ADOPT-A-SITE

Do you have a favourite heritage site in your neighbourhood? Is there a building of interest in Calgary that you would hate to see demolished? You can make a difference by “adopting” an at-risk heritage site for the next year, or for as long as you want to be involved.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose an at-risk heritage site – Choose the sites on CHI’s Heritage Watch list or another site that interests you. If a particular site is of interest to several people, it will be assigned by lottery.

April 2018* CHI Heritage Watch priority for 2018

See view CHI’s Fact Sheets on our Heritage Watch Page for the properties listed in the first column. 

  1. Monitor the activity on the site – Monitoring can include background research, checking for development permits, media stories, drive-bys, photographs, etc. CHI will give you ideas, support and training about how to monitor your site.
  1. Let CHI know about what is happening – Attend Heritage Watch meetings or send emails to CHI to update us on what is happening with your site.

Interested?  Email us at contact@calgaryheritage.org with your questions and sites of interest. Put “Adopt-A-Site” in the subject box.

You can make a difference!

Your Stories

CHI'S BUILDING HISTORIES INITIATIVE

At the time of Canada's Confederation in 1867, Calgary was experiencing the western immigration boom. When the Canadian Pacific Railway reached Calgary in the 1880’s, development really started to take off.  By the country's centennial year in 1967, the Calgary Tower was under construction along these same tracks. Unlike Canada’s eastern cities, Calgary’s built heritage may not reach back to confederation, but there are plenty of stories yet to be told about the buildings, homes, industries, and people that followed the boom-bust cycles of our development.

Inspired by the National Trust for Canada’s goal for the nation's 150  years of Confederation, celebrated in 2017, the Calgary Heritage Initiative  initiated plans to “broaden our circle of supporters and public champions". CHI is reaching this goal through Your Stories a multi-year program of engagement, education, discovery, and storytelling about our built heritage. 

Many Calgarians are surprised to learn that one in three communities in the city harbour places and stories of historical merit dating from the 1800s to the 1960s.  Most of our built heritage relates to three main development eras: 

  • The frontier years, railway era and early settlement, up to 1905.
  • The age of optimism before the First World War.
  • The oil boom of the mid-century and the post-war influences on the City’s development.

Our goal is to engage heritage-minded citizens to participate in 50 different story-telling activities each year.  Here are some ways that you can get involved:

  • Research the history of your house or apartment building and who lived there
  • Research a building where you work, shop, eat or drink, and the business personalities that came before
  • Research your favorite public building, cultural site, or park 
  • Research threatened and demolished buildings in your neighbourhood
  • Record an interview a longtime resident or senior
  • Photograph, write an article, or produce a video
  • Give a talk, lead a walk, start a blog, or organize a blockparty
  • Draw, sketch or paint built heritage and host a gallery show
  • Engage with your local school in Grade 4 local history and culture curriculum projects
  • Investigate the industries that supported traditional trades and local building materials

CHI is partnering with groups like The Calgary Public Library, The Glenbow Museum, University of Calgary, Chinook Country Historical Society, Jane's Walks, Doors Open YYC, and Calgary’s community associations to deliver events to support the program, including:

  • Workshops on community engagement, how to research historic properties, demystifying the historic resource designation process, and renovating heritage properties.
  • Seminar series on creative writing, photography, videography, how to conduct oral histories, how to lead neighbourhood walks, how and where to post stories.
  • Talks and tours that share the stories about Calgary’s built heritage.

 “We think of Calgary as being such a shiny new city, but there are many historic places just waiting to have their stories told, from the early settlement era in the late 1800’s, to the development frenzy before World War  I, and following the the mid-century oil boom era. CHI wants to engage Calgarians in preserving our built heritage by showing them how to research these properties and share their stories before the wrecking ball hits again.”  - Karen Paul, CHI’s Communications Chair

CHI wants to share your stories! We are seeking short, 400-500 word illustrated articles for our web posts/archive and social media. Inspire others to be as passionate about preserving heritage as you are. Visit our "Posts" page for examples and email contact@calgaryheritage.org with “Your Stories” in the subject line if you have questions or want to submit. 

Stay connected with CHI’s events and posted stories– join CHI today and sign up for our emails.

Need Help with How to Tell Your Heritage Story? Check out the slides and video from Regeneration Works/National Trust for Canada’s February 2018 Webinar.

Key takeaways:
• Use stories to engage, inspire and compel.
• Your story tellers are in your organization and in your community.
• Tailor stories to your audiences.
• Photos and videos bring your story to life.
• Social media is a great way to tell and spread your story.

Watch the video – Six Steps to Heritage Stories on YouTube