A few years ago, Dr. Jim Ellis, Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH), emailed the Calgary Gay History Project about an idea the Institute was musing: the Calgary Atlas Project. The CIH thought it would be illuminating to create a series of alternative maps exploring unknown layers of the city.
On Thursday, November 21st, the inaugural map in the Calgary Atlas Project launches – A Queer Map: A Guide to the LGBTQ+ History of Calgary: text by Kevin Allen and map art by Mark Clintberg. Join us at the recently renovated Contemporary Calgary (Planetarium), at 701 11 Street SW for artist talks and a reception from 6:30 – 8:00 PM. Tickets for this free event can be found: here.
Hot off the presses: A Queer Map from @HumanitiesYYC (Twitter)
At the reception, you will be able to pick up a copy of A Queer Map by donation to the CIH. Donations will support the new LGBTQ2S+ endowed lecture series (notably, the Institute brought in seminal historian George Chauncey, author of Gay New York this past August).
The CIH explains: “The Atlas Project seeks to recover crucial stories about Calgary’s past and present, stories that will illuminate in surprising ways the character of the city. Individual maps will document such phenomena as the early histories of Calgary’s Queer communities, the history of Indigenous involvement with the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the traces left by immigrant communities, and the lasting effects of the labour movement. The Atlas aims to bring a new vision of Calgary to Calgary; to show us how we got to where we are, and who we got to be.”
On Tuesday, October 11th, the Calgary Gay History Project is happy to be collaborating with Calgary Cinematheque to bring you: My Own Private Idaho. A 25th Anniversary screening on 35mm film at the Plaza Theatre. The 1991 arthouse film was a breakout success both critically and financially. Director Gus Van Sant created an unusual and visually memorable film that serves as a mediation on isolation and alienation – still relevant today.
River Phoenix was widely praised for his portrayal of Mike, a narcoleptic male hustler whose unrequited love for fellow hustler Scott (Keanu Reaves) provides the backbone of the film. Sadly, River Phoenix died a couple of years later, of a drug overdose, at the age of 23. Tickets and show information can be found: here.
River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho
We were thrilled to be included in the Canadian Encyclopedia. Last week we published a feature article about Everett Klippert’s Calgary years, in the now online-only heritage institution.
Running until October 15th at Truck Gallery, is Mark Clintberg’s thoughtful art installation: Cecil Hotel. The recently destroyed hotel was infamous in recent decades, but was an important site for Calgary’s lesbian community of the 60s. Mark’s recent work has been inspired by local queer history. A previous piece installed in Winnipeg, Détournement, evokes the former Calgary gay bar, Detour, which was on 17th Ave between 2nd and 4th Street SW (known as Dick’s and 318 in other incarnations).
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Calgary, Cecil Hotel, Everett Klippert, gay, Gay history, Gus Van Sant, lesbian, Mark Clintberg, My Own Private Idaho, queer, River Phoenix, transgender, Truck Gallery