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ACW Timeline


I tried as much to include basic firsts for this area. As well as important events that affected the community or events that could or should be explored more in the future. This document is incomplete and lacks some diversity of experiences. I hope more people and documents will come forward because of this timeline. I consider this a living document that may have mistakes or omissions that may need to be changed or updated. Many of our newsletters are lost and still need to be rediscovered. I have not uncovered one complete set of the ACW newsletters. I owe thanks to Beth Lyster, and Zoran Stjepanovic for donating their collection. And a special shoutout to The ArQuives of Toronto for digitizing their collection for us. There are still so many voices or stories not being told and may be lost forever. It is my goal to help change that reality. If you have any materials (newsletters, pictures, posters, buttons, shirts etc) you would like to have preserved or if you find any information that is not included in this and would like to make a request for an update or something changed, please contact me at It should also be noted that I used the language of the time that the event happened in, and I included names that were given in documents or newspaper reporting. A special thanks to the help of Beth Lyster and Jim Monk for all the work and support they gave me. If you have any materials or information that you would like to have added to this timeline or to request changes please contact Walter Cassidy at


  • First reported case of AIDS in Canada. Billy Kovinsky of Windsor Dies
  • No reported deaths
  • 4 reported Deaths
  • Gay Awareness Week: Iona College with public events on Gays and Religion, Human Rights for Homosexuals, A Healthy Approach to Gay Sex, and pornography and Gay Culture. The Gay sex event was the first education session on AIDS in Windsor.
  • William Townsend from Detroit becomes the first person to speak publicly in Windsor about having AIDS.
  • Condom Committee is created as a sub-committee of L.G.C.S.G. (Lesbian/Gay Community Service Group). The Chairman of the committee was Wayne Tennant
  • 6 reported deaths
  • First meeting takes place December 12th attended by 16 people. Founded by members of the L.G.C.S.G.
  • Founding members: Jim Monk, Barry Adam, John Dufour, Wayne Tennant, Kevin Bishop, Colleen Gallagher and Beth Lyster
  • First space for ACW is Jim Monk’s apartment on College Ave.
  • Funding proposals submitted.
  • Support Services committee has 14 members doing buddy Support and hospital visitation.
  • PWAs forced to go to Detroit for AZT.
  • 19 cases of AIDS in Windsor/Essex
  • July 5th and 6th Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) First meeting:  The first meeting was in Windsor. Eight groups from Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Kingston and Thunder Bay. Kevin Brown spoke to the groups.
  • First office space 3178 Walker Rd
  • First 5 temporary staff in March
  • Incorporation comes through and first board of directors elected. First Chairman is Wayne Tennant
  • The creation of the first support group entitled “Positively Healthy Support Group.” Headed my Karuna Kistler
  • October 11-17th First AIDS Awareness week. Was declared by the city
    • It included workshops and public forums. One was done at St. Clair, and one was done at Walkerville high school on teaching AIDS in schools. It was a very small turn out. Very few educators attended.
    • Kevin Brown is the first Windsorite to come out publicly about having AIDS. He does not live in Windsor but came home to visit family. He dies in 1989.
  • Volunteers were putting in 114 Hours a month
  • Over 10 000 calls have been received on the 256 AIDS info line.
  • First Newsletter
  • The first AIDS Candlelight Vigil is done inside because of rain.
  • 88 people had tested HIV positive
  • New logo is designed by John May
  • First public billboard
  • Bisexual Men’s Group is formed
  • Move to 1586 Wyandotte Street East, Suite 205
  • First core funding arrives from Ontario Ministry of Health
  • Volunteers time was averaging 280 hours a month
  • Charitable status arrived
  • 11 new cases of AIDS
  • Volunteer Gala at Cleary Auditorium with 5 awards given.
  • Women AIDS Together Caring and Helping (WATCH) meet
  • Start of the PWA Program Group
  • The first Safer Sex Party
  • On October 16th a tree was planted in Alexander park to “signify hope for the future” when it came to the AIDS crisis. The city was involved and the Mayor at the time was John Millson was present. Tree does not exist anymore.
  • July 28th ACW, Hospice of Windsor, Metropolitan Hospital, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, and the Victorian Order of Nurses met for the first time to coordinate a local AIDS strategy.
  • AIDS out-patient treatment clinic is established
  • Four local representatives from ACW went to the 5th International Conference on AIDS in Montreal
  • Safer Sex Advisory Board starts
  • 43 people with AIDS
  • 100 HIV positive
  • Installation of a 1-800 number to reach people in Lambton and Kent countes
  • Moved office to 1050 University Avenue West
  • 120 volunteers together average 900 hours of month
  • Open Phoenix House residence for people living with AIDS
  • First Joint International Protest at both sides of the Tunnel border. The protest was regarding American Immigration laws not allowing people with HIV/AIDS to cross into the United State. Canada does not have the same law but instead can turn people away for medical reasons which can include people with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Committee of Windsor and Detroit Chapter of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power organized the protest.
  • Day Without Art first observed in Windsor at MacKenzie Hall.
  • Creation of Captain Condom
  • October 22nd. Creation of Mural in collaboration with 18 Walkerville Centre for the Creative Arts students and John Vacrastisi at the viaduct wall situated in Centennial Park at Cameron St and Riverside Drive West. It was created for part of AIDS awareness week. 3 murals were created.
  • ACW Boycotts 6th International Conference on AIDS in San Francisco because of the United States policy of not allowing people with AIDS/HIV to enter the country
  • The Caregiver’s Support Group starts
  • 63 people with AIDS. 131 People with HIV
  • First AIDS walk raised $13000 last walk was done in 2011
  • AIDS Awareness Week Working Group
  • Mandate: to organize and implement an effective AIDS Awareness Week.
