June 2016 CHA Newsletter
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Hi Heritage Friends,

If you have questions, events you want to share on this list, or you have friends who want to join, please email us.

You can also find all of our past newsletters here.

The Lions!

The Calgary Heritage Authority is pleased to announce that the Lion Awards will be held on Thursday July 28th at Knox United, 506 4th Street SW, doors open at 6:30pm and the program starts at 7:00pm. Get your tickets here.

The debate over preserving Calgary's architectural heritage

"The first time I visited Paris, I was a ten-year-old kid on a family vacation.

My mother and my teenage brother, Barry, had read a lot about European history, and they were keen to see the Bastille — the 14th century fortress stormed by revolutionaries in 1789. My brother asked a Paris official for directions, and was shocked to learn that the Bastille had been razed soon after its capture.

Why did Parisians demolish such a landmark? Well, by 1789, the Bastille had been converted into a cruel prison that epitomized despotism. Parisians blotted out a bad memory and replaced it with a plaza that celebrated their revolution.

As in Paris, so in Calgary."

Time is running out to submit your Olympic Plaza Cultural District ideas!

The request for input builds off of Civic District Public Realm Strategy, approved by Council in early 2016, which aims to improve the public spaces around City Hall, Olympic Plaza, and the new Central Library.

This round of public engagement focuses on Olympic Plaza and its adjacent areas: Municipal Plaza, the surrounding public realm and connections through City Hall onto Third Street S.E. 

The plaza areas were identified as priority spaces in need of repair and enhancement in the Civic District, an area which generally includes Bow Valley College, the New Central Library, East Village and the National Music Centre.

By answering three questions, you can share your ideas for features and programs that will enhance this area. Your input will help to inform a programming guide that will be used in an upcoming design process being led by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC).

Scanned maps from the University of Calgary collection

The following website may be of interest to you. The U of C has scanned over 300 historic maps focused primarily on the Calgary area, however there are also several maps covering a larger region of historic interest.
The maps, mostly in jpeg format, must be downloaded from the provided link to be viewed in an image viewer.

The Story of the Church on the Stampede Grounds

"In today’s secular society, it can be easy to forget how central religion was to daily life, and what an important role churches and congregations played to the development of cities like Calgary.

But if you’ve ever come out of the Saddledome by way of 13th Street S.E., odds are you’ve passed by the Westbourne Baptist Church. That building stands as a reminder of how intertwined religion and civic-mindedness once were. The abandoned church may not look like much today, but it was once  the spiritual home of premier William Aberhart, co-founder of the Social Credit Party of Alberta, which dominated Alberta's legislature from 1935 to 1971.

The Westbourne mission was established sometime around 1903, when it was based out of Calgary's first Baptist church. The Westbourne Church came to be in 1905, as a simple wooden structure on 13th Avenue S.E., two blocks west of its current spot. In 1910, when it was moved to its current location, the congregation added brick cladding around the church, which cause many to refer to it simply as the “red-brick church.” The building owes its official name to the Westbourne Church in London, England, which provided the funds for its construction."

Calgary Public Library: Discover Land Surveying History at the Library

“Making Their Mark”, a centennial exhibition of 100 years of land surveying in Alberta, is a special exhibit that will take place from May 12–June 16 at the Central Library.
The historical exhibit of land surveying artifacts and an interactive re-creation of an early surveying camp shows the remarkable contribution the land surveying profession has made to the province.
The “Making Their Mark” exhibit shows how Alberta developed by highlighting the stories of the men and women who measured and created the boundaries of land parcels in the province. Without boundaries, land ownership could not be established. Early surveyors were often the first people to see much of early Alberta as they laid out the homesteads and the early urban settlements.
Today’s land surveyors still measure and create boundaries but their activities are far more diverse, especially in the work they do creating boundaries for the energy industry. Also, like other professionals, land surveyors use highly sophisticated equipment—a far cry from the artifacts displayed in the exhibit.
This special exhibition was launched by a showing at the Alberta Legislature. Over the next two years, the exhibition will travel throughout Alberta appearing at museums and other public venues.
 On March 30th the CHA attended Petroleum History Society AGM and received the Preservation Award for 2015 in recognition of our work in “Encouraging and Supporting the Identification, Preservation and Awareness of Historically-significant Buildings and Land Uses in Calgary, including those that played a role in the Evolution of the Canadian Petroleum Industry.”

