobbying and educational organization on behalf of trans people, with Raj as founding Director, Kyle J. Spooner as Associate Director, and Chris E. Black as Secretary Treasurer. On July 1, 1979, Raj moved the organization’s “head office” from Calgary to Toronto, while various colleagues participated from Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener and London, ON. As of April 1980, F.A.C.T. was under the management of Susan Huxford and the HQ moved to Rexdale, ON, while Raj remained involved in various capacities, including editor of Gender Review (until December 1981). (At some point between 1981 and 1986, Huxford changed the name of the organization to the Federation of American and Canadian Transsexuals (F.A.C.T.). Raj was the Toronto Liaison Officer for F.A.C.T from 1985-1987, while running the Metamorphosis Medical Research Foundation (M.M.R.F.). After Raj moved to Toronto and began his publication Metamorphosis (in February 1982), he relinquished his role in publishing Gender Review.

Metamorphosis was founded by Raj in February 1982 as a bi-monthly newsletter "Exclusively for F-M men” (with an intended readership among their families, wives/girlfriends, as well as professionals and “para-professionals interested in female TSism”); the newsletter presents a more specific focus than FACT’s broader activist mandate. By the third issue, the newsletter averaged around 8 pages, whereas in 1986, most issues were 24 pages. The last issue was in 1988.

Gender Worker was a counselling/consulting service for transsexuals and transvestites and their partners and family members founded by Raj in 1988 (and soon after renamed "Gender Consultants" to include his then new wife, a trans woman named "Marg" [a pseudonym] Gauthier, as a co-consultant). (Rupert joined their surnames, becoming "Raj-Gauthier," until they split in late 1997). The two issues of the Gender NetWorker newsletter appeared in June-July 1988 and August-September 1988. This publication was directed specifically towards “helping professionals and resource providers.” Raj wrote that he wanted to facilitate a communication network between professional (mostly cisgender [non-trans]) and lay (transsexual/transvestite/transgender) providers, to bring together trans people and the medical and health professionals who worked with trans populations. Some decades later, Rupert became a (mental health) professional himself, and also a published author. He (co-)wrote five trans-focussed clinical research papers for scholarly journals (and elsewhere) and six trans-themed book chapters, and (co-)edited two book anthologies: Trans Activism in Canada: A Reader (with Dan Irving, PhD) (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2014), and Of Souls & Roles, Of Sex & Gender: A Treasury of Transsexual, Transgenderist & Transvestic Verse from 1967 to 1991 (unpublished manuscript, 2017, revised 2018) (free PDF accessible online via the Transgender Archives and the Digital Transgender Archive websites). In August 2017, he self-published the first edition of his memoir (Dancing The Dialectic: True Tales of A Transgender Trailblazer) through Amazon. The second (revised) edition is due in early 2020 through Transgender Publishing (

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