Tag Archives: Shelf Life

What Narcissus Saw in Whistler

Calgary Gay History Project volunteer, Gordon Sombrowski, heads to Whistler, British Columbia today. His book of short stories, What Narcissus Saw, is a finalist at the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Selected from hundreds of submissions, he said he was excited to make the short-list—now it is down to the final three books.

What Narcissus Saw is competing against Churchill at Munich by Michael Carin of Quebec and Rez Dog Blues and the Haiku: A Savage Life in Bits and Pieces by William George Lindsay of BC. The award winner will be announced at a Friday night event during the Whistler Writers Festival.

Sombrowski said it was a great honour to have been selected as a finalist.

“Like every writer who seeks to publish I set out to write stories that I hope readers will want to read. Having a jury of accomplished writing peers select my work helps me to feel like I have done that,” he explained.

Tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed for Gordon! 🤞😘✨

What Narcissus Saw event last month at Shelf Life Books, photo by Noel Bégin.

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Gay History Walk—Take 2

Thanks to everyone who attended Kevin’s reading of Our Past Matters at Shelf Life Books last Saturday. As the event started a deluge broke over the Beltline and drowned Pride in the Park which also cancelled the scheduled Gay History Walk that afternoon.

Minutes after this photo was taken on August 27, the storm clouds broke.

We will try again this Saturday, September 3rd for a gay history walk through the Beltline. The weather forecast looks fine! The walk begins at 2:00 PM in Central Memorial Park (meet at the Boer War Memorial in the centre of the park) and ends at 3:30 PM at Lois Szabo Commons, a new city park celebrating LGBTQ2 history. Learn about the City’s fascinating queer past.

Spaces are limited; please register in advance through Calgary Pride or by emailing: calgarygayhistory@gmail.com and write in the subject line “history walk.” Free event.

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Our Gay Gordon

There is an unsung hero of the Calgary Gay History Project. His name is Gordon Sombrowski and he is married to research lead Kevin Allen. Consequently, he volunteers (or is “voluntold”) when asked to help out. This short list of tasks includes carrying the microphone on gay history walks, schlepping books, fulfilling book orders, and staffing the history booth at the Calgary Pride Festival—he’ll be there again in 2022. Fortunately, he is an enthusiastic queer history participant. But meanwhile, in the background, he has been creating his own legacy in Calgary.

Join Gordon for a pride week reading from his latest collection of short stories, What Narcissus Saw, on Sept. 1 at Shelf Life Books. Last month, What Narcissus Saw became a finalist for the 2022 Whistler Independent Book Awards. His delightful tales take place in Fernie, BC, Gordon’s hometown, and include several LGBTQ2 characters—people whom you’d swear you know. Although he likes to remind us that “all characters are fictional and events like those told in these tales happen every day and everywhere.”

Gordon is an active community volunteer. He is a founder and current volunteer for the Calgary Chinook Fund, which supports charitable organizations providing services, programming, and education, for and about the LGBTQ2 community.

Chinook Fund Members: Tony Hailu, Michel Bourque, Chris Post and Gordon Sombrowski with Nola Wuttunee (centre) receiving the Hero Award in memory of her father Bill Wuttunee in 2019.

Gordon is a past-president of the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Association (GLCSA), now Calgary Outlink and was the founding president of Fairy Tales Presentation Society, now Calgary Queer Arts Society, when it became its own society separate from the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) in 2004.

Festival Preview photo in FFWD Magazine: June 3, 2004 
Pride Festival volunteers: Ayanna and Gordon at the History Booth in 2017

Thank you, Gordon, for all that you do for Calgary’s LGBTQ2 community, and good luck at the Whistler Independent Book Awards ceremony in October. And Happy Pride!

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