Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services

The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (iSMSS) is a non-profit organization and research institute housed in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. iSMSS provides educational programs and services to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community and its allies. Through our partnerships with various local Edmonton organizations such as the Pride Centre, LGBTQ+ Wellness Centre, and Altview we provide direct services from mental health support to 2SLGBTQ+ education to the community.

Our programs focus on community outreach and educational advancement specifically for the 2SLGBTO+ community through our educational programs, research, advocacy and scholarship opportunities. The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) works to create a society where all queer and trans people are free of discrimination.

Through our education programs, research, policy development, advocacy, and community services, we strive to:

  1. Empower the 2SLGBTQ+ community to thrive.
  2. Build leaders, particularly among youth.
  3. Build public awareness and allyship.
  4. Advance sexual and gender diversity studies to the forefront.
  5. Create hope

We are unique in that we utilize research to inform our services, and our services drive the direction of our research.

We believe:

  1. All queer and trans people deserve to be free of discrimination.
  2. Through nurturance and resiliency practices, all 2SLGBTQ+ people have potential to thrive.
  3. In the continued pursuit of knowledge as a tool to empower and build capacity.
  4. In grounding our practices in evidence-based research.
  5. We cannot achieve our goals alone but through collaboration 

Give to iSMSS 

iSMSS has a number of programs that provide support the well being of 2SLGBTQ+ youth in Edmonton and surrounding area.You can support the work we do by making a charitable donation to any of our programs, services, or projects.  For a full list of the programs and services we provide click here. 

All donations to iSMSS are eligible for a charitable tax deduction receipt, from the University of Alberta. To make a donation. 

Donate Now 


What's New at iSMSS? 

iSMSS Stances on the K-6 Curriculum

The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) stands with the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and its call for a halt on the implementation of the proposed K to 6 Alberta curriculum.

As an institute grounded in research, we echo the concerns addressed by nearly 30 school boards across Alberta regarding the content and the development process of this curriculum. We also join the list of equity-seeking groups who do not see themselves adequately or accurately reflected in this proposed curriculum.


Camp fYrefly North 

Camp will be held online again this year from July 19th - July 29th . As usual, our focus will be fostering leadership and resilience through community building, workshops, wellness activities, crafts and more! Optional sessions and offline activities will also be available so you can build a schedule that fits you! If you have any questions, please reach out to us at

Join our incredible volunteer team and help host Camp fYrefly online this summer. Camper,
Youth Leader, Adult Volunteer and Workshop Presenter applications are now open! 

Online Workshops 

iSMSS is happy to offer free workshops in the form of video conferencing through Google Meet and Zoom. Our presentations will cover a variety of different and interesting topics focused on 2SLGBTQ+ topics through. The workshops are open to everyone who is interested in learning more about 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, education, terminology and more!

Contact our fYrefly in School Coordinators and ask them about their workshops!

Evan Westfal                                              Alexandra Marshall
Education Coordinator                               fYrefly in School Rural Coordinator                      

For more information or general inquiries regarding our Programs and Services, please contact:

Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services
Tel: 780.492.0772

We invite you to volunteer with us to help build a more diverse, inclusive, and respectful campus, community, and province. iSMSS has many diverse volunteer opportunities in both Edmonton and Calgary. To learn more about how you can volunteer to help lead social change check out the specific volunteer pages for more information or contact us at

These annual reports aim to provide our stakeholders an overview of our yearly activities and any new initiatives and major activities we have added within the specified year.

2015 - 2016  2016 -2017 2017 - 2018 2018 - 2019 2019 - 2020 

iSMSS in the News