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.
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.
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 Calgary. In 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.”
StarMetro Cover Story by Madeline Smith – December 3, 2018
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Calgary Herald, Calgary StarMetro, gay, Gay history, Governor General, Joe Kadi, lesbian, New Central Library, Our Past Matters, queer, transgender, University of Calgary
2018 has been quite the year for the Calgary Gay History Project. A film. A book. A residency at the new Central Library. Thanks to Calgary readers, Our Past Matters hit the number two spot in the Calgary Herald’s best-sellers list this week.
Calgary Herald Non-Fiction Bestsellers: Dec. 22, 2018
I am truly grateful for all of the support of the History Project and the warm reception the book received. I am wishing everyone a joy-filled (and restful) holiday season and a very Happy New Year.
As a final website post for 2018, I thought I would share some images of Calgary gay history in Christmases past. It evokes for me, a line I used in the book: “We were here, and we always have been.”
- Myrt’s was a gay bar located at 808 9 Ave. SW
- Modern Pink was a publication that grew out of Lesbian and Gay Youth Calgary (LGYC)
- Clue! Magazine was published in Calgary from 1992-1995.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Calgary Herald, Christmas, CLUE Magazine, gay, lesbian, Modern Pink, Myrts, New Central Library, Our Past Matters, queer, transgender
It has been a momentous couple of weeks for LGBTQ2 history in Calgary, Alberta.
On July 27, 2018, the Calgary Police Service formally apologized to Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse community. In their official statement, they cited their historic opposition to Bill C-150 and said: “after the law changed our organization struggled to embrace the new direction and evolve.”
Bill C-150, of course, was the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada and a subject of our new film: Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story. The documentary short has racked up thousands of views since it launched on July 31. It also garnered some thoughtful media coverage. Thank you, everyone, for the flood of positive regard that has been filling my inbox and social media accounts.
On August 2, the Calgary Gay History Project along with Sage Theatre and playwright Natalie Meisner received a Calgary Heritage Authority Lion Award for the spring 2018 production of Legislating Love. We were very honoured.
Actors Matt McKinney & Kathy Zaborsky, Director Jason Mehmel, and Historians Kevin Allen & Tereasa Maillie accepting the Lion!
Calgary Pride is just around the corner. The Calgary Gay History Project has partnered with Calgary Outlink to present an Intergenerational Tea on Saturday, August 25 from 12:30 – 2:30 PM at Memorial Park Library, followed by a Beltline Gay History Walk from 2:30 – 4:00 PM. This event is free and part of Pride in Vic Park, a multi-generational, inclusive and educational event to celebrate Pride Week in Calgary. We are looking for a $300 donation to cover the event food (tax receipt available). Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are feeling generous.
And if you have more time than money, Calgary Pride needs to fill up their volunteer roster for their incredible ever-growing festival. You can sign up: here. All volunteers get swag!
Finally, we will have a history booth at Pride in the Park again this year on Sunday, September 2. After the parade, come over to talk to us about all things historical!
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Calgary Herald, Calgary Outlink, Calgary Police, Calgary Pride, gay, gross indecency, lesbian, queer, Sage Theatre, transgender