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On the second Friday of the month, at cSpace, 1721 – 29 Ave SW, Room 310, 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

Guest speakers will enlighten, inspire and entertain us on selected topics in the arts and humanities.  There will always be time for questions and discussion after the presentation.

Free for members, $5 charge at door for non-members. Guests are welcome. No registration required. Free parking available on the north side of the building and plenty of on-street parking.

Suggestions for speakers are welcome.  Please contact: Carol Gerein; Pat Hogan or Marje Wing 

Coming Presentations 

Friday, November 9


Photo Courtesy of G. Ryan

The Neighbours You Never Knew

Garry describes his presentation this way:

A creative process has guided me through two series and a standalone novel. An interest in history–specifically the untold stories of WWII–steered me through the Blackbirds historical fiction series. I grew up in a part of Calgary where people served, survived, or fought on opposite sides during the war. This neighbourhood proved to be a story rich environment. One lesson learned was how to knock out a tank in an urban environment.

A fascination with what is going on beneath society’s veneer, combined with stories gathered through three decades of teaching, provided the inspiration for the Detective Lane series.

The most recent novel (Sausage Festival) is inspired by Canada’s perceived rural/urban divide. It uses humour and irreverence as a bonding agent for people who are processing tragedy.

Blending remembrances, experiences, travel, and current events has influenced these novels. This visual and oral presentation hopes to provide insights into the process behind the writing.


Garry Ryan is best known for his Detective Lane series of mystery novels, and he has also published works of historical fiction in his Blackbirds series, a historical trilogy about Sharon Lacey, a female aviator serving in the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II.

Ryan studied education at the University of Calgary, and worked for over 30 years as a teacher for the Calgary Board of Education. He retired from teaching in 2009.

Ryan was inspired to make Detective Lane, the lead character in his groundbreaking mystery novels, gay, after witnessing the discrimination and bullying that two of his students faced after coming out as gay.

In 2004, NeWest Press published Garry Ryan’s first Detective Lane novel, Queen’s Park. The second, The Lucky Elephant Restaurant, won a 2007 Lambda Literary Award. NeWest has since published eight more titles in the series: A Hummingbird Dance, Smoked, Malabarista, Foxed, Glycerine, Indiana Pulcinella, Matanzas and just released Sea of Cortez. In 2009, Ryan was awarded Calgary’s Freedom of Expression Award. NeWest Press published a second series, the historical fiction novels Blackbirds and Two Blackbirds

Garry has two new books coming out this fall.

Reviewers have said:

“Ryan writes with elegance and intelligence about genuine characters struggling with complex relationships and emotions.” Kristina Stanley, author of The Stone Mountain Mysteries

"Garry is one of the finest novelists in any genre." - Drewey Wayne Gunn, Reviewing the Evidence

"Ryan balances suspense with humour, creating books that are, quite simply, a great read." - Mary Jane Copps, Aloft Magazine

“Lane and Harper are fine characters who deserve a series.” - The Globe and Mail

When:Friday, November 9
Time:1:00 - 3:00 PM
Where:cSpace Room 310 
1721 - 29th Ave SW

Friday, December 14

Marcello Di Cintio Speaks About Palestine in the Present Tense


M. Di Cintio photo by Monique de St-Croix 

Marcello Di Cintio describes his talk this way: The only story most outsiders ever hear about Palestine is one related to enduring conflict. The character of the Palestinian is either a furious young man with a keffiyeh wrapped around his head slinging stones at Israeli soldiers, or a woman in hijab wailing in front of her destroyed home. The Palestinian as militant or victim. Over the course of many trips to the region, I’d long wanted to write a different story about the Palestinians – something outside the narrative of anger and loss. I decided if I wanted to hear new stories about Palestine, I should seek out the storytellers themselves. So for my book Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense, I sought out the storytellers themselves: the poets and authors of Palestine. I figured these writers would have different stories to tell. My discussions with Palestine’s writers inevitably led to politics, to be sure, but at least I began from a different starting point. Instead of asking a woman about the Israeli checkpoints, say, I asked about the first poem she wrote. Instead of asking a man about his grandfather’s lost olive groves, I asked about his grandfather’s library. These coffeehouse conversations revealed the regular lives of Palestinians. These are the stories I share in my book, and the stories I will share with CALL.

Marcello Di Cintio is an award winning journalist and non-fiction writer. He won the 2012 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, for his book Walls: Travels Along the Barricades which was presented by the Writers' Trust of Canada's annual Politics and the Pen in Ottawa. His most recent book is Pay No Heed to the Rockets, published in 2018. He is currently Author in Residence at Calgary Public Library.

When: Friday, December 14
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Where: cSpace Room 310
  1721 - 29th Ave. SW

Past Presentations 

*To participate in most programs, you must be a member.  Exceptions are listed as Open to the Public

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