Artifacts from first gay marriage on display as Toronto showcases history of queer identity.






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Advocacy Events - Toronto showcases history of queer identity

June 14, 2021

Toronto showcases history of queer identity
Artifacts from first gay marriage on display

The first registered gay marriage: January 14, 2021Items associated with the historic January 14, 2001 same-sex marriage of Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell will be on display in an exhibit during Toronto's 2005 Pride celebrations. The marriage was the first legal marriage for a gay couple.

Making History: Construction of Queer Identity, an exhibition organized for the City of Toronto by the qu-Art Collective, is a collaborative project by community artists and activists who are dedicated to celebrating and promoting diversity through art.

Curated by noted Toronto artist and filmmaker Peter Kingstone the exhibition weaves together an historic collaboration of works from a diverse and representative group of GLBT artists.

The exhibition will be launched with an evening reception on June 16. The reception, hosted by Toronto Mayor David Miller and Members of City Council, will bring together many of Toronto's most renowned cultural supporters, as well as patrons of various artistic and community organizations, and over 300 invited guests.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pride, the exhibit will include 25 artifacts of pride and the works of 25 prominent artists in the LGBT community.

The works of 25 Toronto artists will be featured in the exhibition as a representative snapshot of GLBT activism and expression over the last quarter century. The artistic roster includes some of Toronto's finest contemporary artists, as well as a number of mid-career and emerging artists who bring a distinctive flair to modern depictions of queer identity.

Bourassa and Varnell are among the participants in a series of talks and film screenings offered throughout the exhibition period, which will foster a dialogue about the construction of queer identity and elicit a unique perspective on the artistic works presented.

The exhibition will run from June 16 to June 30, 2021 at the qu-Art Gallery, 125 King Street East (at Church Street). Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 12-9 pm.

The gallery space features 5 exhibit floors, making this location the third-largest art gallery in Toronto, next only to the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Power Plant at Harbourfront. As an Official Pride Event, the exhibit will only last until the end of June, and promises to be one of the highlights of this year's Pride Celebrations.

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