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

Chinook Country Historical Society (CCHS) is pleased to present the 26th annual Historic Calgary Week.

Join us as we celebrate the rich history, culture and community of Calgary and area with more than 60 events over 11 days - Friday, July 22 to Monday, August 1.   
 Enjoy neighbourhood concerts, walks, talks, and explore museums, heritage buildings, cemeteries, parks, libraries and archives.
As we celebrate learning, come discover the leaders and visionaries who contributed to the dynamic history of Calgary. Join us as we honour a partner in learning, the Calgary Public Library, and Annie Davidson, who was instrumental in the creation and funding of the city’s first library. Based on our recent publication, In The Footsteps of Giants, we present a special program to introduce new Canadians to our history.
All events are open to the public and are free of charge with one exception. Donations are gratefully appreciated.
Complete the historical crossword puzzle in the Calgary Herald and discover Calgary’s historical treasures during the "History Hunt" challenge.
For full program details, please visit the Chinook Country Historical Society website at or the CCHS Facebook page

Lougheed House: Something Old, Something New: 125 Years of Wedding Fashion. June 8th - October 16th, 2016 - Lougheed House

Opening Reception: June 16th, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Lougheed House, 707 13th Avenue SW

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebrations, Lougheed House is showcasing unique Alberta wedding fashion from the last 125 years. Weddings are pivotal moments in the lives of many, and Albertans have amazing stories to tell.  The exhibition features collections from the Museum of the Highwood, the Red Deer Museum, the Royal Alberta Museum, the Lougheed House Conservation Society, as well as numerous private collections. Explore some twelve gowns and numerous wedding accessories from diverse cultural and historical traditions! See examples of how people went down the aisle in style from the 1880s to contemporary times.

Join us in celebrating the opening of our summer exhibit, Something Old, Something New: 125 Years of Wedding Fashion.

Free event. Cash bar available.

RSVP by June 9th via Eventbrite or call 403-244-6333 ext. 106

Lougheed House The Pioneer Life of Annie McKenzie McDougall: A Talk with George Colpitts.

June 9th, 2016, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lougheed House, 707 13th Avenue SW

Join us for a talk with local historian George Colpitts on the pioneer life Annie McKenzie McDougall. Annie McDougall experienced life in the West at the time of the Buffalo and witnessed the treaty era. She was the wife of western fur trader and rancher, David McDougall. She travelled frequently, leading cart brigades from Morley and other settlements to Red River using buckboard and buffalo skin boat, cariole and carriage to make the voyage.

Annie McDougall’s granddaughter, Eleanor Luxton, later documented this rich personal history in the book Latch String Out, which was edited by George Colpitts. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

Tickets are $8 for Members, and $10 for Non-Members.

Doors open at 6 pm, talk begins at 6:30 pm. Cash bar available.
Visit Eventbrite or call 403-244-6333 ext. 106 to purchase tickets.

Lougheed House: Bridal Bouquet History and Meanings.

June 21st, 2016, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Lougheed House, 707 13th Avenue SW

With its ephemeral beauty, the bridal bouquet has become an iconic matrimonial accessory. Please join us for a presentation on the rich history of bridal bouquets, their origins, and their evolution. After the presentation, guests are invited to tour our historic wedding dress exhibit. The wedding dresses in the exhibit will be paired with beautiful bridal bouquets unique to their particular era.

The choice and arrangement of particular flowers speak to both the personality of the bride and the style of the era. Bouquets are important because of the symbolism of particular flowers and the romantic narratives they tell.

Doors open at 6 pm. Cash bar available.

Tickets are $12 for Members and $15 for Non-Members.
Purchase them on Eventbrite or by calling 403 244-6333 ext. 106.