Collection GBV - Gayblevision collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Gayblevision collection

General material designation

  • Moving images
  • Textual record
  • Photographic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the collection.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1980 - 2017 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

73 moving images.
15 photographs.
2 pages of textual materials.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The concept of Gayblevision is universally accredited to Gregg Cutts (1953-1983). Cutts had moved from Halifax to Vancouver in the 1970s. In addition to his founding role in Gayblevision, he was also involved with the Coming Out Show on Coop Radio, the Vancouver Gay Community Centre (V.G.C.C.), and the Society for Political Action for Gay People (S.P.A.G.).

The official minutes of a Satellite Video Exchange Society (VIVO) of a meeting held January 30, 1980 records Cutts enquiring as to how best to record a S.P.A.G.-sponsored City of Vancouver all-candidates meeting that would be focusing on Gay rights. SVES referred him to MM (Metro Media, a video access centre for alternative media production) and cable (Vancouver Cable 10).

In an interview with McEwen and Cutts rebroadcast in Gayblevision’s 6th ‘birthday’ episode (at 02:33), Cutts confirms he collaborated with Cable 10 to record that meeting and afterwards approached Cable 10 about a series for the gay community.

A meeting was called to gauge community interest and 22 men and 6 women attended. One of them was Mary Anne McEwen who had been invited by a friend. She became one of the three Gayblevision co-founders along with Cutts and Verne Powers.

McEwen (1946-2011) was the only original member with media experience. McEwen had been educated at University of British Columbia (1963-1967) – and was expelled from her UBC sorority in 1965 for being a lesbian – and took film and video workshops at Simon Fraser University (1970-1972). She had run her own production company since 1977.

A 1980 West Ender newspaper article states it was Gayblevision that caused Verne Powers to finally come out, and Powers was quoted as saying the program had ‘literally’ changed his life. Powers worked on the first five episodes, and is the one who interviewed Tennessee Williams in a seminal Gayblevision episode. Powers left Vancouver to pursue other interests in late 1980.

Gayblevision was rebranded as Pacific Wave starting with its 19 December 1983 episode through December 1984. The BC provincial Social Credit government’ s neo-liberal policies were undermining Human Rights legislation and defunding gay, lesbian and feminist groups. In the wake of their actions an LGBT community still debating the pros and cons of coming out became more reticent to expose their sexual identity in public. The effect on Gayblevision was significant.

The last episode identified as Pacific Wave was December 1984. From the beginning of 1985 until the end of the series, it was once again referred to as Gayblevision.

Don Durrell in a Body Politic interview talked about Vancouver gays “diving back into the closet at an alarming rate” and the lack of community volunteer support for the program, let alone appearing as subject.

“Will Solidarity Be Restrained?” Body Politic, December 1983, Page 6

The Gayblevision audience was introduced to Pacific Wave during the final Gayblevision episode (Episode 41 at 20:30) of its original run on November 7th, 1983.

The show continued as Pacific Wave until December 1984. From its first show in 1985 until the end of the series in 1986, it was once again identified as Gayblevision.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of episodes, specials, and much of the surviving raw footage from the 1980s TV series Gayblevision. The collection also contains writing and photographs documenting the history of Gayblevision. Gayblevision was Canada’s first TV series produced “by gay people for gay people”. It was broadcast on Vancouver Cable 10 through its West End Neighbourhood production centre (located in the West End Community Centre) between 1980 and 1986. Gayblevision is a priceless window into Vancouver’s LGBTQ communities during years of tremendous growth and upheaval, documenting the LGTBQ people, organizations, businesses and events that defined Vancouver West End’s Davie Village in the early 1980s. The series aired monthly on the first and third Tuesday of the month. In addition to regular episodes, Gayblevision also produced a series of in-depth specials.

The collection is divided into 3 series:

  1. Episodes and specials
  2. Textual records and graphic materials
  3. Oral histories

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The Gayblevision collection is comprised of materials donated by Gayblevision founders Don Durrell and Mary Anne McEwen, producer Lloyd Nicholson, the Satellite Video Exchange Society Fond, and other anonymous donors.


Language of material

    Script of material

      Location of originals

      Availability of other formats

      All episodes and specials have been digitized and are available at:

      Restrictions on access

      Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

      Relevant intellectual property laws apply. Consult the archivist for details.

      Finding aids

      Associated materials

      Related materials


      The collection may be expanded upon if further materials become available.

      General note

      This project could not have happened without Don Durrell’s gift of original video materials to VIVO Media Arts Centre in the early 1990s and Mary Anne McEwen’s bequest to us of her personal archive in 2011. Don Larventz has been a vital advocate for this project and has volunteered countless hours to spread the word about this project and its importance to LGBT history.

      We are also grateful for the help and support of Claude Hewitt, Ron Kearse, and Lloyd Nicholson who have added valuable material and information covering the transition to Pacific Wave and the final years of Gayblevision.

      Alternative identifier(s)

      Standard number

      Standard number

      Access points

      Subject access points

      Place access points

      Name access points

      Genre access points

      Control area

      Description record identifier

      Institution identifier

      Rules or conventions


      Level of detail

      Dates of creation, revision and deletion

      Created by Sophie Roberge, March 2018.

      Language of description

        Script of description


          Accession area