One of the participating homes in the Century Homes Calgary project
If you read this blog regularly you may remember a post about the Century Homes project. This is a grassroots initiative of the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society, fuelled and supported by individuals and organizations who value the heritage of this beautiful city of ours. The Community Heritage and Family History department’s own librarian was involved in this project and I am delighted to be able to say that the winners of the Governor General’s History Awards have just been announced and the Century Homes Calgary project won in the category of Community Programming. So now I can say I personally know a Governor General’s Award winner (or two).
The project was started in 2011 and grew from there to an extremely successful endeavor, so that by July over 500 Calgarians had researched the stories
of their homes and created banners to tell the rest of us what they had discovered. During Historic Calgary Week thousands of Calgarians toured the homes and read the stories. It was such a success that it will be repeated next year.
At the library we saw a huge jump in the use of our Local History room as customers flocked to us to find out who had lived in their homes. We were delighted to have the chance to talk to customers about what they had found and to help them dig a little deeper into the history of not just their houses, but the people who lived in them, the communities that had grown up around them and the history of the city. We offered programs in conjunction with the City of Calgary Archives to show people the resources we had available in all three repositories within the Heritage Triangle and how to use them.
Calgary Public Library is also involved in the longer term goal of this project, which is to create a legacy database, which will include photographs of the homes and the information and stories that the homeowners have created. This will be an important addition to the Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library as it will document, not just the project but the history of some of the century buildings in the city.
We really enjoyed our part of the Century Homes Project and are looking forward to helping even more researchers next year. If you are interested in participating in next year’s Century Homes Calgary, visit this website for more information. To find out more about the Governor General’s History Award, follow this link.
Congratulations to the all of the volunteers and homeowners, the Calgary Heritage Initiative, the City of Calgary Corporate Records, Archives, Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association, Cliff Bungalow-Mission Community Association, Calgary Heritage Authority, Calgary Public Library, Chinook Country Historical Society and The Federation of Calgary Communities.