In 2016, Justin Trudeau became the first prime minister to walk in a pride parade, and subsequently broke the internet from Victoria to St. John’s. That same year, Nelson held its 20th annual pride parade, where hundreds of people gathered on Baker Street, and MLA Michelle Mungall tossed candy to face-painted, flag-flying children.
Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History, in partnership with Kootenay Pride and the queer community, is mounting an historical exhibition on the legacy of LGBTQ2S+ folks in the Kootenays this summer, and are reaching out to the community for stories, photos and artifacts to include in the show.
“In an effort to ensure that a multitude of voices are included and as many stories and perspectives are represented, the exhibition working group is putting a callout for people who may have been involved with Kootenay Pride over the years or who are part of queer history in the area to reach out and share your stories, photos, videos, costumes, and ephemera,” says Touchstones Nelson’s public program co-ordinator Stephanie Myers.
The exhibition will explore the celebrations and the challenges facing the local pride movement throughout the last 50 years, and highlight the considerable contribution the queer community has made to the region.
The exhibit will include a film created by Watershed Productions, which will highlight the LGBTQ2S+ community over the decades. This short documentary will use archival materials in the collection at the Shawn Lamb Archives, as well as materials provided by the larger community.
“The stories of our queer history in the Kootenays remain largely untold,” says Amy Bohigian, director at Watershed Productions. “It’s time to create a legacy piece that examines and celebrates how we arrived to a such a robust community today.”
Stories can be submitted to museum curator Arin Fay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-352-9813. The deadline for submissions is June 15, and they can be submitted anonymously if desired.