February 2018 CHA Newsletter
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The CHA Lion Awards are coming! Mark your calender for Thursday August 2. More details including how to submit an application and event details will follow.

Calgary Herald: Historic designation prompts debate about attention city gives to heritage

A question about the designation of a 113-year-old downtown cathedral as a municipal heritage site sparked a debate in council chambers Monday about city investment in heritage planning at a time when the city’s economy is suffering. 

The Church of the Redeemer, a graceful Anglican church building clad in local sandstone, is one step closer to receiving its Municipal Historic Resource designation following a meeting of the city’s planning committee Monday.

Committee members unanimously approved granting the designation, although it still needs to go to council for final approval. The discussion also prompted a question about whether the city should be identifying and encouraging property owners who already hold a provincial historic designation to seek a municipal one.

The idea was quickly slapped down by Coun. Peter Demong. 

“I do think it is incumbent upon the actual owners of the property to seek designation; I don’t think it’s something we should be actively doing,” Demong said.

“We shouldn’t be going out there looking for locations. I encourage private ownership to come forward and do it, but I don’t think we should be spending administration’s time and efforts to do that.”

Demong told reporters following the meeting that he’s happy that Calgary is designating historic resources, but questioned whether the city required three planners devoted to heritage during “these times of fiscal restraint.”

Coun. Druh Farrell disagreed, arguing that more needs to be done to preserve the city’s “precious” historic properties. Farrell said she’s in favour of the city encouraging more owners to seek municipal designation and said she would like to see more federal dollars made available in the form of grants or tax credits for projects to restore and preserve significant sites.

“We should be doing everything we can to show the benefits of designation,” Farrell said. “Designation is always the best practice for a property of this significance. And there’s also benefits that aren’t clearly communicated to the owner. That’s what part of what our heritage department is there for: to have these irreplaceable precious buildings preserved for the future.”

Calgary Heritage Authority (CHA) executive director Josh Traptow said there is an enormous amount of historically significant property in Calgary that has not yet been designated. More than 800 properties have been identified by the CHA and just 100 of them have been designated by the city.

Part of the problem, Traptow said, is there isn’t a lot of money currently available to owners in Calgary for restoration projects. The city offers matching funds for heritage projects each year from a reserve of just $225,000. A significant amount of that money is already spoken for in 2018 and some applicants are being told it could be another year before their project will receive any funds. The province also offers some funds for provincially designated sites.

“I think designations help the community,” Traptow said.

“Perhaps different levels of government could work closer together to either provide some more incentives, whether it’s a tax credit or a more robust grant program, that could encourage more owners to seek municipal designation.”

CBC Calgary: Blowing down the Saddledome and building a new Victoria Park

CHA Note: We will be watching to see what is planned for the Enoch Sales House with the new Victoria Park Master Plan

Imagine you were given a serious chunk of Calgary's core, a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, and told you could turn it into whatever you wanted.

That's pretty much what the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) is doing with Victoria Park.

Planners and a couple of architectural firms are hammering away at a vision for the future of one of Calgary's oldest neighbourhoods.

It'll be a 20-year plan to turn what's currently a seriously bizarre jumble of skyscrapers, empty lots, an aging Saddledome, a bus barn and several rail lines, into Calgary's entertainment district of the future. And a cool new place to live.

The draft plan will come out in a couple weeks, but an earlier iteration of the plan was obtained by CBC Calgary. The next step will probably be different, but think of this as a draft plan of a draft plan. 

Nevertheless, it's clear this is going to take a whole lot of cash and some serious massaging of vested interests.

The 2017 Calgary Awards – Call for Nominations

Calgarians are invited to recognize fellow citizens and organizations for their contributions in making Calgary a vibrant, progressive and compassionate city. With 13 awards in five categories, The City proudly celebrates Calgarians that help make Calgary a better place to live. For more information about the award categories and criteria, view the Calgary Awards brochure.

If you would like to submit a nomination for a Calgary Award, complete the online nomination form

The nomination deadline is Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

For more information please contact 403-268-8881 or

The 2017 Calgary Awards presentations will be held June 13, 2018.

In 1994, The City of Calgary established the Calgary Awards to celebrate and recognize outstanding achievements and contributions made by Calgarians. The City of Calgary encourages all Calgarians to look to their neighbours, colleagues, community leaders, local organizations or businesses for those who could qualify as recipients of the Calgary Awards.

Calgary Heritage Events

Below is a listing of heritage events happening throughout the city. We are always happy to include the events of other organizations in our monthly newsletters. We only ask that you have them to us by the end of each month. Events can be sent to

Photography & Music in the Chapel, Union Cemetery Feb 23, 24

Lux & Umbra featuring Candace Makowichuk - Edmonton Cemeteries Artist-in-Residence. Celebrating the roots of photography in its purest form using a historic bellows sheet film camera and 19th century printing processes, Candace will exhibit her work in a concert setting in the Chapel in Union Cemetery.
Candace Makowichuk is a visual artist working in the medium of photography. She specializes in historical photographic processes and predominantly works with the following processes: Cyanotype, Bromoil, Gum Bichromate and Silver Gelatin. Her methodology and approach offer a moment to reminisce while at the same time celebrating the roots of photography in its purest form.
In 2017, Candace Makowichuk became the first Artist-in-Residence for the City of Edmonton Cemeteries, a project funded by the Edmonton
Arts Council. Shooting with both film and digital, she has captured a variety of the elements found within cemeteries - from the landscape to the decorative work of monuments and grave markers.
Exhibition and performance is on two evenings with her artist talk on Friday evening only. The exhibition is presented in the Chapel in Calgary’s Historic Union Cemetery, entrance from Spiller Road SE ONLY. Seating is limited! This event is free, but please register at
The exhibition will feature a selection of her photographs presented with live music from Timepoint Ensemble.
Friday February 23
6 pm Artist Talk
7 pm Exhibition with musical performance by Timepoint Ensemble Unlicensed and all ages welcome.
Saturday February 24
1 – 4:30 pm Lantern Making Workshop
7 pm Exhibition with musical performance by Timepoint Ensemble Unlicensed and all ages welcome. for more information
You can find all of our past newsletters here.

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