Joy. Sorrow. Anger. Love. PRIDE.
Launched in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of The ArQuives—Canada’s only LGBTQ2+ archives with a national scope—Toronto Pride’s first exhibition and publication feature enlarged archival photographs, print media, and ephemera carefully selected from among the archives’ holdings and a public call for submissions. Kicking off Pride Season, this remarkable multifaceted project focuses on Toronto Pride from 1970 to the present day.
On August 1, 1971, a group of gay and lesbian activists organized Toronto’s first “Gay Day Picnic” at Hanlan’s Point Beach, and the efforts put forth that summer afternoon sparked a movement. Since then, millions of local and international visitors have attended and supported Toronto Pride. Today, it is one of the largest gatherings of the LGBTQ2+ community and their allies in the world.
Joy. Sorrow. Anger. Love. PRIDE. : A Celebration of Toronto Pride, 1970s – present is the first broadly available publication and exhibition on the Canadian movement. Incorporating photography, ephemera, posters, and writings by community leaders, the project focuses on the history of Toronto Pride throughout its long and sometimes turbulent journey. Highlighted in both the exhibition and publication are diverse materials generated by the LGBTQ2+ community—which includes beloved and vital organizations like Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Black Lives Matter, Casey House, 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations, and more—interspersed with photographs and other materials, such as t-shirts, buttons, issues of XTRA Magazine, protest signs, zines, and posters.
More than 40 years after its inception, the influence of Toronto Pride on public education, social development, and the recognition of human rights for people of all sexualities and genders is rarely reflected on within the historical context of the city. To address this gap, the Magenta Foundation partnered with The ArQuives, and then established a curatorial partnership between The Ontario College of Art and Design University and Toronto Metropolitan University, prioritizing the work of Canadian scholars through the Magenta Leadership Lab pilot program. Through this initiative, the project uncovers and creates inclusive histories, ensuring the work of emerging historians is championed and supported, and that these critical and overlooked histories are etched into public awareness. These partnerships complement the ArQuives’ mission to collect, preserve, and share the histories of LGBTQ2+ people in Canada in a way that reflects the diversity and values of Toronto’s varied and intersecting communities. The project also amplifies the ArQuives’ role as a significant resource and catalyst for those who strive for a future imbued with LGBTQ2+ recognition and inclusion.
Pride has always been a protest and a celebration. The massive annual parade has been the focal point of Toronto Pride for decades, characterized by an ever-evolving crowd that embraces people from all over the world. Three years in the making, the exhibition and publication presented here reflect this celebratory atmosphere back to the public, saturated with the energy and power of Pride in all its glory. Accompanying talks, panel discussions, and workshops will further activate the various components of the project, bringing history to life in the present day to honour, reflect upon, and celebrate all we have accomplished together.
Curated by The Magenta Foundation and the Joy. Sorrow. Anger. Love. PRIDE Curatorial Team
Presented by the Magenta Foundation in partnership with The ArQuives and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Opening night celebration co-hosted by TD Bank Group. With special thanks to lead sponsor Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.