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Lorna O’Brien doing prep work at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re featuring a few of the talented and brilliant women who are behind Alberta’s favourite museums and heritage sites. These women show girls it’s possible to follow their dreams in any field.

Meet Alison Freake, a conservator at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Alywnne Beaudoin, director of natural history at the Royal Alberta Museum, Lisa May, objects conservator at the Royal Alberta Museum and Lorna O’Brien, head technician at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

Alwynne Beaudoin in the field.

What do you do in your job? Alison:

I focus on archival preservation, which means that I am responsible for the physical condition of our archival records, including conservation treatment. I represent the Provincial Archives of Alberta at public events and increase awareness of preservation within the Government of Alberta. I often answer questions about treatment and storage options for objects people have at home or in their institutions’ collections.

Alwynne:

I manage 36 people who work in eight curatorial programs at the museum, including botany, invertebrate zoology and ornithology. My work encompasses research, taking care of the collections and public outreach. I also work with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute to track Alberta’s wildlife and habitats. I’m currently working away at a few research projects I’ve been involved with for years.

Lisa:

I preserve objects and specimens in the museum collection for exhibition or storage. This includes object examinations with written and photographic documentation, conservation treatments, monitoring collection locations for environmental and pest data, assisting with mount designing or construction, and helping with installation of exhibitions.

Lorna:

I oversee the day-to-day running of the museum fossil preparation laboratories and field programs. I work with the technicians and researchers who go into the field to find new fossils, collect them and then work on preparing them in the lab. Our technicians are highly skilled professionals who can remove rock from millimetre-sized fossils under a microscope, to using large tools to remove rock from large dinosaur skeletons.

Lisa May working on a conservation for “Molly the Merc.”

What’s your favourite thing about where you work? Alison:

Every day is different – I never really know what each day will bring. Some days I have to solve very specific conservation problems related to the archival materials from the Provincial Archives’ holdings – and that could be anything from maps and glass plate negatives to books or photographs.

Alwynne:

I absolutely love the museum. I strongly believe that museums are important, and as curators, we look after things on behalf of Albertans and create a forum for discussion. I am fascinated by this role of stewardship and continuity, and I want to expand on the materials and hand them off to the next person in the chain in the same or even better condition. This makes the museum like a living organism. I work with wonderful people who are all doing exciting things in their fields, and it’s energizing to be a part of. We are the caretakers of Alberta’s history!

Lisa:

My favourite thing about working as a conservator at the RAM (Royal Alberta Museum) is the diversity of my work. One day, I may be performing gallery maintenance such as vacuuming an airplane and the next day, I could be testing methods on various materials, doing a conservation treatment in the laboratory or installing objects in a new exhibition.

Lorna:

I work everyday with a group of passionate, creative and dynamic people. The museum obviously attracts staff who are interested in paleontology, but more than that, they are people who genuinely love what they do, from spending years working on the preparation of one fossil, to the creation of new galleries and coming up with innovative ways to engage our audiences.

Alison Freake at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

What advice do you have for girls interested in pursuing careers in your field? Alison:

Take a variety of courses to find what inspires you. I completed a degree in Archaeology/Physical Anthropology but with a minor in Biology, and I can honestly say that all of my courses have proven useful over time.

Alwynne:

Be persistent! Believe that you can get into the field and don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Sometimes the obstacles can seem unsurmountable but you just have to keep going. You don’t have to be the most brilliant academically. It’s more important to be passionate, work hard and get along with people. At the end of the day, our hard work is motivated by the mission to give back to people.

Lisa:

I would advise anyone interested in pursuing conservation as a career to work as often as you can with your hands on as many different materials you can get! Conservators work with their hands daily and encounter a variety of different materials through interacting with objects or utilizing materials in conservation treatments or exhibition mounts. With a knowledge of various materials, including how you can manipulate them, conservation would be a very satisfying career choice!

Lorna:

My advice is to follow your interests and take opportunities when they come. I grew up in rural Ireland and palaeontology was not on my radar as a kid, but I always had a strong interest in the natural world and took all the science subjects offered in school. For my Ph.D., I had the opportunity to work on one of the world’s most famous fossil sites, the Burgess Shale in the Yoho National Park. Moving to Canada was challenging and I didn’t know if I could turn my passion for palaeontology into a long-term career. The opportunity to work as a technician at the Royal Tyrrell Museum allowed me to combine all my interests and have a very fulfilling job. It’s good to know what your career goals are, but if you’re flexible and not too focused on the end result, you’ll be open to great opportunities along the way.

