After a long three years of covid we were thrilled to welcome back heritage advocates to our live AGM.

AGM GUEST SPEAKER: Larry Pearson, Director of Historic Places Stewardship with the Province of Alberta

Larry spoke about:
• Heritage Resource Impact Assessments (HRIA)
• The application for at risk sites like Stephen Ave and the Inglewood Brewery
• The powers of Alberta’s Historical Resources Act and provincial protections
• Where Alberta stacks up with other provinces
• Information about grants


Climate Action: Squaring Redevelopment with Heritage
April 26, 2023

Historic resources connect us to our past, our future and each other. There is an immense value in preserving our heritage as it has been recognized as an important component of sustainable city building with economic and environmental benefits beyond enriching the sense of place in our communities.
Watch the video of the webinar to learn how conserving and repurposing Calgary’s heritage buildings can contribute to Calgary’s climate goals, and when built heritage must come down, how the environmental “cost” can be minimized. This webinar was delivered by the City of Calgary, the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society, and BILD.

For an inspiring story about saving a heritage home and the tie-in to climate, see Heritage Calgary’s blog

CHI’s Virtual AGM

For the Years ending 2020 and 2021

7:00 PM, Monday, April 25th 2022

We were very pleased to welcome Raymond Biesinger, a Montreal artist with Alberta roots, as our guest speaker. Raymond’s illustrations of Canada’s (and Calgary’s) lost historical buildings are featured in this newly released book. Raymond’s shared how his art was inspired by our lost heritage and what these buildings…and their stories…can teach us.

CHI President, Chris Edwards, presented on Calgary’s most endangered heritage resources. 

Questions about the AGM: email

Historic Calgary Week 2021 “Unmasking History”

Janes Walk is a global festival of neighbourhood walking tours held in Calgary and around the world each May, inspired by the philosophy of Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building.

This year, The Calgary Foundation’s Janes Walk has gone virtual or self-guided and has extended its presence from the May 7-9 weekend right through the summer.

Visit the Heritage Places tab on our Heritage Inspires YYC web site.  Discover historic neighbourhoods, cultural landscapes, old photographs, and for the inspired, click on one of the Community Histories tiles and look for a self-guided walking tour.

For a Virtual Janes Walk Experience from a bird’s eye view, explore our Heritage Inspires YYC YouTube Channel. What would Jane Jacobs say about how Calgary’s historic areas should evolve?

Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages at @calgaryheritageinitiative and @heritageispiresyyc for lots of Janes Walk challenges. Walk or bike a route to find Century Homes; retrace a Calgary Herald history walk, published in the mid-1990s, and think about what’s changed in 25 years; seek out lost heritage and historic buildings that have been given new life.

CHI’s 2019 AGM was held virtually on October 26, 2020. 

During the week of October 19th, members in good standing were emailed instructions for joining the meeting along with a package containing the agenda, financial statements and minutes from last year’s AGM. The President’s report, Heritage Watch, Communications, Membership and Events reports were presented during the virtual meeting. Only regular CHI business was addressed so that CHI could meet the filing requirements of the Alberta Societies Act. Eleven members agreed to stand to serve on the board of directors (CHI bylaws allow for up to 15).  A Q & A session concluded the meeting.

Questions about the AGM: email

The guest speaker we had lined up for the AGM, Alastair Pollock to speak on Heritage Tools & Incentives for Calgary Communities, originally scheduled for April 15th, 2020, was canceled due to Covid-19.

Demystifying Designation #5 Workshop

Saturday September 21, 2019

What does a 1912 Craftsman in Sunnyside have in common with a 1977 Expressionist style home also known as the ‘Energy Saving Earth and Garden Home’ in Glengarry? Both tell a story about Calgary’s past. Both are designated historical resources meaning they are legally protected by City Council from future demolition or dramatic renovation.

As of September 2019, Only 312 residences (including apartment blocks) were listed on Calgary Heritage Authority’s Inventory of Historical Resources and of these, only 32 were designated. We are losing our historic residential character at an alarming rate!

This workshop, attracted several participants who are considering designation and others who wanted to learn how Calgary’s heritage gets evaluated and protected.

Featured Designated Homes

JOEY STEWART AND LORNE KINGWELL RESIDENCE: Expressionist style modern house in Killarney by Wolfgang H. Wenzel, a custom designer of site-specific, energy-efficient homes.

ORMAN RESIDENCE: First and only designated house in Sunnyside and recently sold to a couple looking for a heritage home.

Topics Included:
• Designation criteria, how the process works, the role of the City’s Heritage Planners and available grants
• How heritage homes are valued in the real estate market and what buyers are looking for
• The pros & cons, fact & fiction of designation
• Economic, social and environmental benefits

Thanks to our presenters, the City of Calgary and our refreshment sponsor, the Calgary Heritage Authority

View the presentation slides here:  Demystifying Designation

Historic Calgary Week

Oh the Fun We Had!

