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Coming out of the Calgary Gay History Research Project, this campaign will create a book telling our community's story.
163 backers pledged CA$ 20,051 to help bring this project to life.

About

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CA$ 20,051

163

Sept. 8 - We intend to sink surplus funds into the book. Better paper quality, more photos, more professional support; anything that will make the book a more precious object to behold and read. If we get close to $20,000, I will update you with further stretch goal plans. 

My connection to Calgary is deep. Born at the Holy Cross Hospital in 1970, I am the fourth generation of my family to have called this city home. I also am a part-time freelance writer and for the past 23 years have primarily covered queer issues. You can see lots of current material on the Calgary Gay History website, which has had more than 17,000 visitors since its inception two years ago.

The Calgary Gay History Project started in 2012 with a modest grant from the Calgary 2012 Cultural Capital program, and the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.  I became historian in residence at Calgary Outlink: Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. My focus was to discover the LGBTQ community in 1950s & 1960s Calgary.

Through oral history interviews and research in archives and libraries, I found stories of Calgary’s underground past: like Calgary’s first gay bar run by the community in 1968, or the sad story of Everett Klippert, a Calgarian jailed because of his sexual orientation, whom the Supreme Court of Canada decreed should be incarcerated for life!

The project was supposed to be time-limited, but then I found myself continuing the research as a volunteer, and attracting other generous volunteers. This project both energizes and engages me. Every public presentation and gay history walk we have done has attracted a large audience with significant positive regard. Participants have been telling me over and over that this project needs a book! A flattering but daunting prospect…

So now I have taken the dramatic step of leaving my job last month to pursue the project fully for one year. The goal is to write and publish a book by Calgary’s Pride Week in 2015 (Early September).

The current research will focus on Calgary's complex gay rights movement, which formally started in the early 1970s with the formation of the Gay Information Resources Centre in the Old Y and continue to the Delwin Vriend Supreme Court case verdict in 1998, which established sexual orientation as grounds for human rights protection in Alberta.

Gay history generally is not very accessible: one has to dig to get to these important stories since LGBTQ culture was, until very recently, underground. The ability to focus on this project for a year will allow me to dig deeper and break new ground.

{As an adjunct to the project we are collecting donations of artifacts, past writing and materials from the community to establish a queer archives for future researchers.}

Your investment in the Writing of Calgary Gay’s History will preserve our cultural heritage. Calgary is not just a city of Cowboys and Oilmen – there were other voices too. It’s time we heard them! It’s time you read them!

Budget Breakdown
Budget Breakdown

I have attached a budget breakdown so you can see where your investment will be allocated. Every dollar you contribute to the project has the potential to be matched by public funding. All contributions are welcomed, small or large. Every dollar invested is a strong endorsement for supporting gay history research in Calgary in the future.

Thank you,

Kevin

Note: Project Image used with permission from the Glenbow Archives NA-5600-6194k.

Risks and challenges

Sometimes it can be difficult to know when to conclude the research phase of the writing process. There is a risk in the depth and volume of material being overwhelming, but I am very motivated by deadlines. Having dozens of Kickstarter backers who have ordered the book for September 2015 will, I think, concentrate the mind! (smile).

My other reason for finishing on time is that I am the Returning Officer for the Federal Electoral District of Calgary Centre. We currently have an election scheduled for October 19, 2015, which means that the book needs to be done by Pride 2015. There is a small possibility that the next Federal Election will be called sooner. If that is the case, the book writing will have to go on hiatus for a couple of months and the schedule will shift, while I attend to the needs of democracy (also very important to me).

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About US$ 8

    Donor listing on the project website and a big email thank you from the Calgary Gay History Project!

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    3 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About US$ 19

    All of the above and an electronic copy of the completed book.

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    26 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $38

    All of the above plus a signed softcover edition of the completed book (please add $10 shipping outside of Canada).

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    51 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $56

    All of the above plus a limited edition T-shirt of the Calgary Gay History Project.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $75

    All of the above plus a donor acknowledgement in the book itself.

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    49 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About $188

    All of the above plus an invitation for two to the exclusive pre-book launch reception in Calgary.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $375

    All of the above plus a private Calgary gay history walking tour (90 minutes) for you and your friends and colleagues.

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    Limited 3 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $751

    All of the above plus public acknowledgement for sponsoring one chapter of the book at the beginning of the chapter.

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    Limited 6 backers
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Funding period

- (21 days)