Charlie Hill is a native of Ottawa. He was the first president of the University of Toronto Homophile Association 1969-1971.
On August 28, 1971, Charlie was one of several speakers at the first ever LGBT rights demonstration in Canada, on Parliament Hill. He was asked to read the ground-breaking 'We Demand' speech that the protest is now known as, when speechwriters David Newcome and Herb Spiers of Toronto Gay Action were unable to attend due to a car accident on the way to Ottawa. A photo of Charlie reading the 'We Demand' speech was used as a reference for his portrait on this banner.
He attended the first meeting of what would become Gays of Ottawa less than a month later, on September 14 before returning to Toronto. He became the group's second president from 1973 to 1975 shortly after returning to Ottawa permanently.
Charlie began working at the National Gallery of Canada in 1972 and was Curator of Canadian Art at the Gallery 1980-2014.