Queer History @AEMCON

Calgary writer and queer history researcher Tereasa Maillie was invited to participate in the Alberta Electronic Music Conference on November 13-17, 2019. She was the moderator for the Sunday panel “Dance music as an LGTBQ2S Art Form” at Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre.

Tereasa at AEMCON

Our Tereasa’s Promo Photo for AEMCON

The panel discussed the origins and continuation of Electronic Dance Music as an LGTBQ2S art form. Panelists were two legends in the Queer art and music scene: DJ Mick Shea from Vancouver, and Keith Andony, cofounder of the Fruit Loop Society of Alberta. They were joined by the powerhouse Molly Fi (Dubbed “Calgary’s first lady of Breaks”) founder of the Girls on Deck DJ Collective) and DJ ra/sol, notorious for “their archetypal ability to read a crowd with eclectic DJ sets.”

The panel focused on the creation and maintenance of queer safe spaces within the larger community spanning back to the 1980s, up until now, across Canada. Mick shared his stories of the Vancouver dance scene in the 1980s and 1990s, which set the stage for an in-depth discussion of what an actual Queer space is, how it’s created, and what the future may hold for EDM for all diverse performers. Molly Fi pointed out how she performs in any space and ‘creates’ that safe space for everyone. Keith showed an incredible video of 2 Spirit performers, and ra/sol reminded us all that DIY events are pivotal to the EDM scene’s growing inclusion of Queer/Intersectional people. Lively and passionate, the panel dug into the core reason for EDM being a popular and relentless art form: it brings everyone together and mixes them in a fabulous way in their love of dance and music.

Tereasa also was on the panel “The DIY Feminist Resistance” in partnership with Femme Wave, hosted by Kaely Cormack. Again the theme of taking on and creating music scenes for all was central to the future of feminist, LGTBQ2S+, and POC activism.

The Alberta Electronic Music Conference (AEMCON) is a once a year event for music producers, DJs, and those that work and create in the world of electronic music. It is a multi-day conference aimed at inspiring and elevating Canada’s electronic music scene and the people that make it possible. AEMCON is an “advocate for diversity, in all its forms.”



One year later #OurPastMatters

Our Past Matters launched one year ago today at the Central Library. I wanted to take a moment to thank readers, history buffs, and Calgary Gay History Project supporters for their positive embrace.

Here are some highlights from the book’s year.

On November 22, 2018, hundreds of Calgarians attended the book launch and filled the Central Library’s Theatre with warmth and enthusiasm for queer history.

Noel photo

Book launch at the Calgary Central Library: Photo Noel Bégin

Our Past Matters stayed on the Calgary Herald’s non-fiction best seller’s list for months, eventually hitting #1 in February 2019.

Thank you Number one

From the Calgary Herald – February 2, 2019

The University of Calgary’s Joe Kadi selected Our Past Matters as a course textbook for his spring class: LGBTQ+ Social Change History: From Stonewall to CalgaryIn June, we were invited to attend a lecture. It was a genuine honour to receive insightful questions and pertinent observations about the book from this group of engaged readers.

In September the Our Past Matters received national attention when the Calgary Gay History Project made the shortlist for the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming. (We just learned that we were not selected for the award, but remain grateful to have been given the nod).


So, it has been an absolutely lovely year. Upcoming plans for Our Past Matters include the imminent launch of the e-book edition and a book tour to a handful of Canadian cities in the New Year. (As a preview of touring, we just went to Fort Macleod’s inaugural Get Lit! festival last weekend and had such fun meeting local readers and pride organizers). Thank you again for believing in the Calgary Gay History Project and making Our Past Matters a “good read.”

Kevin @ shelflife

StarMetro Cover Story by Madeline Smith – December 3, 2018


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.”