Category Archives: Gay history

YYCgayhistory Map Launch

A few years ago, Dr. Jim Ellis, Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH), emailed the Calgary Gay History Project about an idea the Institute was musing: the Calgary Atlas Project. The CIH thought it would be illuminating to create a series of alternative maps exploring unknown layers of the city.

On Thursday, November 21st, the inaugural map in the Calgary Atlas Project launches – A Queer Map: A Guide to the LGBTQ+ History of Calgary: text by Kevin Allen and map art by Mark Clintberg. Join us at the recently renovated Contemporary Calgary (Planetarium), at 701 11 Street SW for artist talks and a reception from 6:30 – 8:00 PM. Tickets for this free event can be found: here.

Atlas Project

Hot off the presses: A Queer Map from @HumanitiesYYC (Twitter)

At the reception, you will be able to pick up a copy of A Queer Map by donation to the CIH. Donations will support the new LGBTQ2S+ endowed lecture series (notably, the Institute brought in seminal historian George Chauncey, author of Gay New York this past August).

The CIH explains: “The Atlas Project seeks to recover crucial stories about Calgary’s past and present, stories that will illuminate in surprising ways the character of the city. Individual maps will document such phenomena as the early histories of Calgary’s Queer communities, the history of Indigenous involvement with the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the traces left by immigrant communities, and the lasting effects of the labour movement. The Atlas aims to bring a new vision of Calgary to Calgary; to show us how we got to where we are, and who we got to be.”

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get lit soon!

The Calgary Gay History Project is back. Our first event this month is the Get Lit! Festival in Fort Macleod on November 16th.

“The beautiful and historic Empress Theatre is starting what it hopes to be an annual event – the Get Lit! Festival: a literary evening celebrating reading, writing, and Canadian fiction and non-fiction. Five exciting writers will converge on Fort Macleod to read from their works, discuss their writing, and participate in panel discussions. And not just any old writers here.  We’re talking medal winners, Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize winners, CBC Canada Reads finalists, Alberta Literary Award finalists, and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Award winners!”

Invited by literary maven and author, Angie Abdou, Kevin Allen will be reading from Our Past Matters Stories of Gay Calgary and participating in a panel discussion on advocacy through non-fiction writing. Joined by authors, Fran Kimmel, Ali Bryan, Sid Marty and hosted by CBC Daybreak Alberta’s Russell Bowers, Get Lit! is going to be “Wunderbar!”

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Pride was lovely, tired now.

Dear Calgary Gay History Readers,

We had such a lovely time at Pride in the Park on September 1, 2019. We talked to hundreds (maybe thousands) of Calgarians about yycgayhistory and sold lots of Our Past Matters too! Thanks to Elizabeth Allen (mom) and Gordon Sombrowski (husband) who helped staff the history both. Thanks also, to the many readers and fans of the Project who shared stories and complements. It was a humbling day.

Kevin and Michelle

Kevin Allen at Pride in the Park with friend Michelle Wong (Gordon Sombrowski smiling on left)

The Calgary Gay History Project is on hiatus now until November. Check back in with us then to learn about some exciting book developments (and perhaps a new film)…

Happy Equinox!

{KA}