Tag Archives: CBC

May Gay, May Gay

The Calgary Gay History Project is connected to a fulsome month of historical happenings. We hope to see you out!

May 3, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Downtown Gay History Walk. We are leading a Jane’s Walk again this year. Meet up at CommunityWise, 223 12 Ave. SW for a stroll through Calgary’s LGBTQ2 history.

Downtown Gay History Walk Aug 31 2017

Spontaneous sidewalk photo with previous walk participants during Pride. Photo: Gary Evans, Full Frame Fotography.

May 9, 6:00 -10:00 PM – Adults Only Night @ Telus Spark: Beyond the Binary: What does a Drag Monarch, the bell curve and the universe have in common? Explore the answers to these headline questions through selected partners, programs and social experiments at Spark. The Calgary Gay History Project will be hosting an information table with artifacts from Calgary’s LGBTQ2 past.

May 14, 6:00 -7:30 PM – Decriminalization at 50. Join Calgary Gay History Project’s Tereasa Maillie, Kevin Allen, and special guests, as we explore the significance of May 14, 1969, and the life of Calgary bus driver Everett Klippert. The event will take place at the BMO room of the New Central Library, 800 3 Street SE. {Bonus: there is an exhibition titled Decriminalization at 50 on the 4th floor of the library during the month of May.}

May 14, 8:30 PM until late – After the library presentation, meet us for drinks and a screening of our award-winning short film, Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story. The Calgary Gay History Project is hosting this decriminalization salon at Civic Tavern, 213 12 Avenue SW (the former Hop & Brew).

May 8 – June 9, the Lougheed House exhibits Outliers: Queer History in Calgary with a smorgasbord of events including notably a tribute to Club Carousel on May 17 and Parkside Pride on May 30.

Also at the library this month, the 21st Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival, runs May 24 – June 2. We’re told there will be some queer history in the festival line-up being announced later this week.

Phew.

Finally, Our Past Matters had a number of media close-ups recently: on CBC Radio, in Avenue Magazine, and on The Calgarian Podcast. Thank you, everyone, who has been interested in the book and saying such heart-warming things. We’re truly grateful.

{KA}

 

Apologies, Auditions, & Gathering

Phew. The recent LGBTQ2 apology by the Government of Canada had us run off our feet with media interviews and correspondence with journalists. Fortunately, we found several volunteers to pitch in, to address the volume of sound bites requested. Here are some of the more interesting links if you missed them:

Kevin Allen’s interview with CBC North about Everett Klippert.

Playwright Natalie Meisner’s interview with Global TV about Everett and her upcoming play featuring his story.

Activist Nancy Miller’s interview with CITY-TV.

The Calgary Journal interview about the significance of the apology.

Donald Klippert’s interview with the Calgary Herald about his Uncle Everett.

The LGBTQ2 apology on November 28th was instigated by the Globe and Mail’s John Ibbitson who requested a posthumous pardon for Klippert from the Prime Minister’s Office. He made the ask in February 2016, after he wrote an in-depth feature chronicling Everett’s story. Last week we received a personal email from John referencing the historical research we shared. He wrote: “thanks once again for all your help. Wouldn’t have happened without it…”

Art has the power to both remedy and mend. We are excited to be collaborating with Sage Theatre and Third Street Theatre on the world premiere of Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story in March 2018.  Sage Theatre has put out a call for theatre actors, and they are accepting auditions until December 20th.

A queerly festive dinner

Finally, Calgary’s LGBTQ2 community is gathering for the holidays on December 21st at the Palomino Lounge for A Queerly Festive Dinner. Nine community organizations have come together to produce this holiday meal and drag show which will be both delicious and free! (Donations are gratefully accepted).  At this event, Alison Grittner from the YYC Legacy Project will reveal the voluminous community feedback that has been gathered for Calgary’s forthcoming LGBTQ2 commemoration project.

{KA}

Lois is a Calgary superhero!

Congratulations to Lois Szabo, selected as this year’s Calgary Pride Parade Grand Marshall.  We, at the Calgary Gay History Project, think Lois is a truly deserving ambassador. If you have not seen it, check out this lovely profile of Lois composed by CBC journalist Terri Trembath.

szabo-les-lois

Family Photo of Les and Lois Szabo: Source, Terri Trembath/CBC News

Lois was born in March 1936 and married her husband Les at the age of 18. They had two children before Lois realized her true sexual orientation. She came out as gay in the early 60s and renegotiated the terms of her marriage with Les in order to live together and raise their children.

Lois found Calgary’s larger lesbian community in the 60s at the Cecil Hotel, where there was a separate drinking room for women that gay women occupied.  Finding great comfort and joy in discovering her community, Lois became one of the founders of Club Carousel, Calgary’s first community owned and run, private members club.  The Club was incorporated in 1970, as the Scarth Street Society; there were approximately 600 members by 1972. Weekend attendance could top 350 revelers in the small underground venue – no straights allowed.

Lois Szabo Carousel Club 1972 copy
Lois at Club Carousel in 1972 with a little pomp!

Club Carousel was the first legal gay & lesbian club in Alberta and Lois was a key volunteer and board member for most of the Club’s history.  Using the Calgary club as a model, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Regina established similar societies.  Club Carousel also sponsored prairie regional gay conferences from 1970 to 1976.

Since then, Lois has spent a lifetime volunteering and organizing in Calgary’s LGBTQ community.  She currently volunteers for the Kerby Centre’s Lesbian Seniors Group, One Voice Chorus, and Calgary’s LGBTQ2S+ Legacy Committee.

Lois was recognized by the community in 2015 receiving the Chinook Hero Award given annually to deserving LGBTQ leaders by the Calgary Chinook Fund Endowment Committee.

Lois at Chinook Fund Dinner copy

Lois receiving the Chinook Hero Award, October 21, 2015, with (L to R) Natalie Meisner, Playwright; Jonathan Brower, Third Street Theatre; Gary Courtney, Chinook Fund; & Kevin Allen, Calgary Gay History Project.

Amusingly, we recently found this comic book cover, which would have hit Calgary newsstands around the time Club Carousel was being conceived.

Lois, we think you are Super too, just like this other Lois!

Supermans_Girlfriend_Lois_Lane_085

August 1968 DC Comic: “When Lois was more super than Superman.”

{KA}