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.
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.
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.