Gayblevision, Canada’s first television program made “for gay people by gay people”, was produced through Vancouver’s West End Cable 10 between 1980 and 1986. Part variety show, part advocacy, it documented the local LGBTQ community – the issues, people, events, businesses and organizations that defined the early 1980s. It includes rare interviews with community leaders and cultural icons, and provides insight into the formation of the Pride movement and the impact of AIDS.
Co-founder and first President, Don Durrell, donated the collection to VIVO Media Arts Centre in 1993. The fond includes over eighty Gayblevision episodes and those of Pacific Wave, a series initiated December 1983 by Durrell and other Gayblevision producers. Co-founder Mary Anne McEwen later donated the raw footage of their extensive interview with Tennessee Williams and numerous videos on Vancouver Pride.
These videotapes, now over 3 decades old, are at the end of life .This rare and rich audiovisual history of Vancouver’s LGBTQ community will be lost forever unless transferred now.
This year VIVO launched The Gayblevision Legacy Project to commemorate the series’ 35th anniversary. VIVO is committed to digitizing all the videos in the collection for archival storage, restoring the audio and video components as necessary, and creating a free online archive.
If you would like to lend your support to the preservation of Vancouver’s LGBTQ history, VIVO’s online donation platform makes it easy to give. Sponsorship packages are also available.
For more info and sample episode, click here.