Tea & Conversation & Our Past Matters

As part of the Library History Residency, we are having tea and conversation every Thursday from 5-6 PM in room 414A at the new Central Library. Tomorrow’s topic is Calgary’s asexual and aromantic community. Members of local social group YYCaroaces will be present to chat, and we are providing the tea!

The book, Our Past Mattersis picking up momentum. Yesterday we were the cover story in Calgary StarMetro, and last week Kevin got up early to do a spot on Breakfast Television (fortunately they had endless tea in the studio).

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Our Past Matters author Kevin Allen stands in front of Shelf Life Books on 4th St. S.W. — once the location of Calgary’s most successful gay commercial bar.  (CHRISTINA RYAN / CALGARY STARMETRO)

In addition to Shelf Life Books, you can find Our Past Matters at Pages on Kensington too – more bookstores to come.

Happy sipping, chatting and reading this December!

{KA}

 

Launched @calgarylibrary

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Our Past Matters book launch last night at the New Central Library. It was quite a full house and quite an evening. The library’s Rosemary Griebel, before she introduced me, advised me to savour every moment: “you only have your first book launch once.” It was good advice, and I felt so proud and honoured to present my work.

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Calgarians come out for history! Photo: Noel Begin

We also screened Laura O’Grady’s Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story, to large applause. Afterward, we floated the idea of a gay history feature film – stay tuned!

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Book signing fatigue? No, it was a delight. Photo: Laura O’Grady

People have been asking where to buy the book now that it is out. Shelf Life Books, one of Calgary’s finest independent bookstores, has it. As we add more booksellers we will let you know. Next week, you will also be able to buy it online through the Calgary Gay History Project Website.

Thank you, Calgary for coming out yesterday!

{KA}

 

 

Our Past Matters Book Launch

November has been a whirlwind of activity! The Calgary Gay History Project went to Winnipeg this week to see the book, Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary in production. Chris Young from Prolific.ca gave author, Kevin Allen, and some local family members a tour of their amazing facility.

This book, which has been four years in the making, will be having its public debut at the New Central Library, 800 3 St. SE. At 7 PM, on Thursday, November 22nd come meet the Library’s Historian in Residence for a book reading and short film presentation. Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary will be available for purchase for $25.

Here is a photo essay from the past two weeks:

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Kevin’s portrait and bio are mounted on the wall outside his office at the New Central Library. Friends start texting him selfies with the sign. The portrait was shot by Calgary’s own photography talent, Kelly Hofer.

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52,000 people visited the Calgary Public Library in its opening weekend. Kevin as the first Historian in Residence celebrates with one of those visitors, his long-time friend Michelle Wong.

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Kevin travels to Winnipeg (with his mom) to see Our Past Matters in production. A metal press is made of the book cover and then sent to the offset printer.

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Kevin signs off on the proof.

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Kevin with Chris from Prolific.ca and the finished book cover – hard to believe it is actually real!

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A visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and looking at a winter-swept Winnipeg from the impressive tower of hope – a pride sidewalk can be seen – a good omen for the book launch in Calgary.

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On sale soon – see you at the book launch 11/22.

{KA}