Tag Archives: Crescent Heights

A Black Orchid in YYC

Heritage Calgary commissioned a research project on a historic house known as the Arthur Bishop Residence in Crescent Heights. From 1995-2000, it was also known as the Black Orchid Manor, one of Calgary’s few gay-friendly B&Bs. 

Researcher and writer Kerri Rubman discovers the hidden history of the house, in this Heritage Calgary blog post, featuring an interview with Don Bastian, an influential figure in Calgary’s gay history and one of the owners of the former Black Orchid Manor.

Don Bastian, Winner of the 1995 National Leather Association’s top title: Mr. NLA International. Photo: Stevie Anderson in CLUE! Magazine, November 1994.

{KA}

Everett returns to Crescent Heights

The Crescent Heights Community Association (CHCA) embarked on a mural project last year to rehabilitate a local eyesore—an unloved retaining wall on Centre Street on the hike up from downtown Calgary. The wall is immediately north of the the iconic centre street bridge and its emblematic lion statues.

The artist trio of Sydonne Warren, Tyler Lemermeyer, and Cory Bugden, were selected by a community jury. The mural was conceived to honour the people, places and history of Crescent Heights. Part of their proposal was to include a portrait of Everett Klippert, whose story they had researched. They were particularly impressed by his role in the human rights struggle of the LGBTQ2 community in Canada.

Artists Cory Bugden, Sydonne Warren, and Tyler Lemermeyer stopping traffic on Centre Street.

The Klippert family lived in Crescent Heights from 1934-1942 and they worshipped at Crescent Heights Baptist Church. The artists contacted the Klippert family and received consent to memorialize Everett in this way.

Sandra Neill, the CHCA’s Engagement Director wrote: “You will see our beloved lion who overlooks the City from Rotary Park, and the portrait is of Everett Klippert who lived in Crescent Heights as a teenager. The lion is symbolic of Everett’s bravery who was a catalyst for change towards the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults. The Rollerblades [on another panel] represent the different ways of travelling up and down the hill. The pants in rainbow represent fashion and an inclusive element to the LGBTQ2S+ community.”

In September 2020, with the help of many volunteers, the artists made the mural manifest and named it #yycmagicwalk. Everett passed away in 1996; perhaps he would be tickled to know that he has moved back to Crescent Heights—just a few hundred metres from his childhood home.

CBC Calgary: How Calgary artists turned the “walk of doom” into the “magic walk”

{On a personal note, I graduated from Crescent Heights High School in 1988; the community has a soft spot in my heart. I’m delighted the mural is there! – Kevin}

{KA}

Everett Klippert’s Personal Papers

The family of Everett Klippert have shared a box of his remaining personal papers with the Calgary Gay History Project. We are ever so thankful and are in the process of digitizing them for posterity. Klippert’s documents were also used by playwright Natalie Meisner in developing her play Legislating Love, which had a very successful run at Sage Theatre last month.

Here are some treasures we have captured:

Klippert Dairymen's Conference

Everett Klippert (circled) worked at Union Milk Co. Ltd. from 1943-1952.

Klippert Report Card

Note: Movies were discouraged on weekdays on this 1940s report card.

Klippert Aug 26 69

One of Everett’s notes from inside the Prince Albert Penitentiary. On August 26th, 1969 homosexuality was no longer a criminal offence in Canada (some conditions applied).

Klippert Cradle Roll

This Crescent Heights Baptist Church document is 90 years old this September.

{KA}