- CA EDM MS-595-14
- 1992-04-26 - 2007
Michael Albert Phair, born August 1950, served on Edmonton’s City Council representing Ward 4 from 1992 until 2007. He was the first openly gay elected politician in Alberta, and a longtime LGBTQ activist. Phair was a founding member of the Aids Network of Edmonton [now HIV Edmonton], a member of Edmonton’s Pride Festival Society Board of Directors, and a key figure in the work of many of Edmonton’s early and current LGBQT associations. After leaving city council, Phair served on a variety of city organizations, including the Edmonton Social Planning Council, Edmonton Homeward Trust, and the North Saskatchewan River Valley Conservation Society. He is an adjunct professor with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. The Edmonton Public School Board announced in June 2015 that a west-end school will be named for him (scheduled to open in the fall of 2017), and on February 25, 2016 Michael Phair was named chairman of the University of Alberta Board of Directors.
This series consists of files kept by Michael Phair, including correspondence files; an issue related file on police action in parks, and artifacts including a t-shirt and service award plaque. While this is a very small representation of Michael Phair’s work and impact on the growth of Edmonton’s LBGQT community, it must be stated that in almost every series described in the GALA fonds, researchers will glean the importance of Michael Phair’s contributions. He was instrumental in establishing and helping to maintain many of Edmonton’s LGBQT associations, and was a mover and shaker behind collecting, preserving and eventually donating the Gay and Lesbian Archives to the City of Edmonton Archives. Michael Phair would be the first to recommend that all that he donated be incorporated as part of GALA, and this was achieved with most of what he brought in. The few files listed in this final series are those that could not easily be separated from Phair the individual: correspondence to and from him; his own written notes on specific topics, and his personal artifacts. His donated material included clipping files, subject topic files, and other material, but all was intended as further contributions and accruals for GALA. Needless to say, the researchers studying the history of gay activism in Edmonton will learn about the work and significance of Michael Phair.