KAG: Queer Newfoundland Hockey League (QNHL)

Sat January 14, 2023  to Sat April 1, 2023
Kamloops Art Gallery (465 Victoria St #101, Kamloops, BC V2C 2A9, Canada)
Arts & Culture, Galleries & Exhibits

Lucas MorneauLucas Morneau

The Cube

Curated by Craig Willms

Playfully and provocatively challenging the prevalence of homophobia and hyper-masculinity in the culture of team sports, Lucas Morneau’s Queer Newfoundland Hockey League (QNHL) proposes 14 fictional teams that reclaim, empower, and amplify LGBTQIA2S+ voices (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify). With team names that include the St. John’s Sissies, Bonavista Buggers, and Ferryland Fairies, Morneau subverts pejoratives used against the LGBTQIA2S+ community, paired with places historically associated with senior hockey league teams in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Each team is represented by a hand-crocheted and rug-hooked jersey, a doily goalie mask, and a hockey card modeled by men, women, and gender-nonconforming players. The colours and jersey design reference senior teams associated with rural hockey leagues and now out-of-fashion National Hockey League team colours. The doily goalie masks reference Jacque Plante, who is considered the first goalie to wear a mask after suffering a serious facial injury. Plante was initially ridiculed for wearing a mask by players and fans who questioned his bravery and manhood. Over time wearing a mask became the norm and the narrative flipped; goalies would no longer be considered “brave” or “more of a man” for not wearing a mask. Morneau also offers a critical re-reading of female-gender stereotypes through material and imagery choices that reference the idea of “women’s work.”

Through QNHL, Morneau attempts to reclaim the derogatory comments often heard on the ice, in “locker room talk,” and off the ice towards those players who do not adhere to the unspoken masculine code often found in team sports. Morneau challenges the “old school” idea that athletes must act without emotion, must not draw attention to themselves ahead of the team, and must toe the line and keep things in the locker room. This project points to the unwritten rules and “back in my day, the right way” mentality that tends to dominate sports and so-called social norms.

By re-presenting jerseys, goalie masks, and hockey cards in this way, Morneau aims to deconstruct prevailing attitudes about the relationship between sports and the LGBTQIA2S+ community while bringing awareness to toxic behaviour both on and off the ice in sports culture, and beyond.

The Artist

Lucas Morneau is a queer interdisciplinary artist and curator of English-Newfoundlander and French-Québeçois European settler descent from Ktaqamkuk (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada). They received their Bachelor of Fine Arts at Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, in 2016, and their Master of Fine Arts at University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in 2018. They have received multiple awards, including the 2016 BMO First Art Award for Newfoundland and Labrador and the 2018 Cox & Palmer Pivotal Point Grant. Their work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, ArtsNL, and ArtsNB.

Through drag and masquerade, Morneau has created an alter-ego, The Queer Mummer, to explore gender performativity and to address hegemonic masculinity and its effect on gender expression and identity. Their practice employs several mediums, including photography, fibre art, performance, video, installation, printmaking, and sculpture.

Kamloops Art Gallery
City Centre

About Kamloops Art Gallery

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The Kamloops Art Gallery is a registered charity and not-for-profit society.

Incorporated in 1978, the Kamloops Art Gallery serves residents of and visitors to Kamloops (pop. 82,000) and the surrounding Thompson-Nicola Regional District (pop. 124,000) as well as national and international audiences.

In 1998, the KAG moved to a purpose-built civic building, designed by award-winning architects Peter Cardew and Nigel Baldwin, which also houses the Thompson-Nicola Regional District offices and the Kamloops branch of the TNRD Library System. The 20,853 square foot Gallery includes 4,500 square feet of exhibition space, an admissions/store area, two multipurpose studio/workshop/lecture rooms, a packing and acclimatization area, the collection storage vault with an adjoining workroom and, on a mezzanine above, administration and curatorial offices along with a research library. In 2006, the KAG was designated a Category “A” institution under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

The Gallery’s annual attendance has ranged between 24,000 and 37,000 over the last five years. It enjoys a national reputation for its touring exhibitions and publications and has developed relationships with national and international artists, curators, critics and scholars. The KAG is also well respected for its exhibitions, events and educational and public programs through activities organized and presented in the community and region involving both contemporary and historical art. Its collection as of December 2012 consists of 2,700 works that primarily reflect the Gallery’s exhibition history. In 2005, the KAG co-commissioned with the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Canada’s participation in the 51st Venice Biennale with the work of Rebecca Belmore.

Governed by a Board of Trustees, the KAG maintains an effective organizational structure that includes a Management Team led by the executive director, a Program Team led by the curator and a Development Team led by the manager of operations. Teams meet monthly to report, evaluate, problem solve and plan.


The Kamloops Art Gallery brings art, artists and communities together.


The Kamloops Art Gallery is the principal gallery in the Southern Interior of British Columbia supporting contemporary and historical visual arts and practices on a local, national and international level. The KAG acknowledges art to be an essential part of the human experience in nurturing a healthy society. As a leading cultural institution, the KAG is an integral part of the fabric that draws intellectual, social and economic opportunities to our province and to our region.

The Kamloops Art Gallery fosters enjoyment of and interest in the visual arts by researching, developing and producing exhibitions, publications and programs that engage, challenge and inform its various audiences. The Gallery also oversees the development and preservation of a permanent collection that includes regional, national and international art in all media. It also strives to create rewarding opportunities for visual arts professionals and the public.

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