Calgary Homes from Canada's History.
Finding out your century-old house has a hidden past could lead to an unpleasant discovery like inferior workmanship, however, most Calgarians are uncovering a different kind of history in their turn-of-the-century homes. Silvina Mema researched her colourful character abode and discovered that Thomas Presswood Frost, an eccentric alderman and a sergeant in the First World War, lived in her house nearly a century ago.
Silvina joined 507 other Calgarians living in homes that are around 100 years old as part of the Century Homes Calgary project that celebrates houses built during the first building boom in 1912. These resourceful households researched their homes history, proudly showcased Century Homes Calgary yard flags, and created and displayed home-made yard signs with historical information sharing their part of Calgary’s story. Residents then shared their discoveries through a series of self-guided tours.
The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society is now gathering all research and photographs for an online Legacy database to be housed at the Calgary Public Library. For fostering community pride and enhancing civic memory, the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society for “Century Homes Calgary” is this year’s English recipient of the 2012 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.
The French recipient of the Community Programming Award is La Meute culturelle for le Musée vivant de Lafontaine from Tiny, Ontario.
Honourable mentions include:
The Toronto Dreams Project is a series of historically themed postcards and stickers left in public places. The project adopts a street art approach to engage with the community in public places, augmenting the experience of visiting recognized historic sites while drawing attention to those without official demarcation. By using a combination of traditional and new media, the physical location is tied to online resources as well, encouraging discussion and further interaction on social media.
The Avenue Oral History Project began as a six-month effort to gather and preserve the stories of the people who grew up along 118th Ave in Edmonton, Alberta. It brought together actors, historians, journalists, a photographer and community organizers who went out to document and interpret the collective history of Alberta Avenue. These stories, combined with archival research, were the basis for an interpretive performance, publications in the Rat Creek Press newspaper and the genesis of a digital archive.
In May 2012, le Musée du ski des Laurentides (MSL) inaugurated, after thirty years of perseverance, the first permanent exhibit called L’histoire du ski dans les Laurentides; vivre en hiver, avec l’hiver et de l’hiver. To present this exhibit in the best museum space possible, MSL developers had to overcome many problems. With the help of the population, the financial support from various levels of government and support from the political, economic, social, cultural, educational and sporting support of the region, MLS materialized the dream of its founders, presenting, after converted fire station in a place that meets current standards of museology, the first real permanent exhibition.Le Musée du ski, following the closure of the exhibition hall of the Musée canadien du ski, became the only institution storefront, dedicated not only to the history of skiing, but also the role played by the winter for the development of a region, province and country.
The Governor General’s History Award for Community Programming is presented by Canada's History.