Lorna O’Brien at the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park.

You can check out the work of these fabulous four women at our historic sites and museums.

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March 2019 is Alberta Francophonie Month. Join in the month-long celebrations and don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate the French language and cultures… which have been part of Alberta’s story for almost 200 years!

Many ways to celebrate!

Alberta Francophonie Month coincides with Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, a pan-Canadian celebration to promote the French language and its numerous cultural expressions.

In addition to the sugar shack and cultural events that will take place throughout the province, March is an opportunity for Francophones and Francophiles alike to get together and taste the effervescence of Alberta’s Francophonie. What better time to celebrate the vibrancy the Francophonie brings to our province and to honour one of Canada’s official languages?

See what’s happening near you! To learn more about the events taking place in Alberta and to join the fun, visit the ACFA and Rendez-vous de la Francophonie websites.

A year to remember

In 2019, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Canada’s official languages and the emergence of the first Francophone and French Immersion programs. We are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of Francophone school governance in Alberta. In that time, Alberta went from 10 francophone schools to no less than 42 schools today and growing.

Last but not least, 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Alberta’s Francophone Secretariat. Over the years, the Government of Alberta has worked closely with the Francophone community to support its vitality and provide quality programs and services that meet the practical needs of Alberta’s growing and diverse Francophonie. From the creation of the province’s Francophone Secretariat in 1999, to the release of Alberta’s first-ever comprehensive French Policy in 2017 and the creation of the Alberta Advisory Council on the Francophonie in 2018, many milestones have marked the journey towards providing accessible and quality services in French.

Le saviez-vous?
  • Brought by fur traders nearly 200 years ago, French was the first European language spoken in Alberta.
  • French is the most spoken language in Alberta after English, with more than 268,600 Albertans able to converse in French.
  • Whether through Francophone schools, immersion schools or French as a Second Language courses, one in three Alberta students are learning French.
  • Enrolment in Francophone schools has increased by over 260% in Alberta since 1996.
  • Alberta has one of the fastest growing francophone populations in Canada and the third largest French-speaking population in the country outside of Quebec.
  • The Franco-Albertan flag is an official emblem of Alberta since 2017. It symbolizes the identity and sense of belonging of French-speaking Albertans to their language, as represented by the fleur-de-lys and to the province of Alberta, as represented by the wild rose.
Want even more?

Learn about the Francophone heritage in Alberta and take a look at these infographics.

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When you envision the pioneers of Alberta’s early days, you probably don’t imagine someone like William Allen and his family.

He was born into slavery in Georgia, and eventually headed north to Canada to escape the racism and violence of the Southern United States after an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan.

The Allens, along with 35 other Black families, settled in Keystone, Alberta in 1909. Within a few years, about 200 people lived in town. The isolated area allowed the Black community to flourish, away from the prejudice found throughout the rest of the province.

Just like the story of William Allen and Keystone, the achievements of Black Albertans are often washed over or ignored. Black History Month is a time to learn more about Black history and celebrate the accomplishments of people of African descent. As we come to the end of February, it’s important to keep discovering these stories all year long.

Discover many more stories about early Black settlers in Keystone and other pioneer communities through the Royal Alberta Museum’s new exhibition. I Am From Here shares the remarkable stories of the descendants of Alberta’s early Black pioneers, including stories from the community of Keystone.
You can listen to spoken word stories from a tabletop jukebox, sit in a classic diner booth, welcome home a railroad porter or watch a film about one family’s quilting tradition.

I Am From Here opens March 23 in the museum’s Human History Hall. For more information, visit the Royal Alberta Museum website.

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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

February 18 to 24, 2019 is Heritage Week in Canada. Heritage Week is about celebrating our history that lives in places, artifacts, language, traditions, arts, food and storytelling. There’s a wide range of things to do in Alberta to connect with and learn more about our shared heritage.  If you can’t make it to historic sites on Family Day, here’s a taste of things to do for the rest of Heritage Week at Alberta’s historic sites and museums.

