An interactive event for the Kootenay Queer Archives will be held on Aug. 23 at the Nelson Public Library. Photo: Submitted

An interactive event for the Kootenay Queer Archives will be held on Aug. 23 at the Nelson Public Library. Photo: Submitted

Explore the Kootenay Queer Archive at the Nelson Library

The library and Nelson Pride are hosting an interactive event on Aug. 23

Submitted by Nelson Public Library

The Nelson Public Library and Nelson Pride Society are teaming up to present an interactive event on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Nelson Library.

“Exploring the Queer Archive: Who-When-How – People, Time and Process” is a pre-Nelson Pride event and offers an exploration of Michael Wick’s National and Provincial Queer Archive collection, a treasure trove of LQBTQ+ history and activism that affected our Kootenay community. This is part one of three archive events for Nelson Pride.

The evening will be a reprise of a successful event that happened in 2018, and will include a scavenger hunt (with prizes) after a 15-minute orientation to the archives by Wick. The event is a participatory, hands-on-materials, designed for young and old to mix and explore the vast array of original and physical newspapers, journals, pictures and media from Canadian Queer experience.

“The archives are a physical and digital representation of what we’ve built step-by step through all our individual and collective liberation struggles,” Wicks says. “We were living our lives as strongly as we could, unaware that our activities would be of interest to future generations.”

The collection contains records of meetings and political action, photograph albums, personal stories, physical items, videos and posters of shows and events mostly from 1970s to 2000, plus material from the last 20 years. We hope that people will search their own collections to expand the archive contents.

“We need to continue to build the archives by recording the amazing results and activities of current and future generations, and we need people to help do that.”

Anyone with an interest in local history, society and activism will find lots to explore. Nelson Library adult services co-ordinator Melodie Rae Storey is delighted to co-present this event and to participate in this lead up to 2023 Nelson Pride.

“What a great way for local queer history to come alive. It is important to recognize all the challenges and joys that have gone before, to continue to document the journey, and to make it accessible to others.”

This is a free event. Nelson Pride/Nelson Library code of conduct applies.