Kevin Allen – Research Lead
Kevin Allen PicKevin has been documenting and profiling queer people and events for 30 years through freelance writing and editing for various queer publications including: Clue! Magazine, QC Magazine, Xtra! West, and  He is a career arts administrator and the past Executive Director of the Alberta Media Arts Alliance (AMAAS). He has previously worked for the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF), NUTV, and Arts Commons.

Kevin has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specializing in non-profit management, from the University of Victoria.  Additionally, Kevin works as a senior election official for both Elections Canada and Elections Alberta.

Finally, Kevin has created some local queer history himself, as a founder of
Calgary’s now largest queer non-profit organization, the Calgary Queer Arts Society, which produces many cultural events including the very successful Fairy
Tales Film Festival every year in May.  {KA}

Nevena Ivanović – Researcher

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 2.56.14 PMNevena Ivanović is a recent arrival to Calgary and Canada. She has worked for years on gender equality and women’s rights issues in Belgrade, Serbia, her hometown, with a focus on strengthening advocacy skills of community organizations and supporting applied research to inform public policy change in the area of women’s economic rights. She is a co-author of a study on the gender pay gap in three Western Balkan countries. Nevena has a BA in History and Masters degrees in Public Policy and Gender and Culture. In this project, her passionate interest in the past and strong personal commitment to LGBTIQ rights come together.  {NI}

Del Rath – Researcher

DelDel says, “It is a privilege to assist Kevin with this research–the ever-unfolding history of the GLBT community in Calgary.  The findings thus far are proving to be very interesting and fascinating.”

Throughout Del’s working life she was employed as an educator and worked for a number of years in the non-profit sector.  Prior to her retirement in 2010, Del was the manager of the Old Y Centre for Community Organizations (an office building dedicated to providing office space for non-profit organizations).  As a retiree, Del has been pursuing her passions as a visual artist and as an actor.  Currently, Del is a member of two theatrical endeavors, Seniors A-GoGo (Seniors and Sexuality) and the Seniors Action Group (A Wise Journey). {DR}

Rosman Valencia – Researcher

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 3.06.49 PMHaving grown up in the Philippines, Rosman is new to Canada and comes with a Bachelor of Secondary Education in History (Minor in Reading) and experience as a High School Teacher in Manila. After running a successful campaign, he was elected as Youth Leader in his local community where he helped initiate a scholarship program for underprivileged students. This Fall, Rosman will be back in the academia at the University of Calgary, majoring in History. He enjoys volunteering for Non-Profit Organizations such as Calgary Reads and Calgary Gay History Project. Passionate about History and eager to explore Calgary’s LGBTQ history, Rosman is enthusiastic to dig into archives and narratives. {RV}

Matthew Gillespie – Researcher

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Matthew has always had a love of history based on being able to trace the arrival to Quebec City in 1690 of his earliest ancestor. With a background in Urban Studies and Political Science from McGill he has taken those talents and used them sparingly. Instead, he found his calling in sales, marketing and world travel with Royal Caribbean for many years.

He has called Calgary home since 1988 except those 2 years in the ’90s when he thought Vancouver was the place to be. A former President of Apollo Friends in Sports he also enjoys a great game of volleyball for which he won a silver medal at the Gay Games in New York in 1994. A past singer with the Rocky Mountain Singers, Calgary’s first LGBTQ chorus he currently sings with both the Calgary Men’s Chorus and One Voice Chorus. Matthew is also the President of the Unison Festival Unisson, Canada’s LGBTQ choir festival, which takes place every four years and will be in Calgary in May 2018. Matthew currently is a Design Associate with a local boutique design and renovation company. {MG}

Ayanna Smart – Researcher

Ayanna Smart came to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago at sixteen, and here continued her love of lifelong learning. She has a BSc in Biochemistry and a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology. In her past life as a medical lab technologist, she enjoyed researching and writing training materials and following the continuously changing nature of laboratory work.Ayanna She is currently a student and pursuing a pharmacy program, as well as continuing working on her visual art. Her involvement in the LGBT community has included working with the InsideOut Youth Group as a Peer Facilitator and volunteering with the Fairy Tales Film Festival. As a researcher for the Calgary Gay History Project, she is reviewing Canadian Gay newspaper The Body Politic, which is a truly fascinating look into the culture and events of the 70s and 80s in Canada’s LGBT community. Her passion for volunteering and the ability to do detailed work have made this project a real joy.  {AS}

Sheldon Cannon – Researcher


Sheldon is a medical student with a background in science and an interest in history, politics, and anthropology. Raised in rural Saskatchewan and having completed his BSc in Physiology at the University of Alberta, he is a prairie boy through and through. Having dipped his toe into history as a teenager on his local museum board, it was a workshop with Edmonton’s premiere queer historian Darrin Hagen that got him interested in gay history specifically. He discovered the Calgary Gay History Project through their video on Everett Klippert after finding out Everett was born in Sheldon’s hometown. Sheldon’s project on the 2002 Goliath’s Bathhouse raid seeks to explore our community’s ever-changing relationship with police and how physical spaces (or lack thereof) impact gay life. Outside of history, Sheldon also assists in medical research and endeavours to develop his artistic side as a beginner dancer and acrobat. {SC}

Laura O’Grady – Filmmaker


Laura O’Grady is proud to bring Calgary’s LGBTQ2+  stories to screens around the world.She served as a producer on Asexual: A Love Story and produced and directed the award-winning films Queer Hutterite and Gross Indecency: the Everett Klippert Story. She is currently in production on the TELUS Originals digital series Small Town Queer.

Past Volunteers

Jonathan Brower – Researcher

Jonathan-BrowerJonathan is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Third Street Theatre, Calgary’s Queer Theatre Company. He holds a BA in Communications and BFA in Drama from the University of Calgary. He has worked in communications and arts for many non-profit organizations in the areas of radio, theatre and ministry. A born and raised bilingual Calgarian, Jonathan is a playwright, director, producer, actor and musician. He pursues arts as a vehicle for discussion, education and activism primarily concerning LGBTQ issues. Recently his artistic interests have focused on creating, discovering and preserving LGBT history in order to preserve the past and better inform our future community. Jonathan is also passionate about finding the common ground upon which relationships, faith and sexual orientation can co-exist peacefully.  {JB}

Nolan Hill – Researcher

Nolan is NolanBioPhotoa student, activist, and a born and raised Calgarian. He is currently pursuing a BA in History and a BA in Philosophy at the University of Calgary. An aspiring museum curator, he hopes to help shape the future of museums to be more inclusive of LGBTQ stories, and to be agents of social change. Nolan is a coordinator of the Coming Out Monologues YYC, and a volunteer at the Q Centre at the University of Calgary. His interest in the Calgary Gay History Project aligns with a background in history, heritage, and community engagement, and how the past helps shape the future of a community’s experience. {NH}

Tereasa Maillie – Researcher

Tereasa newTereasa Maillie is a writer and researcher. She also has a very un-secret life as a producer and playwright. Her work has appeared in various poetry and short story anthologies, most recently in the Found Poetry Review, and Beyond Imagination. She has a background in historical research, having attended the MA program at the University of Alberta. Her previous work includes the history of oil and gas in Alberta, Chinese medicine, First Nations and Métis history. She was the Historian in Residence for the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society in 2012, developing a historical program for that organization.  {TM}

One response to “Bios

  1. Pingback: PRIDE VOICES: You Can’t Just Cancel Pride: It’s A Year-Round Passion - IN Magazine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s