Tag Archives: CIFF

Francheska, Prairie Queen

{This is a post by Calgary Gay History Project Volunteer and Film Producer, Rosman Valencia, in advance of the premiere screening of Snapshot Studio’s Francheska, Prairie Queen at the Calgary International Film Festival on September 23rd, 7:30 pm, at Eau Claire Cinema. There is a second screening September 25th 1:00 pm, at the Globe Cinema. Online screenings are also available.}

It is known that in the pre-colonial Philippines, the non-binary folks were revered to be leaders and important members of society. Unfortunately, their stories have been silenced, removed, and prejudiced by the colonizers. The narrative against the community still proliferates even today all across and outside the archipelago.

However, the community did not die. The community planted themselves and grew strong roots. In fact, in Canada, it cannot be denied that the thriving communities of resilient FilipinX LGBTQ2S+ exist and flourish. They are our neighbours, friends, and our families members that are serving to shape our communities for the better despite facing numerous challenges as People of Colour. These FilipinX LGBTQ2S+ folks possess the power of their intersectional identities to engage, connect, and amplify the voices of their community that have long been silenced and ignored.

The documentary, Francheska: Prairie Queen confirms the intersectional power of being a FilipinX LGBTQ2S+ and explores the strengths and struggles of Francis (Kiko) Yutrago who is an emerging drag sensation that hails from Stirling, Alberta—considered to be in the bible belt of the province. Additionally, this film also shows that The “Art of Drag” is being reborn in the Filipin/o/a/x community. As time goes by, this art becomes a staple taste not only for entertainment but also becomes a vessel of messaging on relevant social issues.

The film successfully illustrates the motivation of a FilipinX LGBTQ+ healthcare worker and immigrant (Francis (Kiko) Yutrago) to improve the lives of their transnational family in the Philippines while pursuing their dream of becoming a drag superstar and an as a BIPOC activist that promotes gender equality and representation through drag and pageantry. Identities and intersections can be complicated—and that complexity makes them beautiful, intricate, and powerful.


Award at CIFF and cover art sneak peak

We are over the moon. On September 30th, we learned that our film, Gross Indecency the Everett Klippert story won the Best Alberta Short award at the Calgary International Film Festival. Congratulations are due to the talented director, Laura O’Grady and Spotlight Productions for making this film.

Klippert CIFF Laurels

Our film gets laurels at CIFF


The long-awaited book Kevin has been working on is almost complete. The content is done and it is in the design phase. Here is a sneak peak of the cover, a woodcut by the accomplished Calgary artist, Lisa Brawn. It is her take on the iconic Club Carousel logo.


Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary should be on sale November 21st – we are much looking forward to sharing it with you.


Spotlight on YYC Gay History

It is with some excitement that we announce the Calgary Gay History Project getting a public profile boost this Autumn.

The short film, GROSS INDECENCY: THE EVERETT KLIPPERT STORYwe produced with director Laura O’Grady and Spotlight Productions, has been accepted into the Calgary International Film Festival (which opens tonight). It is screening three times, on September 22, 24, and 30. The latter being the “Best of Shorts” program at the festival – we are very honoured.

gross title 2

Click the caption to watch the film on YouTube

Kevin Allen has been invited to be the very first Historian in Residence at the new Central Library opening downtown on November 1, 2018. It is a three-month community engagement residency that supports individual historians and researchers working in any genre related to Calgary’s social, cultural and built history.


The New Central Library

Kevin will be working in a bright, designated office space on the fourth floor of the new Central Library and will engage with the public through programs such as open office hours, interactive workshops, and lectures.

As part of the residency, Kevin will curate an exhibit at the Library which will be displayed in May 2019. The residency program is a partnership between the Calgary Public Library and the Calgary Heritage Authority.

If any Calgary Gay History Project readers have programming ideas for the residency, please email Kevin at calgarygayhistory@gmail.com.

Enjoy the fall colours!