See Alberta in widescreen

Take a Longer Look: Panoramic Photographs from the Provincial Archives of Alberta is an exhibit featuring panoramic images from the archives’ collection. While you are there, you can research your own past with the help of friendly staff.

Provincial Archives of Alberta

Be enthralled by gripping stories at Frank Slide

Located in Crowsnest Pass within the breathtaking and beautiful southern Rockies, Frank was a small town partially demolished by Canada’s deadliest rockslide. At the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, you will be captivated by interactive displays and stories from its survivors about the night Turtle Mountain fell in 1903.

Discover places that tell stories of Indigenous peoples

Okotoks Erratic, Frog Lake and Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump are three historically significant landmarks for Indigenous people in Alberta that are open year round.  The Okotoks Erratic, or ‘Big Rock,’ is a16,500-tonne boulder (that’s the weight of 16,500 large buffalo). It was transported far from its mountainous home by a rockslide then by a glacial sheet of ice between 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. This protected area has spiritual significance to the Blackfoot people and it is named after their word for rock, “okatok.” Frog Lake was the site of a violent rebellion when First Nations people fought aggressive government attempts to settle them into reserves. The site was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 1976. This now quiet place features a commemorative cairn installed in 1924, a small cemetery and an interpretive trail. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserves and interprets over 6,000 years of buffalo hunting culture. Learn about the cultural significance of this buffalo jump to the Plains People through exhibits and vast landscapes.

Okotoks Erratic

Step into 1911 at the home of the first Premier of Alberta

Rutherford House has survived more than 100 years. Explore this elegant brick mansion, and find out about its history – from its construction in 1911 to the museum’s opening in 1974. Without the influence of citizens and the Canadian Federation of University Women, this provincial historic site would have been lost. Immerse yourself in the stories of the Rutherford family and enjoy afternoon tea, lunch or brunch at Vintage Fork restaurant.

Experience history from 1891 to after the Great War at Lougheed House

If you are going to be in Calgary, you’ll want to visit the 14,000 square-foot sandstone prairie mansion built in 1891 by Senator James Lougheed and his wife, Lady Isabella. Historically, Lougheed House was Calgary’s prominent political and social hub until 1938. The Restaurant at Lougheed House offers a unique heritage dining experience with lunch and weekend brunch. The current exhibit, After the War, tells the stories of more than 600,000 First World War veterans and their return home after Canada’s largest military engagement.

Thirsty for more?

Read about our heritage on RETROActive. Find out more information about Alberta’s historic sites and museums.  

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Dig for fossils, learn to snowshoe or build a balloon launcher. There’s something for everyone this Family Day on Monday, Feb. 18.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Whether you are six or 86, embark on an adventure with free or almost free activities at provincial parks, heritage sites or museums. Keep reading for “other events” from Gibbons and Morinville to Red Deer and Okotoks during the Family Day long weekend.

Historic Sites, Museums and Archives

Nine provincially owned heritage facilities offer free admission for visitors on Monday, Feb.18. This includes:

Oil Sands Discovery Centre Fort McMurray

Come between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a day of do-it-yourself science. Try your hand at some exciting activities, crafts and experiments, all using materials you can find around the house. Make your own balloon launcher, discover the chemistry behind playdough, and watch our live science show in the theatre for more fun ideas to try at home.

Government House  – Edmonton

Government House offers free public tours every Sunday and holiday Monday, beginning Feb.17 until late November, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore this stately home with its selection of original historic furnishings, impressive meeting and ceremonial spaces and extensive art collection.

Royal Alberta Museum Edmonton

Feed your curiosity from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Journey through millions of years of history and see thousands of objects, from dinosaurs and mammoths to tiny insects and glowing gems. See how Alberta’s Indigenous communities share knowledge and values through generations, and meet the people who shaped our province. Plus, visit thousands of live critters and have fun in our Children’s Gallery, complete with an archeological dig pit! Get ready to discover a history of Alberta you won’t find anywhere else.