  • Advocacy Working GroupAIDS and Development Working Group
  • Mandate: partnership between ACW and Third World Resource Centre which aims at raising community’s awareness
  • Chaplaincy Service Working Group
    Mandate: to provide, through support, education, and mobilization, a transforming spiritual response to the AIDS crisis
  • Community Action Working Group
    Mandate: to review, plan and carry out liaison, lobbying and public actions direct at government, agencies, institutions and other organizations and businesses.
  • Computer Working Group
    Mandate: day to day operations of ACW computer system
  • Condom Machines in High Schools
    Mandate: To mobilize students, parents and their representatives organizations to convince tow secondary schools to install condom machines
  • Desktop Publishing Working Group
  • Housing Working Group
    Mandate: to facilitate a supportive environment for PLWA/HIV by identifying and responding to their household needs
  • AIDS & Injection Drug Use Working Group
    Mandate: to reduce the spread of HIV among injection Drug Users by promoting the use of clean needless and the practice of safer sex
  • Individual & Group Support Working Group
    Mandate: to enable individual and group support programs
  • Newsletter Working Group
    Mandate: to publish ACW Newletter to reflect the external and internal activities
  • Phoneline Working Group
    Mandate: To manage all ACW phoneline operations
  • Resource Centre Working Group
    Mandate: to keep abreast of recent developments in AIDS research and the make recommendations for the development of a resource library
  • Safer Sex Working Group
    Mandate: To establish, plan and carry out a safer sex education program
  • Speakers Bureau Working Group
    Mandate: to assist in co-ordination and implementation of ACW Speakers Bureau and to facilitate the on-going training process for all speakers.
  • First outdoors Candlelight Vigil. Weather has stopped them in the past
  • Sarnia: first Candlelight Vigil May 19th
  • One in Ten Youth Group starts: Founders Kenn Stanton and Chris Cecile. Goal of youth group:
    1. To provide a safe and comfortable place for LGB youth,
    2. To improve self-esteem among LGB youth,
    3. To promote HIV prevention/education,
    4. To provide an opportunity for youth to learn about the LGB community, and encounter LGB role models, and
    5. To provide an alternative social environment to bars
  • Anonymous testing starts in Windsor
  • The Names Project Foundation: Canada’s Memorial Quilt comes to Windsor October 30th to November 1 at Windsor-Essex Scottish Regiment Armories
  • May 13th the Chaplaincy Working Group (CWG) is founded. Its first workshop was on Homophobia
  • Needle Exchange program begins
  • The family Support Group: Doreen Cormier and three other mothers created the Family Support Group. It started with mothers meeting at different houses. Daughters began to join and in 1992 male family members joined as well at people living with HIV/AIDS
  • Move to 1050 University Avenue West
  • CWG do a workshop for Catholic priest around Windsor/Essex. Speakers: Kenn Stanton, Rev. Tony Paton, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (from Detroit) One in Ten also spoke
  • ACW goes online
  • The first AIDS WALK/RUN for life
  • Protest in front of MP Herb Gray’s office for funding cuts to HIV/AIDS research. University of Windsor Staff and members of ACW attended the protest
  • Festival of Trees partnership with Arts Council of Windsor
  • The Steve and Peters’ Barbecue was huge fundraiser
  • AIDS walk first time collecting $100 000 in donations and sponsorship.
  • Move to Gino Marcus Community Centre, 1168 Drouillard Road
  • Start AIDS Support Kent (ASK) satellite office. Located Room 332 of St. Joseph’s Hospital.
  • Festival of Enchantment. Joint event with ACW and Windsor Arts Council
  • The first ACW’s AIDS Walk Appreciation Celebration Gala at Windsor Casino. Celebration Gala continued till 2008.
  • Conference HIV/AIDS Focusing on Women and Minority Youth
  • 1052 Drouillard Road is purchased to start a clinic
  • First Trilogy Auction. Joint fundraiser with ACW, Church of Ascension (Anglican) andMaryvale Adolescent and Family Services.
  • High school students attend First AIDS Awareness Week Youth Conference.
  • Barry Adam and Alan Sear create “People with HIV/AIDS talk… about life, love, work, and family” booklet
  • Methadone Program starts at 1052 Drouillard Road on May 9th
  • Chatham: Men’s Social and Sport Group
  • Move to 511 Pelissier Street
  • Gay Men’s Sexual Health, Poz Prevention Program
  • First time ACW participates in the Emancipation Day Celebrations
  • The African-Caribbean Support and Outreach program
  • Sex Worker and IDU Prevention Education & Outreach Program
  • The Blue House drop-in Centre for Women: 1052 Drouillard Rd
  • ASCK Community Garden Project: First open house June 2nd.
  • Rapid Test expands to STI testing
  • Start of the Red Ribbon Cafe
World AIDS Day & Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week
  • Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Chatham/Kent
  • Opening of the Red Ribbon Cafe
  • 710 people are living with HIV in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent
  • Collage features 710 people impacted by HIV in Windsor-Essex
  • Last AIDS Awareness Week?
  • “A Taste For Life” over 400 diners participated at five restaurants to raise more than $2,600.
  • Rocking a new life-sized fork ACW Staff Emily Schurter is ready to dine out for charity! Photo courtesy of the AIDS Committee of Windsor
  • Peer to Peer Women’s Support Group
  • Documentary entitled: Aging & HIV: A Story of Resiliency is released
  • The Aids Committee of Windsor changes name to Pozitive Pathways.
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