Calgary has a variety of organizations and agencies concerned with recognizing and protecting the city’s heritage. Some are non-profit membership organizations; others are government bodies. All these groups are distinct, but they often complement each other, and may sometimes collaborate, to promote common goals.
The Calgary Heritage Initiative (CHI) is a non-profit society registered in Alberta*. CHI is a grassroots, member-based and volunteer run advocacy group dedicated to the preservation, productive use, promotion and interpretation of buildings and sites of historic and architectural interest in Calgary. CHI raises awareness through our web site, social media and through programmed activities about Calgary’s built heritage such as educational events, talks and tours. A Heritage Watch Committee monitors sites at risk of demolition, conducts research, and recommends properties for inclusion in the City’s Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources. A Policy Watch Committee looks at relevant municipal, provincial and federal planning and legislation. Both committees engage with key stakeholders to pursue opportunities to ensure our built heritage is not lost.
The Chinook Country Historical Society, a chapter of the Historical Society of Alberta, is another non-profit membership organization. Its objective is "to promote a greater understanding of Canadian and Alberta history in Chinook Country for people of all ages." CCHS sponsors monthly talks and the annual Historic Calgary Week which takes place in late July–early August.
On the government side, The City of Calgary’s Heritage Planning business unit creates policy to protect and manage Calgary’s historic resources. Heritage Planning works with the Calgary Heritage Authority, which evaluates and adds sites to the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources.
Heritage Calgary (HC) is a charitable Civic Partner of The City of Calgary focused on the research, education, and preservation of our shared heritage in Calgary. Formerly known as The Calgary Heritage Authority (CHA), HC evaluates potential heritage sites and maintains the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources. HC provides Council with expertise regarding heritage resources and promotes public awareness of Calgary’s history, including hosting Calgary’s Lion Awards and operating the Heritage Plaque Program. HC works to ensure the Calgary heritage sector is well organized, collaborative and efficient in its efforts to promote understanding of and broaden citizen participation in Calgary's heritage.
To add to the mix, Calgary has many volunteer neighbourhood-based community associations. Several have heritage committees or seek to preserve heritage and community character as stakeholders in the development approval/planning process. The Federation of Calgary Communities is a support organization for the community associations. It participates with the heritage community in delivering topical Heritage Roundtable panel discussions.
Calgarians for Heritage Districts is an advocacy group focused on educating government and the public about Calgary’s remarkable Heritage Districts. CFHD advocates for the creation of new ways to identify, manage, protect and celebrate them through policy, legislation and creative new tools and incentives.
Century Homes Calgary highlighted our built heritage through a city-wide celebration of homes constructed during Calgary’s first building boom that peaked in 1912. Many interesting and beautiful homes representing diverse architectural styles including Edwardian, Victorian and Craftsman were constructed in what are today’s inner-city communities. The 2012 Century Homes Calgary Celebration was so successful, the committee continued the celebration in 2013. The program consisted of banners, property signage, educational programs, tours, and a website. Photos and maps can be viewed through the link above. Take a few minutes and locate your home!
*A society is an incorporated group of five or more people who share a common recreational, cultural, scientific, or charitable interest. The Societies Act regulates societies incorporated in Alberta.