Calgary Atlas Project

About the Calgary Atlas Project

The Calgary Atlas Project will produce a series of maps that document lesser-known histories of the city, exploring the city’s diversity in creative and accessible ways. Each map will address a particular community or a significant feature of the city’s history. The first two maps have been completed, the pilot map documenting Calgary’s LGBTQ+ history, and a map documenting the relation of the region’s First Nations with the Calgary Stampede. Underway are maps documenting alternative art movements, labor activism, immigration waves (as reflected in ethnic groceries and restaurants) and Calgary's lost cinemas and film locations.

The map’s texts are written by local historians, drawing on available archives, and the maps are created by Calgary artists, ideally artists who have a relation to the history they are interpreting.

The Atlas Project is an initiative of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) at the University of Calgary, and is steered by a group of five professors at the University of Calgary: George Colpitts (History), Jim Ellis (English; CIH), Nancy Janovicek (History), Graham Livesey (School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape), and Charles Tepperman (Communications, Media and Film).

In Summer 2020, the Atlas Project was the recipient of a Calgary Foundation Grant. We are enormously grateful for this grant as it has allowed us to hire a project manager to oversee the production of the forthcoming maps and to work on effective distribution schemes for the maps, making sure that they read the communities that would benefit from them the most. 


Lecture theatre during inaugural LGBTQ2S+ lecture series

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