Mary Graham is an award-winning author, documentary journalist, film historian, and probable poet, with an Arts degree in Twentieth Century Thought (Philosophy, History and Literature) from the University of New Brunswick and two graduate degrees, Journalism from the University of Kings College and Marine Law from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.
She is an alum of multiple programs at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Gushul Residency in beautiful downtown Blairmore, and has appeared as a feature film specialist on CBC RADIO, ALBERTA VIEWS, GLOBAL TV, POSTMEDIA NETWORK, NATIONAL POST, OTTAWA CITIZEN, CALGARY HERALD and ARTE, the European Culture Channel.
Her book, A STUNNING BACKDROP: ALBERTA IN THE MOVIES, 1917-1960, was published in October of 2022, launching Bighorn Books, the trade imprint of University of Calgary Press.
A STUNNING BACKDROP is the unconventional, untold story of Alberta’s film history, defined by the terrible beauty of its pristine landscape, surprisingly important to Hollywood, and recaptured in lost or ignored Indigenous perspectives and stories, with more than 150 film set stills and archival photos of moviemaking and 50 original photos of historic filming locations around the province as they appear today.
It won the 2023 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Regional Book of the Year and a 2022 PUBWEST Bronze Medal for Cover Design.
In 2015, Mary and more than a dozen Stoney Nakoda Elders from Mini'Thni (Morley) collaborated in the STONEY FILM PROJECT to recapture more than a century of their unrecognized contributions and establish the historic importance of Indigenous nations to film making in Alberta. She was nominated for an Alberta Literary Award for an essay based on that work: THE PLIGHT AND THE POWER OF THE STONEY NAKODA.
The STONEY FILM PROJECT continues today.
Mary is currently writing a second book, on film making in Alberta after 1960.