Lambda Foundation was created during an era of hope, courage, and commitment to a better future.
After Canada's Parliament banished State authorities from Canada's bedrooms in 1969, many people began meeting together. We enjoyed a new sense of freedom, rights, and possibilities. We were inspired by protest and popular artistic movements of the 'sixties. Many deep friendships date from these years -- all across Canada, and through hundreds of groups.
One of these was a private club, Lambda Business and Professional Group. This networking group held monthly meetings, for which it collected a couple of dollars per person, per event. It met in private to avoid criticism or dangerous retaliation from customers, supervisors and media. We wanted to share experience and friendships and to do networking on better ways of living, working, and having fun. Our frank, community-minded approaches attracted the attention of the Mayors and the Chief of Police, who came to speak and share at dinner meetings. As young and middle-career citizens of some stature, we wanted to share success and privilege and, with our earnings, we decided to set up a scholarship fund. That was the birth of the Lambda Foundation for Excellence. We did it for fun and as a gift, because it hadn’t been done before, to build a bridge to our own quiet and endangered society—to build a better Canada.
Although unaided by government, and blocked in many paths, Lambda Foundation for Excellence changed its name and acquired charitable status as Lambda Literary and Scholarship Foundation. Our literary fundraiser, Wilde About Sappho, became one of Canada's largest literary activities. We have since updated our name to Lambda Scholarship Foundation Canada, but are still known by the short version: Lambda Foundation, a registered Canadian Charity dedicated to education and research in LGBTI and allied human rights.
Canada is a rich, interesting and enlightened country -- generous, kind and giving partly because of these friends. Lambda Foundation intends to celebrate its founding values, which it shares broadly with many other groups, all across the country.