Rutherford HouseEdmonton

Celebrate Family Day with a visit to the historic home of the first Premier of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, and discover the unique personalities in the Rutherford family. Which one of them loved golf? Who did all the driving for Mr. Rutherford? Who played the piano? Who dug that old rag-time jazz? Explore this elegant historic house, play historical games with the costumed interpreters, sample a treat made in the historic kitchen and make an old-fashioned craft.

Reynolds-Alberta Museum Wetaskiwin

Make memorable moments this Family Day weekend. Fun-filled activities include the Factory Game, where you can see what it would be like to mass produce cars on an assembly line. Challenge yourself by playing “Giant Games” or experimenting in “Take a Car and Make it Bizarre.” For those with an interest in aviation, explore flight dynamics using the Vertical Wind Tunnel, the Bernoulli Bench and the Rocket Launcher.

Royal Tyrrell Museum of PalaeontologyDrumheller

Special Family Day programming will be available all weekend long. The Storytime program is perfect for the little ones. Fossil Casting, for ages 4+, allows visitors to make a piece of pre-history to take home. On Monday, enjoy a free presentation by Curator of Dinosaurs Donald Henderson; kids ages three to six can take part in the Dino Adventure Hour program that includes holding real fossils, working in an indoor dig and making a cool craft. Free auditorium shows also run throughout the weekend. A small fee will apply to the Fossil Casting and Dino Adventure Hour programs, and pre-registration is recommended.

Frank Slide Interpretive Centre Crowsnest Pass

Enjoy a free day from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. to hear unforgettable stories of tragedy and resilience. You will learn about the 1903 Frank Slide through audio-visual presentations and interactive exhibits. Catch special programming at 11 a.m. to see the evolution of underground mine lamps; at 1 and 3 p.m., learn about the wildlife of the Crowsnest Pass in a fun and interactive program.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump – near Fort Macleod

Celebrate the “Full Moon of the Eagle” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day includes live birds of prey, a simulated archaeological dig, guided building tours, “Living off the Land” artifact demonstrations and storytelling. You can even become a buffalo runner during a re-enactment of a buffalo hunt.

Remington Carriage Museum Cardston

Come party like it’s 1919 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Family Day! Enjoy old-fashioned carnival games, win prizes and indulge in food, fun and music! Admission is free and games tickets will be sold at the museum entrance.

Alberta Parks

Alberta provincial parks in winter are for more than just cross-country skiing. Try snowshoeing, fat biking, ice fishing, tobogganing, skating and downhill skiing, along with festivals in Alberta’s most exciting season! The fun keeps going all year. Visit AlbertaParks.ca/events for a list of upcoming events; click here to find a park and winter activity in your region.

Here are a few events and activities for people looking to get outdoors this Family Day long weekend: (All activities are weather permitting)

Crimson Lake Provincial ParkRocky Mountain House

Find a whole day of outdoor fun and entertainment at the annual Crimson Lake Winterfest, starting at 11 a.m. Snowshoeing and ice fishing demonstrations are just a few of the activities to try out. Reduced camping rates let you fill your weekend with outdoor adventure.

Beaver Lake Provincial Recreation Area Lac La Biche

Everyone is invited to enjoy a wintery afternoon of Fun in the Snow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Festivities include horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice fishing, cross-country skiing followed by a hot dog roast and Cabane à Sucre.

William A. Switzer Provincial ParkYellowhead County

A weekend full of events and activities starts Feb.17 with Ice Fishing Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No experience required! Or enjoy free hotdogs, hot chocolate and coffee. Hinton’s annual French culture festival, Bonhomme Carnaval, kicks off on Feb.18 between noon and 4 p.m. There will be free cross-country skiing, free kick sleds and traditional French music. The Family Day Snowshoe Walk starts at 1 p.m. – snowshoes are provided, so just show up to enjoy this guided forest walk.

Family Fishing Weekend

The Family Day weekend also marks the first of two annual “Family Fishing Weekends.” You’re invited to head out and discover the lure of fishing without the need to buy a sportfishing licence! Of course, all regulations still apply. For more information, visit Family Fishing.

Family FISHtivalBow Habitat Station, 1440-17A Street SE, Calgary

Kick off the Family Fishing Weekend on Saturday, Feb.16 from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. with free outdoor activities like snowshoeing, roasting marshmallows and playing games. There’s also reduced admission of $5 per person for the Discovery Centre, where visitors can enjoy wildlife games, trivia and crafts. There is no charge for children three and under.

