Orlando Books Collective Entrance Award

Donor: Orlando Books Collective

Orlando Books was a presence on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue from 1993 to the end of 2002. It was an activist, progressive bookstore that focused on feminisms, cultural, post-colonial, and queer studies, as well as literature from small presses. During its tenure, the bookstore hosted hundreds of readings for writers from across the country and also provided a meeting space for various community groups. In the late 1990s the store tried to place an ad in a local high school newspaper that read: Books for lesbian and gay students and their friends. When the principal refused to allow the students to print the ad, the bookstore owner and a group of educators decided that queer students needed more support within the school system. The group authored a booklet that was eventually published and distributed by the Alberta Teachers’ Association called Safe and Caring Schools for Lesbian and Gay Youth: A Guide for Teachers.

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