Category Archives: Gay history

Lois Szabo Commons Open!

Lois Szabo Commons officially opened yesterday, and although we could not be there, we hungrily read the press and social media accounts of the park’s launch. The honour is well-deserved.

Lois with friends and family at the Park’s dedication ceremony. Photo: Marlene Hielema via Facebook.

Lois told me she received so many hugs from the assembled crowd that it may have counteracted her pandemic’s hug deficit! She was particularly chuffed to get a hug from Mayor Naheed Nenshi (two of them apparently).

Here is a media round-up!

City of Calgary Press Release

CBC: Beltline park opens to honour Lois Szabo, Calgary LGBTQ leader

660 News: Lois Szabo Commons opens, recognizes prominent leader in Calgary’s LGBTQ2S+ community

Global News: New Beltline community space named after Calgary LGBTQ2S+ leader opens

Calgary Sun: New Beltline park commemorates LGBTQ2S+ community leader Lois Szabo

Calgary Herald: New park in the Beltline commemorates local LGBTQ2S+ community leader Lois Szabo

Although the media accounts are similar, they each have a different photo of Lois! {My favourite is the Calgary Herald’s below}

Congratulations Lois and thank you City of Calgary!

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Historic Calgary Week

July is one of our favourite times of year—not for the über-famous Calgary Stampede happening currently, but for Historic Calgary Week, running July 23-August 2, 2021. It is the signature event for the Chinook Country Historical Society, who program engaging history events all year long. An incredible number of volunteer hours go into making Historic Calgary Week happen; the 2021 iteration is cleverly subtitled: Unmasking Our History.

The Calgary Gay History Project’s Kevin Allen was invited on a mapmakers panel discussion on Tuesday, July 27 at 7:00 PM.

Behind the Scenes with the Mapmakers will tackle how one maps a city’s unknown histories. Kevin is joined by Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers Author Shaun Hunter and the Calgary Atlas Project’s Jim Ellis. They will chatter about charting the city’s cultural landscape, using maps to (sometimes literally) pin down the past. The panel will be moderated by Heritage Calgary’s Asia Walker and hosted online by the Calgary Public Library.

Register for Behind the Scenes with the Mapmakers: here. Registration is free, but spaces are limited.

Gay Activist Doug Young’s map of the 1980s Beltline: Glenbow Archives M-8397-1.

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Goliath’s Raid Research

Calgary Gay History Project volunteer Sheldon Cannon is busy this summer researching the Goliath’s Bathhouse Raid by Calgary Police. This raid was notable in Canadian Queer History due to its timing: December 12, 2002—more than 20 years later than many similar raids in other Canadian cities. The raid was specifically referenced in the Calgary Police’s apology to the LGBTQ2 community in 2018.

Newspaper clipping from the Calgary Herald, March 1, 2003

Sheldon is interviewing activists, people who were arrested in the raid, and the Calgary Police to get a fulsome view of this pivotal moment in Calgary’s queer history. If you have a story you would like to share about the raid please contact us. We hope to present this research during this year’s Calgary Pride festival at the end of August.

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