Other events

Alberta legislature Edmonton

Albertans of all ages are invited to enjoy free family fun on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Family Day. Venture through the Lost in the Legislature History Hunt, take in musical and magical entertainment by world-class local performers, get crafty, and listen to stories with Rocky the Ram. The Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre will have free exhibitions, educational activities and the immersive historical film Our People Our Province. A variety of food vendors will also be on-site.

Hundreds of affordable events and activities are taking place throughout the province to experience with your family. Here are just a few examples of other ways to celebrate the long weekend. Some events may include a small fee; please contact event organizers for more information.

Search for more events throughout the province by visiting Travel Alberta for packages and offers.

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Get a taste of life as a pioneer at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village on Saturday, January 19 for Iordan – Feast of Jordan! This unique annual event is open to all. It’s a day of Ukrainian traditions such as a water blessing at an ice cross, burning of a didukh (a sheaf of grain), delicious food and free wagon rides.

January 19 is a holy day in the Ukrainian church calendar. Iordan, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrates the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. To commemorate this one-day event, the village will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (gates open at 9 a.m.). Liturgies will commence at 9:30 a.m. at the St. Nicholas Russo-Greek Orthodox and at 10 a.m. at the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church.

Feast on traditional Ukrainian food

Enjoy delectable fare from the Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society. The menu for this event includes: kutia (boiled wheat with honey and poppy seed), borshch (beet soup), pyrohy (perogies), and kovbasa (Ukrainian sausage). Food will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Coffee and tea will be available beginning at 9 a.m.

Have a blessed day

Witness an outdoor water blessing ceremony in front of an ice cross. This ceremony, starting at 11:30 a.m., features the priest blessing the water by making the sign of the cross in the water with his khrest (cross) and a trysvichnyk (a triple-pronged candle). Afterwards, the priest uses his kropylo (holy water brush-sprinkler) to sprinkle water over the participants—always a crowd favourite! After the water is blessed, visitors can collect a small amount of holy water to take home.

Enjoy a free wagon ride

When the water blessing is over visitors can enjoy a wagon ride through parts of the Ukrainian Village. Wagon rides are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Step back in time and bring in good fortune for the year

Step inside the homestead of early pioneers, now the Stelmach House Learning Centre, a project undertaken in partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Alberta Provincial Council. The learning centre will be open from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Participate in a traditional didukh burning ceremony. The didukh is the ceremonial sheaf of grain brought into the home for Christmas Eve supper and placed in a corner of the room where it remained until Iordan. On this feast day, pioneers took the didukh outside, laid out it into the shape of a cross and burned it, releasing the good spirits into the air. Pioneers would jump over the smoking didukh in the belief that it would bring in good fortune for the year ahead. Learn more about this traditional activity between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

You can also experience life of the early Ukrainian settlers across the prairies in our feature exhibit, a collection of paintings by Peter Shostak. Painting to Remember: A Collection of Works by Peter Shostak on display in our visitor centre features a variety of paintings including two pieces being exhibited for the first time. The exhibit will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Learn about bison in east central Alberta

Sit around the fire with Elk Island National Park staff and be immersed in the world of bison!  Learn about the role Parks Canada has played bringing plains and wood bison back from the brink of extinction. Since 1906, the park has played a vital role in the survival of this species. Test your survival skills with a bison game. Available from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Photo: Elk Island National Park

The Details

When: Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (gates open at 9 a.m.)

 Admission: $7.50 for adults and $6.50 for seniors. Free for children six and under, and with a current Experience Alberta’s History Pass or Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society membership card.

About the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village: 

Operated by Alberta Culture and Tourism, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is 25 minutes east of Edmonton on Highway 16. Apart from Iordan, the village is closed until May 18, 2019.

 Need more info? Visit the website or call 780-662-3640 (dial 310-0000 for toll-free access in Alberta).For information on all of Alberta’s historic sites and museums, visit alberta.ca.

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photo: Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

When it comes to the value of the arts, Albertans really get it. So let’s not forget the value of the artist.

