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Zine Philosophy

Calgary’s Got Rad Womyn, Okay?

By Samantha Trees

Ever since I moved to Calgary, Alberta two years ago, I have met countless womyn who have inspired me beyond words. Within a week of my arrival there were radical cheerleaders drunkenly performing on the lawn at my welcoming party, Food Not Bombs was peppered with super rad punk girls who had so much to say, and shows were filled with womyn playing amazing music in bands that almost instantly changed my life.

It’s weird, because this is a cowboy hick town, and I didn’t see this coming. But I swear Calgary’s cholk-full of rad womyn!

I was quickly embraced by the Radical Cheer squad and met the kind of radical feminists I had once dreamt of befriending. I joined the Anarchist Black Cross and went to Food Not Bombs and instantly had connections with the grrrls there. I started hanging around at the local dyke bar and drag king show and met tons of radical queer ladies there.

I was ecstatic.

See, the thing is, being the new kid in town really skews one’s perspective. Everything is new and full of potential to suck less than wherever you were before. I have made it my informal mission to get to know as many rad womyn in this town as possible. And I think I’ve made a pretty good start (though I am not nearly done.)

At the all grrrl punk house I live at (House 1912, drop me a line if you are coming through!) we have a ton of travelers and touring bands that stay with us. And there are a lot of people who come through with this “I know Calgary sucks, so why don’t you all just move to Vancouver or Montréal already?” attitude. Well I say, fuck that. I’m all for people doing what they want, but I really like this town and feel really stoked about the people in it.

I’m a punk. I like pissed off punks. What better place to find angry punks than a town that claims to be “the heart of the new west” and celebrates a rig pig jock in a cowboy hat as the town’s cultural icon? It fucking sucks to be radical in this town, but people KEEP being radical and doing radical actions and events and forming radical groups, and the number of womyn involved continues to grow. It’s really awesome.

So, as a result, I’ve decided to do a zine called Calgary’s Raddest Womyn. I’ve been conducting interviews with a bunch of womyn who inspire me, and I have learned a lot. I really wanted to focus on them as people, what they think and believe and love. What inspires them, what they want in life and what helps them continue to create and fight.

The zine will also include lots of photos of the actions that the womyn in the zine are involved in, as well as a bunch of photos from Rock 4Choice 2009, took place this September.

I’m really excited about this project, because I see so many womyn working so hard on amazing projects, and it often goes unnoticed. Hearing about womyn doing radical things can inspire other womyn to do the same. We can and will be radical and work to create change.

If you would like to do a zine like this in your town, PLEASE DO! And please let me know about it so I can promote it and support you in any way I can.

If you are a woman doing something really awesome in your town, (writing a zine, playing in a band, etc) I can promote it in Calgary’s Raddest Womyn zine. Please send me your info or a quarter page sized flyer to include.

Love and Support,
Samantha Trees

Samantha writes a perzine called Trees. She has copies of Trees 4available for $1to Canada or $2US. Her new zine, Calgary’s Raddest Womyn, will be $3in Canada and $5for the US and overseas. She also likes trades. Email her at for orders. She also runs a zine library in Calgary. To learn more about the zine library email: Zine donations for the library can be sent to: The Zine Tree Collective / Suite 166 / 104-1240 Kensington Rd NW / Calgary AB / T2N 4X7/ Canada

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