Tag Archives: Our Past Matters

Our Past Matters – On the Road!

Kevin Allen is heading out in February on the first leg of a national book tour, bringing Calgary’s gay history to a broader audience. We know not every Canadian might be as interested in Calgary as we are, but we are hoping to change that – as well as seed LGBTQ2 community history projects wherever we go! We are looking forward to meeting readers and getting some archival research for the Calgary Gay History Project done. This journey is to three cities: Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa, please spread the word if you have friends or family there!

Monday, February 3rd, at 7 PM, in Edmonton: Book Launch at Audrey’s Books, 10702 Jasper Ave.

Monday, February 10th, at 6 PM, in Toronto: Guest Lecture at The ArQuives (formerly the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives) at 34 Isabella Street. “The most publicized homosexual in history:” the Life of Everett Klippert. Kevin Allen explores the life of Canada’s gay rights anti-hero, whose court case led to the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969.

Tuesday, February 11th, at 6 PM, in Toronto: Book Launch at Glad Day, 499 Church Street.

Thursday, February 13, at 6 PM, in Ottawa, Book launch at the Westin Hotel, hosted by the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity.

OPM at Glenbow

Our Past Matters at the Glenbow Museum Gift Shop in Calgary.

The Calgary Gay History Project gratefully acknowledges that this tour has been made possible with support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.


One year later #OurPastMatters

Our Past Matters launched one year ago today at the Central Library. I wanted to take a moment to thank readers, history buffs, and Calgary Gay History Project supporters for their positive embrace.

Here are some highlights from the book’s year.

On November 22, 2018, hundreds of Calgarians attended the book launch and filled the Central Library’s Theatre with warmth and enthusiasm for queer history.

Noel photo

Book launch at the Calgary Central Library: Photo Noel Bégin

Our Past Matters stayed on the Calgary Herald’s non-fiction best seller’s list for months, eventually hitting #1 in February 2019.

Thank you Number one

From the Calgary Herald – February 2, 2019

The University of Calgary’s Joe Kadi selected Our Past Matters as a course textbook for his spring class: LGBTQ+ Social Change History: From Stonewall to CalgaryIn June, we were invited to attend a lecture. It was a genuine honour to receive insightful questions and pertinent observations about the book from this group of engaged readers.

In September the Our Past Matters received national attention when the Calgary Gay History Project made the shortlist for the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming. (We just learned that we were not selected for the award, but remain grateful to have been given the nod).


So, it has been an absolutely lovely year. Upcoming plans for Our Past Matters include the imminent launch of the e-book edition and a book tour to a handful of Canadian cities in the New Year. (As a preview of touring, we just went to Fort Macleod’s inaugural Get Lit! festival last weekend and had such fun meeting local readers and pride organizers). Thank you again for believing in the Calgary Gay History Project and making Our Past Matters a “good read.”

Kevin @ shelflife

StarMetro Cover Story by Madeline Smith – December 3, 2018


Pride was lovely, tired now.

Dear Calgary Gay History Readers,

We had such a lovely time at Pride in the Park on September 1, 2019. We talked to hundreds (maybe thousands) of Calgarians about yycgayhistory and sold lots of Our Past Matters too! Thanks to Elizabeth Allen (mom) and Gordon Sombrowski (husband) who helped staff the history both. Thanks also, to the many readers and fans of the Project who shared stories and complements. It was a humbling day.

Kevin and Michelle

Kevin Allen at Pride in the Park with friend Michelle Wong (Gordon Sombrowski smiling on left)

The Calgary Gay History Project is on hiatus now until November. Check back in with us then to learn about some exciting book developments (and perhaps a new film)…

Happy Equinox!