It’s no secret that Albertans love the arts, even more than our fellow Canadians – just check the numbers:

According to the latest (2016) Statistics Canada National Household Survey, Alberta spent $4,112 per household on culture and recreation goods and services over the year, which was $632 higher than the national average of $3,480. This puts us a comfortable 18.2 per cent higher than the Canadian average.

photo: Travel Alberta/Anthony Redpath

We spend the most money per capita on culture and recreation goods and services, including recreation equipment, attendance at live sporting and performing arts events, admissions to museums, and package trips. Over the course of 2016, 76 per cent of us attended an arts event and 57 per cent participated in artistic activities.

We do it for reasons that go beyond just the personal benefit: 87 per cent of those surveyed felt that arts and culture activities made their community a better place to live, and 84 per cent felt they were important to their community’s overall quality of life.

Beyond the feel-good effects, the arts are good for our provincial economy. In 2016, 44,880 Albertans were employed in the arts, entertainment and recreation. In 2016, the visual and applied arts, along with live performance industries in Alberta, contributed approximately $1.3 billion to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As in other sectors of the economy, arts and culture offer lucrative imports and exports. One major import is people visiting our province to enjoy cultural offerings. In 2016, travellers to Alberta enjoyed 1.4 million overnight visits while taking in arts and cultural activities.

Exports include cultural products such as movies and television, digital media, book and magazine publishing and music recording, among others. Statistics Canada estimates that Alberta exported $777.5 million worth of culture products to the world in 2016.

The people behind the art

Behind that story of extraordinary creativity and expression there are people, Albertans of every age and background, with an astonishing wealth of experience and vision. They bring it all to life, because it helps them make sense of the world and enriches their personal journey through the world. They contribute to arts and culture because it makes their communities more beautiful and cohesive and fun. They do it because it’s what they were put on earth to do, even if it is just one small part of their life, crammed in alongside work or school or raising a family.

This January, to recognize the amazing contributions artists make, Alberta is becoming the first province in Canada to dedicate an entire month to celebrating them. The Month of the Artist is an opportunity for Albertans to go to art shows and events, purchase a work by a local artist, or just take time to consider the dedication and vision that go into doing what artists do.

To learn more, check out the Month of the Artist webpage. As you’ll read there, “the Month of the Artist is one way the Government of Alberta is helping to raise awareness about Alberta’s artists, celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to the province, and say thank you for making Alberta a better place to live.”

Month of the Artist Proclamation Event - November 15, 2018 - YouTube
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With the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, this Remembrance Day is especially significant for Canada. Following the successes with Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, Canadian soldiers earned a reputation for getting the job done. From August 8 to November 11, 1918, Canadian troops were positioned to advance the front line, and with a series of successes they were instrumental in ending the First World War. This three month period is historically known as “Canada’s Hundred Days.”

Although triumphant and impressive, Canada’s victories in the last 100 days came at great loss and sacrifice with more than 6,800 soldiers killed and approximately 39,000 wounded. By the end of the war, the country saw more than 650,000 men and women serve in uniform, with more than 66,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders dying, and 170,000 being wounded.

This Remembrance Day, join communities across Canada to honour our fallen and the sacrifices our soldiers throughout history have made for peace and freedom during Veterans’ Week. Here are some of the Remembrance Day activities in Alberta where you can honour and learn more about our military heroes of the Great War.

Alberta & the Great War exhibit in St. Albert

Musée Héritage Museum
October 30 to January 13, 2019 — Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Created by the Provincial Archives of Alberta, this exhibition commemorates the centennial anniversary of the First World War and is dedicated to how the war affected Albertans on all fronts. The exhibition includes artifacts to bring the text to life, demonstrating how this earth-shattering global event affected St. Albert, the province and the country.

Rutherford House Remembers

Rutherford House
Sunday, November 4, 2018, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit the Rutherford House to reflect on the Canadian soldiers who gave their all during the Great War, and honour their sacrifice and bravery through letters, poetry, and songs from the Front. Try some soldier’s food. Learn how they felt through poetry and music. Discover mascots like Winnie the bear and Lestock the coyote. Hold an actual Lee-Enfield rifle.

Wounded Canadian Soldier. September 1918. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada

Passchendaele and popcorn

Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 6 p.m.

