November has been a whirlwind of activity! The Calgary Gay History Project went to Winnipeg this week to see the book, Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary in production. Chris Young from Prolific.ca gave author, Kevin Allen, and some local family members a tour of their amazing facility.
This book, which has been four years in the making, will be having its public debut at the New Central Library, 800 3 St. SE. At 7 PM, on Thursday, November 22nd come meet the Library’s Historian in Residence for a book reading and short film presentation. Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary will be available for purchase for $25.
Here is a photo essay from the past two weeks:
Kevin’s portrait and bio are mounted on the wall outside his office at the New Central Library. Friends start texting him selfies with the sign. The portrait was shot by Calgary’s own photography talent, Kelly Hofer.
52,000 people visited the Calgary Public Library in its opening weekend. Kevin as the first Historian in Residence celebrates with one of those visitors, his long-time friend Michelle Wong.
Kevin travels to Winnipeg (with his mom) to see Our Past Matters in production. A metal press is made of the book cover and then sent to the offset printer.
Kevin signs off on the proof.
Kevin with Chris from Prolific.ca and the finished book cover – hard to believe it is actually real!
A visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and looking at a winter-swept Winnipeg from the impressive tower of hope – a pride sidewalk can be seen – a good omen for the book launch in Calgary.
On sale soon – see you at the book launch 11/22.
Fifty years ago today, Calgary’s gay community had its self-described first “public” function. It was reported that on Halloween 1968, “about 100 nervous Gays showed dressed to the nines” at the Highland Golf and Country Club. This event, gave those anxious organizers courage to start the first gay clubs in the city.
Today, I just received the keys to my office on the top floor of the New Central Library. The building brought tears to my eyes and took my breath away. What an honour to be appointed as its first Historian in Residence. It is astounding to me that in fifty years we have come so far as a community – from hidden and underground to lofty and visible.
Book Cover Image: Club Carousel Woodcut by Calgary Artist Lisa Brawn
Additionally, Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary has gone to the printers. We expect it to be here in three weeks! We are sorting out the book launch currently (more details to come), but soon you will be able to read it (finally)!
Thank you for your patience in the book writing process. So much has happened with the Calgary Gay History Project in the last four years that informed the final text. I hope you will find it was worth the wait.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Calgary, calgary public library, gay, Halloween, history, lesbian, New Central Library, Our Past Matters, queer, transgender
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