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Lion Awards

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

AJ 1254

Centre Street Lion

Alison Jackson Photography Collection, AJ 1254

I have been fortunate to be involved with the Calgary Heritage Round Table, an umbrella group for organizations and individuals passionate about Calgary and its heritage. The enthusiasm and growing attendance at meetings such as these shows the increasing interest in heritage issues in Calgary. I see this interest too, not just in "old" buildings but a desire to capture and preserve the stories of its people reflected on a daily basis here at Calgary Public Library through the customers who visit our Community Heritage and Family History collection.

Are you one of these impassioned individuals concerned about Calgary's heritage or do you know of an outstanding person or organization who is making a difference? Here's an opportunity to support heritage conservation by recognizing citizens and groups who have undertaken initiatives, of any scale in Calgary. The Calgary Lion Awards, is your chance to recognize them publicly. As it says on the Lion Awards website " Historic preservation is part of good city building and community identity. Historic resources serve to enhance our perspective, understanding and awareness of our past and help us build a sense of identity and pride in our local communities." Show your pride in taking the time to nominate outstanding individuals or groups. Awards will be given in the following areas: Building Restoration, New Building Design, Community Revitalization, Landscape, Advocacy and Awareness, and Heritage Trades People/Craft People.

For more information, go to the City of Calgary website The nomination deadline is Wednesday May 28. 2010 and the awards will be presented July 28, 2010 at The Water Centre, 625 25 Ave S.E.

Want to know more about the iconic Centre Street lions? Check out this wonderful Alison Jackson photograph and some background information on the bridge and lions from our Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library:

My Favourite Genealogy Blogs

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)


Genealogy is one of those pursuits that seem, at the outset, to be a nice little hobby, something to pursue in your spare time. What I didn’t know when I started was that in encompasses such a wide variety of information, it is more like Trivial Pursuit (although, don’t get me wrong though, there is nothing trivial about it.) In researching my own family tree I have learned about the Canada Company, the Jesuits in the Northwestern United States, the history of Sleeman’s Brewery, the building of the Kettle Valley Railway and that is just a sampling. And with each of these tracks comes the question of the records. What are they, where are they, who has them, do they even exist? How is one expected to keep on top of this?

Working in the library I have several advantages. I come in contact with lots of genealogists and some are even researching in the areas I am interested in. But more are not so I have to become something of an expert in records relating to subjects that are not necessarily my personal interest (I hesitate to put it that way because once the question is asked of me, it does become my interest. I am a voracious consumer of data and very nosy to boot so I am always interested in a good story that leads me to find out more about something…anything!) So I have had to learn a lot about a lot of different subjects. I also have the advantage of getting first shot at the genealogy magazines that are received in the department. We get a number of very good general genealogy titles as well as publications from genealogical societies in each province. I take a look at them as they come in to check for new titles that might be of interest to our customers and for articles that will help me learn more about any and all aspects of genealogy. (Check our catalogue using the subject search “Genealogy periodicals” to see what we have.)

Not everyone is in my position, however, so how does the average genealogist keep up with what is out there? Well, anyone can borrow the general genealogy magazines from Calgary Public Library. Titles like Internet Genealogy and Family History often include excellent articles on records and techniques. That is a good start. There are also blogs. I find that blogs can be a great source of up-to-date information about events, records, techniques, you name it. For those of you who don’t know what a blog is (although I suppose if you’re reading this, you do) ‘blog’ is short for weblog and it is just a kind of website that is updated frequently and allows (usually) for the reader to communicate with the person writing the blog through comments. You can also subscribe either by having the blog entries delivered to your email or by RSS feed (which I barely understand so won’t even try to explain here – if you’re interested in learning about it here is a link to Genealogy. This explains RSS feeds and how to subscribe to them.

I use a combination of email delivery and Bloglines to keep track of my favourite blogs. And what might those be, you may ask. Well, I always read Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. This is the gold standard for genealogy blogs. (And Dick Eastman will be coming to Calgary in October for a Family Roots Seminar put on by the Alberta Family Histories Society – click here for information) His blog can be found at He offers a free edition and the Plus edition, for which you have to pay. I receive the free edition and have found that there is more than enough information included. I also read “Genealogy Insider” from Family Tree magazine. They can be found at

Of course I read the Alberta Family Histories Society’s new blog at This blog is a new project but so far it is great. It has lots of information about happenings in and around Calgary. It also has a “Blog roll” which lists other great genealogy blogs that you may want to visit including the Canada GenWeb blog has a great listing of Canada-wide events.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. You can always find great genealogy blogs by visiting the “other blogs” (or whatever it is called) section of your favourite blog. It’s almost as addicting as YouTube! (Although you won’t necessarily find anything as useful as, say Dramatic Chipmunk J)

Use our comment section to suggest your own favourite. I’m always up for suggestions.

Calgary's Military Heritage

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

PC 1660

Mewata Armoury ca. 1934

Postcards from the Past, PC 1660

Last Saturday we enjoyed a march past of the Calgary Highlanders and the King’s Own Calgary Regiment. Both were celebrating their 100th anniversaries. The Queen’s Own Rifles was also celebrating their anniversary of 150 years, which makes them the longest serving infantry regiment in Canada. For several years, first and second battalions of the Queen’s Own were stationed at Currie Barracks here in Calgary. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Princess Alexandra, the Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, was supposed to come to Calgary. The volcanic eruption in Iceland put the kibosh on that plan but the veterans who assembled, though somewhat disappointed, were glad to have the chance to celebrate and connect with other veterans.

The King’s Own and the Highlanders can both trace their origins back to the 103rd Calgary Regiment, Calgary Rifles. The regiment was formed on April 1, 1910. The 103rd formed several battalions during the First World War. The King’s Own Calgary Regiment grew out of the 50 Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. In World War II they were reorganized and had several names, among them the 14th Armoured Regiment (Calgary) commonly called the Calgary Tanks. The King’s Own have been an infantry, machine gun and tank regiment but are currently a reconnaissance unit. They are based at Mewata Armoury.

The Calgary Highlanders also grew from the 103rd Regiment. In 1921 they became a highland regiment, known from then on as the Calgary Highlanders. They were a volunteer regiment with members holding regular jobs. They trained on weekends and in the evenings. They were mobilized for the first time on September 1, 1939. Twenty-two of the Highlanders landed on Dieppe in August of 1942. All returned safely to England. Today the Highlanders are once again a regiment of “citizen soldiers” who train Wednesday evenings and one weekend a month.


Postcard describing the history of the Calgary Highlanders including insignia, ca. 1940

Postcards from the Past, PC 768

These regiments are a part of Calgary’s proud military heritage. If you are interested in researching more about the military in Calgary, we have a great collection of information in the Community Heritage and Family History Collection here at the Calgary Public Library’s Central Library. We are also very lucky to have the Military Museums located right beside the Currie Barracks site which is also rich with the history of Calgary’s military.