As part of the Remembrance Day commemorations, the Pehonan Theatre presents a special screening of the critically acclaimed film Passchendaele will take place in the Pehonan Theatre as part of the Thursday TBD series. Popcorn and juice will be provided, but you can bring your favourite movie snacks. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Register through Eventbrite or by contacting Visitor Services at 780.427.7362 or by email at visitorinfo@assembly.ab.ca.

Last 100 days exhibit and Remembrance Day ceremony in Calgary

The Military Museums
Remembrance Day Ceremony — November 11, 2018, 9 a.m. to noon
Museum extended hours — until November 11, 2018, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., November 11 open following service at 10:30 a.m. with free admission

Visit the Last 100 Days exhibit to learn more about the major offensive attack by Canada and her allies to end the First World War. The museum’s commemoration of centennial of the armistice also includes several events: A Taste of the First World War November 2, a museum tour of Indigenous artifacts and theatre presentation on National Aboriginal Veterans Day November 8, and the Provincial Poppy Project where Albertans can paint a poppy as part of an outdoor art installation.

Alberta Legislature Armistice Tribute

Armistice100yeg.ca
Sunday, November 11, 2018 — 11 a.m.: 21 Gun Salute, 1 – 2 p.m.: WW1 Tribute Ceremony, 12:30 – 4 p.m.: Exhibits and activities

The Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton will commemorate Armistice and the end of the First World War with an official ceremony and family activities. Gather on the south side of the Legislature for a 21 Gun salute at 11 a.m., and then head north to the Capital Plaza for exhibits, activities and a tribute ceremony. Albertans are also invited to ring the bells at 12:30 p.m. as part of a global project to replicate the spontaneous outpouring of bells that rung in celebration as news of the Armistice spread 100 years ago.

Edmonton’s military history

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum
Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except for holidays), open November 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with brief ceremony at 11 a.m.

Attention military history buffs: check out the archival collections and exhibits in seven display cabinets throughout the building and at the Griesbach and Stone galleries. Located in the Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre, the former home of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, the museum exhibits follow the history of the regiment from the First World War to the present. Of special note for this centenary of Armistice Day, the museum features the bugle that signalled the end of the First World War at Mons.

Leave No Stone Left Alone

Various ceremonies across Alberta

With the goal that one day all Canadian soldier’s headstones are honoured with a poppy, the No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation organizes Remembrance Ceremonies throughout the week prior to November 11 for students from junior high schools, soldiers, and other members of the community.

Ceremonies are open to the public, or you can volunteer and donate to the foundation.

Visit Veteran Affairs Canada for more Remembrance Day ceremonies and events held at communities across the province and the country, and follow #Canada100days and #CanadaRemembers on social media.

You can also read more about the war history in Alberta in upcoming posts on RETROactive.

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Have you ever wanted to explore the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in the dark with the creepy-crawly feeling of Halloween in the air? Well, then we’ve got something for you!

On October 27, the museum is hosting its third annual, adult-only, Halloween event, Are You Afraid of the Dark, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. From Count Dracula to the wolf man, and the mummy to Frankenstein, do you dare to meet these legendary monsters — in the dark?

Dress up in your best costume and win prizes! Then put on your mystery-solving hat to make it out of the gallery alive! If that’s too creepy for you, take in a scary movie playing at the drive-in theatre, enjoy a snack or win treats playing the museum’s “twisted” games! You can also take a look into your future by having your palm and tarot cards read.

Tickets are available online or at the Museum Store for $15 before Oct. 20, or get your tickets at the door for $20.

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RETROactive

October is Canadian Library Month – a time to raise awareness about the valuable role of libraries in our communities. Thank you to guest writer, Erin Hoar, for this post about some of Alberta’s first libraries.

The earliest libraries in Canada were generally private collections of books and documents brought over by European immigrants. Some religious orders, fur trade and military posts would also collect books, but these were generally not accessible to the wider public. Canada’s earliest public libraries were offered by subscription only and began to appear in the early nineteenth century. By 1900 the modern public library, similar to what we would think of as a library today, began to acquire, classify and organize books, periodicals and newspapers with the purpose of providing users with access to these collections.

The idea of libraries was becoming more recognized as a public need that enriched growing communities, as was…

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