Category Archives: Press Release

Involve: Stonewall & Carousel

Mark your calendars on Thursday, February 16th, for a stimulating gay history evening at Contemporary Calgary called Involve. This evening of discussion will feature New York Stonewall Uprising Activist Martin Boyce and Calgary’s Club Carousel Founder Lois Szabo, sharing their perspectives and experience of the 2SLGBTQ+ human rights movement.

Free tickets can be found: here.

Sponsored by local interior design studio, Lawrence, we caught up with designer Mitchell Brooks about Involve.

Mitchell explains: “I heard Martin Boyce speak last spring in Calgary and found his personal stories and perspective on the equal rights movement and community deeply profound. When International Day of Pink announced Martin was going to be coming back to Calgary this winter and looking for speaking events, I saw it as a great opportunity to host Martin again and make a local connection to his story and experience. As much as we know some of the international history and movements, I believe Canada and Calgary has a rich queer history as well. We wanted to pair the Stonewall event with what was happening in Calgary around the same time and thought the connection with local Rainbow Elder, Lois Szabo, would enhance that dynamic conversation in a way we may not have all heard before. On top of that, as the principal of Lawrence Interior Design Studio, I pride myself in being a visible and open example of a queer business owner in Calgary.”

Inspire hopes to educate. The event is framed as a queer-led conversation about queer history with queer people, but all Calgarians are welcome.

Mitchell adds: “our past matters—to know how far we’ve come, but also how far we still must go, and the importance of maintaining our progress and place in society. Our history also matters in recognizing and celebrating the people who have led us here and continuing to share their experiences further. What’s so great about the Calgary Gay History Project’s work is that it shares and protects the local history that we closely identify with. In hosting this event, I hope to make a small contribution to support that work, celebrating the history we all represent.”

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It Was a Place to Meet People Like Me: Sport & YYC LGBTQ+ History

{Free public lecture at the University of Calgary on December 2nd at 7 PM, hosted by the Calgary Institute for the Humanities—see their press release below. – Kevin}

Please join us for a talk by Calgary Institute for the Humanities 2020-21 Resident Fellow William Bridel

“Our history is about the stories, lives, experiences, and thoughts of individuals who built their lives around their newfound and often hard-won identity. We cannot lose that”. Stephen Lock wrote those words in the October 1994 issue of Clue!, one of Calgary’s queer publications at the time. In 2018, LGBTQ+ historian Kevin Allen released Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary, noting that the project was “ultimately about memory, and recording these essential stories of our humanity.” In this talk I follow the lead of Lock and Allen, by using archival and interview materials to explore the place of sport in Calgary’s LGBTQ+ history, from the 1970s through to the early 2000s. From softball to volleyball, running to swimming, Apollo Friends in Sport, and the Gay Games, the retelling of these stories on their own and in conversation with one another, reveal that sport played a necessary but sometimes complicated role in individual empowerment, community-building, and the Pride movement.

Clue! Magazine Cover, August 1994

Dr. William Bridel is Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. He specializes in sociocultural aspects of sport, physical activity, and the body. Current projects include investigations of LGBTQI2S+ inclusion in sport, as well as inclusion and safe sport policy. He is also interested in sport-related pain and injury, with a recent focus on athletes’ experiences of sport-related concussion.

This event will be simultaneously hosted in a live venue (University of Calgary, Taylor Institute Forum) and online on Zoom. All registrants will receive event details one week before the event and may decide to attend in either setting.

In-person attendees are required to follow all UCalgary COVID-19 event requirements: see event for details.

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The LGBTQ2+ National Monument Finalists

Have your say! Five design teams have been shortlisted for the National LGBTQ2+ Monument in Ottawa. Canadians have the opportunity to review the amazing designs and provide feedback {it’s hard to pick a favourite}! The feedback survey is open until November 28th.

A collage of conceptual designs for the proposed LGBTQ2+ National Monument

The LGBT Purge Fund is the mobilizing force behind the Monument. It is working in partnership with Canadian Heritage, which is facilitating the development of the Monument in collaboration with the National Capital Commission.

The Monument will acknowledge discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2+ communities and the abuse perpetrated by the Canadian state, including during the LGBT Purge. While recognizing enduring injury and injustice, the LGBTQ2+ National Monument will educate, memorialize, celebrate and inspire. It will be guided by principles of inclusion, Indigeneity, visibility and timelessness.

Michelle Douglas, executive director of the LGBT Purge Fund said, “The five proposed designs for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument are inspiring, creative and powerful. The LGBT Purge Fund is grateful to the design teams for answering the challenge of realizing the vision for this monument and for creating such evocative designs that tell the story of discrimination against LGBTQ2+ communities in Canada. We are now at an exciting stage in the process where we need to hear from people across this country. We want as many people as possible to have their say on these designs and be part of the next chapter of this story.

Completion of the Monument is planned for 2025.

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