Historic Calgary Week is organized by the Chinook Country Historical Society

Download the  full Program Guide for the 29th Annual HCW

With over 100 events, this was the largest, most fun-filled HCW ever. Sports, dancing, music and cinema were only a few of the events. Behind all this fun  were the stories of the people that made Calgary and region their home over the centuries.

2019 Calgary Heritage Initiative Annual General Meeting

Tuesday April 30, 2019

The Calgary Heritage Initiative’s Annual General Meeting was held  at Calgary’s newest heritage-building-of-the-future: the spectacular Calgary Public Central Library. Thanks to the CPL for providing a terrific tour and free meeting space to volunteer community groups such as CHI!

View Chris Edwards latest Heritage Wins, Losses and At-Risk Presentation on our  Watch List  page. 

Our guest speaker, Carolyn Ryder, introduced us to the new “Calgary’s Story” space and resources on the 4th floor (formerly the Local History Room in the old library). Materials useful to researching building history and that celebrate our unique stories, including photos, books and maps, can be found here. Carolyn introduced the Historian in Residence Program, Indigenous Placemaking, and the Williams & Harris Shared History Centre that ensures stories are told and collected, through new technology in the Story Studio and old technology in the Vintage Media Lab. Carolyn extends a personal invitation to anyone interested in an individualized orientation to “Calgary’s Story” and the very rich collection of books, documents, records and photographs. Call 403-260-2600.

Demystifying Designation #4 Workshop

November 24, 2018

CHI’s most successful Demystifying event ever! Sixty participants learned about historical designation from a panel of heritage experts along with homeowners sharing their designation experience.  

Featured Designated Homes

CALGARY TREND HOUSE (1953) A mid-century modern piece of Canadian Architectural History. Municipally and Provincially designated.

ORMAN RESIDENCE (1912) First and only designated house in Sunnyside and recently sold to a couple looking for a heritage home.

Topics included:

The designation criteria and how the process works.
What is fact – Yes, City Heritage Planners help throughout the process.
& What is fiction – No, designating a property is not overly restrictive nor does it reduce market value.
How heritage properties are valued in the market.
Pros/cons and the economic, social and environmental benefits.
What Municipal and Provincial grants are available.

Thanks to our guest speakers for sharing their time and expertise, The Calgary Heritage Authority for sponsoring the refreshments and The Windsor Park Community Association.

Historic Calgary Week
July 27 through August 6, 2018

This year’s Historic Calgary Week explored the “Power of Partnerships”!

CHI’s hosted a booth at the cSpace Farmers Market 

Volunteers shared  info on Calgary’s at-risk heritage buildings and provided  advice on heritage trades, how to research your property  and what designation is all about. cSpace King Edward is the award-winning, adaptive re-use of a former school on a 3-acre, inner city site including artist studios, rehearsal space, non-profit program offices, coworking space, cafe, meeting/event venues, new public park and private sector residential development.

Historic Calgary Week: Family Heritage Festival 2018

CHI joined more than a dozen of Calgary’s best-known heritage organizations for a fun-filled afternoon of hands-on activities for everyone celebrating the heritage of Calgary and Alberta. CHI’s booth explored Calgary’s early development as the first newcomers arrived by rail to settle the west.  In partnership with the Chinook Country Historical Society, the Calgary Public Library and Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge.


Finding Nimmons: Past, Present and Future

Once upon a time, Williams Nimmons built a magnificent two-storey, red brick and sandstone ranch house, which today is a Bankview icon, for his beloved wife, Isabella. He perfectly placed the house so Isabella would had great view of the sweeping prairie and the village of Calgary.

CHI’s Jane’s Walk on May 6th took us on a provocative tour of Bankview’s birthplace: the Nimmons Residence site, Nimmons Park, and Nimmons Corner. Lindae Stokes, Calgary Heritage Initiative, spoke to the past, Nathan Berko, Bankview Community Association, covered the present, and Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley led us into the future.

The walk explored  why Williams Nimmons was so key to Bankview, how the Nimmons family influenced and shaped history, and why we should we care about the municipal designation of the Nimmons residence.

Let’s keep the dialogue going about how to preserve heritage integrity for future generations in the face of inner-city densification. Awareness, a recognition of the value of heritage, tools (like tax incentives) to support protection, and passionate advocates will help create the political will to do this.

CHI’s 2018 AGM

SPEAKER:  Reid Henry, President and CEO at cSPACE Projects shared the inspiring story of adaptive reuse of the 1912  King Edward School.  Appointed as the first President and CEO of cSPACE Projects, Reid is leading the development of a network of large scale, multi-disciplinary creative workspaces in Calgary, Alberta. The award-winning flagship project of cSPACE is the redevelopment of a 3 acre, inner city site including artist studios, rehearsal space, non-profit program offices, coworking space, cafe, meeting/event venues, new public park and private sector residential development.

