Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I received an email on May 24th from Dave Doucette of Chariot Events wondering if I would be available to film Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer, Mark Tewksbury at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) in Toronto on the afternoon of May 27th. I had a few hours in between projects that day so I replied confirming my services.

For those who don't know, Mark Tewksbury was born February 7th, 1968 in Calgary, Alberta. He's a former swimmer who won a silver medal as part of Canada's relay team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea and a bronze medal in the relay event at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He is best known for winning the gold medal in the 100 metres backstroke at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He retired from swimming after the Barcelona games and "came out" shortly after. Since then, Mark Tewksbury has been an advocate for gay rights and causes and was invited by the Government of France to address the United Nations on the decriminalization of homosexuality. He is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation (GLAF) and has been inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the international Swimming Hall of Fame, and Canada's LGBT Human Rights Hall of Fame, Q Hall of Fame Canada. 

As shameful as it may seem, May 27th marked my first visit to CLGA. Personally, I previously had no reason to go and to my ignorance, no interest. The folks who run the place are very pleasant and welcoming. The building itself is historical, inviting, and well preserved. It commands respect. I must admit the "reading room" immediately caught my attention! As I sat silently waiting for Dave to arrive, my eyeballs scanned shelves where antique collections and plastic wrapped editions of early rare publications are kept. I could have spent all day in that room!  Shortly thereafter, Dave and co. arrived. 

We collected ourselves in the main lobby for hello's, introductions, and an outline of what we were shooting for. From what I gathered, it was also Mark's first visit to CLGA and he was given a brief tour. Afterwards, he announced that he would try to locate and donate his personal diary from 1988-1990 to the CLGA which would probably make a great raw-prequel and follow-up to his first book, "Inside Out: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock".

Mark is here to support Come Out and Play, the gala fundraiser for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives taking place on Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 6:30pm - 11:00pm at Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street. He is also donating an Olympic torch he received for the 100th anniversary of the Olympic games in Athens, Greece in 1996 to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

First, we would use the sunny day and take some shots out front with Mark on the steps of the archives. Next, we would go upstairs to shoot the rest. Mark was an absolute gentleman and curious about my little camera. Unfortunately we were all running on a tight schedule so there wasn't much time to speak. Mark took a few questions from a reporter at Metro News in a corner while I snapped some shots then I shoot another short video and that was that. 

I hold a sense of admiration and respect to those who lend their time and efforts in preserving the CLGA, from the maintenance of the garden in front to the generous archival literary donations. Leaving CLGA, one walks away with pride.



Taken from metronews.ca, Tuesday, May 28, 2013
pg 12 - Zoom

photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013
 photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013
 photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013
 photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013
photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013

 photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013
 photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013
 photograph © Robert Torbica, 2013

Mark Tewksbury

Friday, June 07, 2013

1. They won't listen
2. I don't even care
3. It doesn't matter to me
4. There's nothing to fear
5. It's no secret
6. It goes beyond this
7. If I could, I would fix it
8. There's a never-ending list
9. I don't have any money
10. I gave it all away
11. That's all that seems to matter
12. Grown tired of these games
13. I'm not counting anymore

RT 2013