As Historian in Residence at the New Central Library, I serve tea weekly (weakly?) on Thursdays from 5-6 PM in room 414-A on the 4th floor. Last night we had Lois Szabo discuss the origins of Club Carousel, Calgary’s first gay bar. Lois was one of the club’s founders in the late ’60s and has been an active member of the community ever since. She was chosen to be our Pride Parade Marshall in 2017.
Lois Szabo at the 2017 Pride Parade: Calgary Herald Photo
Next week, on Thursday, December 20th, we have local representatives from the el-Tawhid Juma Circle, Calgary’s inclusive mosque space also known as Unity Mosque. The queer affirming mosque space was founded in Toronto almost ten years ago and has since spread to other Canadian cities. Their mission is to be compassionate, inclusive, gender equal and LGBTQ affirming. Please join us for tea!
El-Tawhid Juma Circle Website
The library residency has proved to be very fruitful for research. I have been combing the pamphlet and clipping files in the library in the new Calgary’s Story section on the 4th floor.
For example, I discovered the story of Mark Perry-Schaub who was diagnosed with AIDS in July 1987 and subsequently lost his volunteer job with the Calgary ’88 Olympics Committee. He had been a volunteering for three years prior to the diagnosis and fought publicly to be reinstated. He was successful in his fight and despite struggling with three successive bouts of pneumonia he was strong enough to work throughout the Games. He died two months later.
This week I met with three nieces of Everett Klippert whom I had not interviewed before. They shared stories of their Uncle Evie which were new to me, including a wedding with a woman whom he ran away from – the day before the wedding!
Last week, I interviewed Joey Sayer, who was instrumental in founding Lesbian and Gay Youth Calgary (LGYC) in the ’80s, as well as significant gay publications Modern Pink, and Alberta Gay & Lesbian Press (AGLP). Oral history interviews like these, are key sources for future stories on the Calgary Gay History Project website.
- Kevin and Joey at the Historian In Residence Studio at the New Central Library
Posted in Gay history
Tagged AGLP, AIDS, bisexual, Club Carousel, El-Tawhid Juma Circle, Everett Klippert, gay, Historian in Residence, Joey Sayer, lesbian, LGYC, Lois Szabo, Mark Perry-Schaub, Modern Pink, New Central Library, queer, transgender, Unity Mosque
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.
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.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, CIFF, cinema, Club Carousel, gay, Gay history, gross indecency, Laura O'Grady, lesbian, Lisa Brawn, queer, Spotlight Productions, transgender
Calgary Pride 2017 was very energizing for us at the Calgary Gay History Project. Our history walks and the festival booth were well-attended, and we received a lot of positive comments about the project.
It is important that we honour community trailblazers and in 2017 we certainly did. Lois Szabo was a stunning Parade Grand Marshal in her purple tights. She was also delightful in her many media interviews.
The YYC Legacy Project harvested lots of community feedback on what a LGBTQ2S+ history commemoration could be. They had an impressive display at Pride in the Park as well as a great interactive map of Calgary.
A very special thank you to Ayanna and Gordon who helped volunteer at the Calgary Gay History Booth. We would also like to thank project donors and all of those who came out to speak to us and were enthusiastic about our work. Finally, a big shout out to Gary Evans, a professional photographer who came to both gay history walks, documenting them, and then sending the photos to us.
Consequently, here is a photo summary of our week:
Lois Szabo, Parade Marshal with Premier Notley and a friend. Source Twitter: @RachelNotley.
Ayanna and Gordon sharing history at Pride in the Park. Photo: Kevin Allen.
Meta media image: Steve Polyak, Gay Calgary Magazine, taking a photo at the beginning of the history walk. Photo: Gary Evans, Full Frame Fotography.
Telling the story of Angels in America in YYC. Photo: Gary Evans, Full Frame Fotography.
At the site of the historic Club Carousel. Photo: Gary Evans, Full Frame Fotography.
Spontaneous sidewalk photo with walk participants – what a good looking group! Photo: Gary Evans, Full Frame Fotography.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged Angels in America, bisexual, Club Carousel, Gary Evans, gay, Gay history, History Walk, lesbian, Lois Szabo, queer, Rachel Notley, Rainbow Sidewalk, Steve Polyak, transgender, YYCLegacy