As members may know, the speaker’s podium used in our meetings was beginning to show its age after years of faithful service. In early 2023, Ed Tickles, spouse of Lillian Tickles a long time member and former club president who passed away in 2019, offered to rebuild the podium. He supplied all materials and labour to bring us a new podium in memory of Lillian. On October 10, 2023 the podium was unveiled.
In turn, the CWLC donated the podium to the Calgary Public Library Foundation. Alexandra Runge, Donor Relations Officer with the Calgary Public Library Foundation (seen here to the left of Mr. Tickles) accepted the podium on their behalf. It will be available at Memorial Park Library for our use and for the use of other library patrons for years to come.
Thank-you to Mr. Tickles for your labour of love and your generosity. We will be reminded of Lillian every time we step up to speak.
On this April afternoon, snow was falling gently but steadily outside the Glencoe Club windows. Inside was nothing but cheer, as we still don’t take for granted the pleasure of meeting in person! Spring bouquets graced our tables. Our special guests were Calgary Public Library friends Sarah Meilleur (CEO) and Brin Bugo (Manager, Memorial Park Branch,) along with award-winning Calgary writer Sharon Butala. Cecilia read the 1927 poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann. Without knowing our guest speaker’s theme today, it was to be a perfect example of writing that remains relevant through time. Our buffet lunch was as delectable as it was a feast for the eyes!
Sharon Butala, a prolific author of fiction, essays, articles, poetry, and plays, has just published This Strange Visible Air: Essays on Aging and the Writing Life. Sharon began her talk by describing a time years ago when a press agent rejected her book for publication because it was “old-fashioned.” Feeling dismissed, then angry, this spurred her to publish an article in The Walrus, and since then she actively writes and speaks against “ageism.” She gave an overview of how writing styles have evolved from the 18th Century to contemporary authors. She concluded that she needn’t be apologetic for choosing to write in a style she prefers to call “traditional” rather than “old fashioned” (a term which has more to do with outdated words and syntax.) Personally, she is not fond of some current trends in writing and believes “traditional” humanistic stories will still be read with great pleasure by a multitude of readers today and in the future.
The Annual General Meeting was a celebration and a tribute. We surmounted the challenge of Covid this year by pivoting from in-person, to online, to in-person meetings. Our presenters introduced us to fascinating 21st Century authors, with lively discussions ensuing. Our Principles and Guidelines document was updated. Our website drew in 30% more visitors, resulting in some new members. This year, we began using online storage for Minutes and other important documents. Our Archivist ensures we continue to learn more about – and add to – our “story” in the Glenbow Archives. In short, the Club remains current, while honoring its past and traditions. We closed with our thanks to Helen who is leaving our executive team, to Natashia who is taking over as Program Chair, to all those who served last year, and to those who will serve on the new executive team. Our 2023-24 program will be “Authors who have never been presented to the Club, focusing on Canadian women writers.”
The Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s magazine Westword published an article about our Club in their October-December issue. Moorea Gray wrote the article, and we have been granted kind permission to post this article on our website.
Here’s another chance to enjoy more from Natalie Meisner, as playwright and actor! The Calgary Public Library downtown is hosting a free play, but with only 40 spots available, it’s worthwhile to book a seat for the 7:00 – 8:30 pm performance. You can reserve seats, if you follow the link below.
How honoured we were, to have Mr. Bill Ptacek, CEO of the Calgary Public Library, join our Club’s special events over the last few years. As if he didn’t have anything else to do! (Search “Bill Ptacek” for more on this site.)
As reported by Christina Frangou, he “dedicated his career to public libraries in both U.S. and Canadian cities, modernizing, expanding and reshaping them into places where people can gather.” He made an enormous difference to our entire City, and in June was named Calgary’s Citizen of the Year.
We join so many other Calgarians in mourning his passing.
“Life isn’t worth living if you don’t have a good book going as far as I’m concerned.” (Bill Ptacek)
Frangou, Christina. “The American who helped Calgary’s libraries begin a new chapter.” August 19, 2019.
While the weather didn’t exactly cooperate, looking rather wintry with clouds, a cool temperature and plenty of snow-covered ground from the previous weekend’s devastating blizzard, inside the elegant surroundings of the Calgary Golf & Country Club was a different story. Spring was all around us thanks to our programs featuring blue hydrangeas complemented by the beautiful floral centerpieces on each table, also featuring blue hydrangeas arranged to perfection by our President Doloris Duval, and even a sprinkling of gorgeous Spring dresses worn by some of our more intrepid members. Any club that can keep meeting throughout two world wars isn’t going to let the weather get the better of it!
The women of the Calgary Women’s Literary Club have been very busy celebrating over the past few weeks!
In November, Christine Gingerick and Robin Padanyi hosted our group on a private tour of the breathtaking new Calgary Public Library. We learned behind the scenes information about the design and construction of the building itself and about the evolving philosophies surrounding libraries today. Our tour concluded with Robin guiding the group to our very own CALGARY WOMEN’S LITERARY CLUB window on which the dedication reads:
Donated by members past and present of The Calgary Women’s Literary Club, established 1906.
On September 27th a special plaque was unveiled, commemorating the Memorial Park Library becoming a national historic site. It details the vision and hard effort by Annie Davidson and the women of the Calgary Women’s Literary Club to build a library. Doloris and Margaret were delighted to be part of such a heartfelt ceremony, which was attended by CPL’s own Bill Ptacek, and representatives of City Parks and Parks Canada, among others.
Sept 27 2018 plaque unveiling at Memorial Park Library
CBC’s Rachel Ward was in touch with Mary Carwardine.