CHI thanks cSpace and Reid Henry for his insightful and fascinating talk on adaptive re-use, heritage rehabilitation and social and economic benefit. It dove-tailed perfectly with CHI’s strategic focus. Reid capped off the evening with a personally guided tour of cSpace.

WORKSHOP: Places of Faith

The National Trust for Canada hosted a workshop on Regenerating Places of Faith  for Calgary Communities at the historic Knox United Church.

WHEN: Saturday, April 14, 2018 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Community, heritage and faith-based groups presented.  CHI presented on stakeholder engagement and heritage advocacy. View the slides.

Places of Faith Intro & City Heritage Planner

CHI Places of Faith April 14 2018

Places of Faith National Trust

TALK: Booze, Broads & Brothels… A History of Calgary’s (Almost) Oldest Profession, in the era of the North West Mounted Police and railway settlement.

Notoriously known as the booze, brothel and gambling capital of the Canadian West, early Calgary was home to dozens of entrepreneurial sex workers. Kimberley Williams, Associate Professor of Woman’s and Gender Studies, Mount Royal University, introduced  a few of these dynamic women, whose clients were the miners, ranchers, NWMP officers, and CPR railmen considered the “mavericks” of Alberta’s pioneering past.  For information on walking tours based on this talk go to

WHEN: 7-9 PM Tuesday, January 23 2018

PARTNERS: The Chinook Country Historical Society in partnership with the Calgary Public Library and Calgary Heritage Initiative

CHI’s top endangered site for 2018 is the Inglewood Brewery. The brewery supplied  the bars and brothels of the era. To learn more, and find out what you can do, see CHI’s Inglewood Brewery Fact Sheet on our Heritage Watch Page.

Are you interested in investigating which of Calgary’s historic railway era hotels and lodges might have served the sex trade? Consider writing a story for the Your Stories project. See  Your Stories  for more details or email us at

PHOTO CREDIT: Glenbow, 1911. Houses of ill repute located near railway track approximately 50 yards north of railway bridge over Bow River.

WORKSHOP: Your Home’s History

WHEN: Saturday November 4, 2017

PARTNERS: Calgary Public Library, The Glenbow , and City of Calgary

This workshop explored resources to help you uncover the history of your house.   Presenters were Christine Hayes, Calgary Public Library,  Carol Stokes, Archivist from City of Calgary, Corporate Records, Archives and Lindsay Moir, Librarian, Glenbow Library and Archives.

WORKSHOP: Demystifying Designation with Lorna Cordeiro, Leslie Robertson, Laura Pasecreta and Halyna Tataryn

PHOTO: William J. Gray Residence in Hillhurst,  1912

WHEN: November 18, 2017

PARTNERS: City of Calgary and the Calgary Heritage Authority

Our third heritage designation workshop, featured homeowners who have had their properties designated and heritage experts familiar with the designation procedure.  Four speakers shared their designation stories and covered topics such as selling unused residential density, generating transferable residential density and taking advantage of City of Calgary and Provincial grant programs.  The presentations and discussions explained everything you need to know about historical designation from people who have experienced it. Have you heard that designating a building is overly restrictive and reduces market value? Our panel of heritage experts dispelled some of these myths surrounding designation and presented information on the resources available to preserve and protect your heritage home or building.

CHI Celebrated Canada’s 150th by relating the Railway era immigration experience and its historic built heritage to immigration today


Top 10 Endangered Sites & Issues by Chris Edwards, CHI Vice President and Heritage Watch Chair

WHEN:  7-8 PM Thursday Aug 3, 2017

PARTNER: Chinook Country Historic Society, Historic Calgary Week

Chris’s 2017 Countdown of Calgary’s Top 10 Endangered Sites (and issues)

10. Western irrigation headworks including the headgate and pump house. 1912. This is a great example of industrial heritage in the city.

9. Inglewood Bridge. 1908.

8. Stampede corral, 1950.

7. 17th Avenue heritage- Jalland block, Condon Block, 800 block. These are all owned by Arlington Street and slated to be torn down and replaced.

6. Olympic Plaza, 1987. One of the biggest concerns for people will be what happens to the 22,000 bricks, inscribed with names and messages.

5. Heritage designation. Designation itself seems to be in danger. Council has de-designated a protected heritage site, allowing for loss of protection, a waste of the resources that went into assessment in the first place, and sets a precedent.

4. Bill C323. This bill is in danger of not passing. Bills such as this have been very successful elsewhere, providing additional jobs, tax revenue, restored character buildings, and providing a wide range of housing.

3. Enoch Sales house. 1904.

2. Calgary Brewing and Malting, 1894-19802. One of the dangers is that it is hard to understand the site. There is a large collection of original sandstone buildings, but they have all been covered up by later buildings. They’re still in there! This is another good example of industrial heritage in Calgary. A site that many can relate to, and have fond memories of. There is great potential for a mixed use brewery district here.

1. Heritage streetscapes and character homes.