The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Johnny Abush and the Twice Blessed Collection

Colour photo of Johnny Abush in the Twice Blessed archive, standing in front of a bookshelf and behind a large opened catalogued binder.

Johnny Abush (1952-2000) was an active member of the Queer Jewish community in Toronto. He founded the Jewish GLBT Archives, known as Twice Blessed, as well as the Queer Jewish Culture Committee.

The ArQuives houses many materials regarding his activism and involvement within his community, while his vast archive was donated to ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries in California, who have published a finding aid of the materials in the collection here.

Click on the links to the right of the page for more information on various aspects of Johnny’s life and queer Jewish communities in Toronto during his lifetime, and click on images to enlarge.

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Pride and Remembrance Run: The Early Years

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The Pride and Remembrance Run was founded in 1996 as an annual fundraising event dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, with a specific focus on the historical and ongoing impact of HIV/AIDS in the community. This exhibition contains archival photographs, videos, textual records, news articles, t-shirts, posters, and oral histories documenting the history of the Pride and Remembrance Run.

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1971 We Demand March

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The We Demand March of August 1971 was the first recorded political action taken by LGBTQ2+ activists in Canada. The march coincided with the second anniversary of the passing of Bill C-150 which decriminalized homosexual acts in Canada between men over the age of consent.

Although the reform of the 1969 Criminal Code led to the decriminalization of certain homosexual acts, it did not have much tangible impact on the policing and surveillance of queers. 

The We Demand document drafted by David Newcome and Herb Spiers and was read out under the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa by Charlie Hill and consisted of calls for changes to the law and public policy regarding gay and lesbian rights.

All photos in this exhibit are taken by Jearld Moldenhauer, please contact the photographer through his website if you would like to reproduce these photos in any way. 

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Jim Egan: Canada's First Public LGBTQ Activist

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James Egan was one of the earliest LGBTQ2+ rights activists in Canada. He is best known for his landmark Supreme Court Case, Egan v. Canada. Although he was defeated in this case, his fight for spousal benefits spurred the Supreme Court to add sexual orientation as prohibited grounds of discrimination to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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