Tag Archives: lesbian

Upcoming Gay History Walks

Jane’s Walk YYC is this weekend. In fact, Jane’s Walk 2013 was our very first gay history walk. A decade of queer walking and we have learned so much—sometimes from the people who come out for the walks!

Join the Calgary Gay History Project’s Kevin Allen on a walk through the city centre. We will highlight significant political and social events that affected the gay community. On the way, we will pass by several former watering holes where Calgary’s LGBTQ2 community gathered.

Jane’s Walk Sunday, May 7th 2:00-3:30 PM

Free: Register Here.

Meeting Place: CommunityWise, 223 12 Ave SW

The very first walk in 2013
In 2014, it snowed on Jane’s Walk Weekend!

Kevin is doing another walk for Empathy Week in early June. Empathy Week is a seven day festival, where people come together to celebrate human connection and foster empathy. The events take place online, as well as in the city of Calgary and area. The festival features events, discussions, workshops and exhibitions, which discuss or promote empathy, diversity, inclusion, and our shared humanity.

Empathy Week Walk Sunday, June 4th 4:00-5:00 PM

Free: Register Here.

Meet: Hyatt Regency Calgary (700 Centre Street SE) specifically at their 8th Avenue Entrance.

Downtown Gay History Walk in 2017.


Love Independent Bookstores!

April 29th is Canadian Independent Bookstore Day. If you buy a book at your favourite indie bookshop this Saturday, you can enter a contest to win a $1000 gift certificate.

We genuinely appreciate these stores and thank our hometown favourites: Shelf Life, Pages, and Owl’s Nest, for stocking and selling literally hundreds of copies of our books: Our Past Matters and What Narcissus Saw.

Kevin in front of Shelf Life Books in 2018

Browsing the bookshelves, talking to informed staff, and bumping into people you know, are all good reasons to shop in indie bookstores. {Also: social snacking is good for our health!} The stores have online shops as well, so there is no need to support booksellers that are foreign corporate behemoths.

The following Saturday, May 6th, you are invited to Twisted Element for the Chinook Fund Variety Show Fundraiser. Tickets are only $20 and go to the great cause of the Chinook Fund. This endowment fund, housed at the Calgary Foundation, disperses grants to local queer community organizations under the direction of a volunteer steering committee. So come out for a good cause and be entertained at the same time!


Calgary “Sex Deviates” Saved Library

{This week, we have a guest post from emerging historian Jason Brooks. Digging in the archives, he discovered that the storied Memorial Park Library was saved from redevelopment due to the shady company it kept! – Kevin}

In 1962, Calgary City Council was divided over the creation of a new central public library. While all sides agreed that the growing population required a new library, the location for such a building was contested. Mayor Harry Hays advocated for a location across from City Hall on the corner of 7th Ave and 2nd Street (later Macleod Trail) SE. However, opponents of this plan suggested the replacement of the then 50-year-old Memorial Park Library.

In response, Mayor Hays used a police report to argue that the site was dangerous to children since, “more homosexuals hang out there than anywhere else.” Despite the Mayor’s argument, the report concluded that no assaults had occurred to children under the age of 16 within the vicinity of Memorial Park.

After the debate, the new central library was built in 1964 at Mayor Hays’ preferred location. Memorial Park and its library continued to be a significant meeting point for Calgary’s queer community for the rest of the century, regardless of police scrutiny.

Memorial Park Library, photo courtesy #HistoricPlacesDays