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Explore the Kootenay Queer Archive at the Nelson Library

An interactive event takes place Sept. 14
Pride 1996, the first in Nelson, takes to the streets. This and other photographs are now held at Touchstones Museum. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by Nelson Public Library

The Nelson Public Library and Kootenay Pride have teamed up to present an interactive event on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Nelson Library. Exploring the Queer Archive: Then, Now and Forever is a follow-up to Kootenay Pride and offers an exploration of the Kootenay Queer Archives collection, a treasure trove of local LGBTQ+ history and activism.

The evening will include interacting with the archives and brainstorming ways to grow the collection, guided by Michael Wicks.

“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, videos and posters of shows and events dating mostly up until the early 2000s. Wicks hopes that people will be inspired to search their own collections to expand the archive contents from 2000 and onwards into the future. “We need to continue to build the archives by recording the amazing results and activities of current and future generations.”

Anyone with an interest in local history, society and activism will find lots to explore. Nelson Library adult services co-ordinator Heather Goldik is delighted to co-present this event and to participate in this follow-up to 2022 Kootenay Pride.

“What a great opportunity to not only explore local queer history, but also to ensure that as the present becomes history, we continue to document it and make it accessible to others.”

This is a free drop-in event. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.


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