The Grand River Rainbow Community Historical Project was begun on 2011, March 14 by the Grand River Rainbow Community Historical Society (essentially Jim Parrott). The goal was to document the history of the various rainbow communities in the Grand River region of Southwestern Ontario. After some basic timelines had been established, work began in June to arrange for copyright permissions to digitize and display materials from various local groups.
By late 2011, it had became clear that an obvious gap in the historical materials was oral-history narratives. In January of 2012 Jim was introduced to local film-maker Melissa Sky, who turned out to be Melissa Macdonald, an old friend and queer activists at the University of Waterloo from the 1990s. Together they concocted a proposal and announced it to the community in February 2012 by saying
“The Grand River Rainbow Historical Society and Femme Fatale Creations [Melissa's company] are excited to announce that we are launching an initiative called Rainbow Reflections. This partnership aims to create a new documentary and set of video interviews of people sharing their memories of local rainbow history.”That same month Melissa applied for a grant from the Waterloo Regional Arts Fund. In June we were thrilled to learn that we had received enough funding from them to proceed with the project.
Jim then began reaching out to potential interviewees in Waterloo-Wellington; Ali Scott worked on developing interview questions. Melissa began filming interviews in November and completed virtually all of them by December. She ended up with several dozen hours of footage, and edited it into a 90 min. documentary film by the end of 2013. Its première screening was on 2014, January 9 at Little Bean Coffee Bar before a very appreciative crowd of nearly 70 people. Here is a webpage on the première . This is the Facebook EVENT page for the première: https://www.facebook.com/events/1418549675045642/
Later that year, it was screened at Rainbow Reels (2014, May 9) and tri-Pride (on 2014, June 7 in Kitchener City Hall). It was also screened at many events for the broader public, for example Dialogue on Diverstiy (2014, June 12). We continue to receive requests to screen this film.
This is the Facebook GROUP page for the film "Rainbow Reflections" itself: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rainbow-Reflections/231770803664972?ref=hl
The Grand River Rainbow Historical Society manages the Grand River Rainbow Historical Project, the website of which is located at http://www.grandriver-rainbowhistory.ca/
Femme Fatale Creations is a video production company specializing in meeting the media arts needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Find out more at http://www.femmefilms.ca/