Building Calgary Communities (BCC) is a speaker series jointly offered by Chinook Country Historical Society (CCHS) and the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL). In this series, we explore the pioneers that came to Calgary to build a new life while enriching our city with the culture of their homeland.
Our objective is to highlight the individuals from these communities that brought their pioneering spirit along with their traditions and beliefs. Why did they come here? What have they contributed to our community? How did they make it easier for others to follow in their footsteps? What imprint has this community left on our city and province?
The events are held at cSPACE King Edward at 1721 29 Avenue S.W. on the first Friday of each month, with the exception of January, July, August and September.
The events are free for CCHS and CALL members, $5 charge at door for non-members. No registration required.
October 5, 2018
Sikhs Settlers and Sojourners
Dr. Michael Hawley, Mount Royal University.
Sikhs Settlers and Sojourners is an introduction to the Sikh pioneers who made their way to southern Alberta in the early part of the 20th century. Sikhs have settled here for over a century. Yet their story has been overlooked and largely undocumented … until now. This presentation offers a glimpse into some of the documents, photographs, and personalities of early Sikh arrivals in the province.
November 2, 2018
Secrets of Calgary’s Chinatown
Alice Lam, Michael Lee, Patrick Teoh
How did Calgary’s Chinatown get here? It took years of hard work, collaboration and perseverance. Facing many different roadblocks, come to listen to how the Chinesse community overcame barriers and developed what is know as Calgary’s 3rd Chinatown and how many groups in Chinatown are working hard to ensure it legacy is preserved for years to come.
December 7, 2018
New Immigrant Stories
Rebeca Andrada, Outreach Coordinator with Immigrant Services Calgary
People have been settling in Calgary for almost 150 years. For over 40 years Immigrant Services Calgary has been providing a wide range of settlement services to immigrants and refugees looking to begin a new chapter of their lives in Canada. Come hear more about the agency and the individuals and families it serves. Listen to the stories of some of Calgary’s newest immigrants.
Rebeca Andrada, Outreach Coordinator with Immigrant Services Calgary, will talk about the history of her agency, describe the services available to immigrants and refugees and explain how the system works. She’ll bring recent clients who will tell their stories of coming to Calgary, of seeking a new beginning and of making a better life for themselves.
February 1, 2019
Rouleauville - Calgary’s Francophone Roots
Suzanne de Courville Nicol
Meet the “Significant Seven”, Calgary’s French Pioneering Trailblazers
Alberta’s francophone roots date back to 1795 when French predominated at Fort Edmonton, constructed by the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Saint-Joachim Catholic Parish was first established in 1838 in Fort Edmonton.
Today, Alberta has one of the fastest growing francophone populations in Canada and has the third largest francophone population outside Québec, after Ontario and New Brunswick.
In 1872, la Mission Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix (Our Lady of Peace Mission), built west of Calgary, began as a crude log cabin surmounted by a cross, the first Catholic church built by Métis lay helper Alexis Cardinal. In 1873 it was established as la Mission Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix by Father Constantine Scollen,O.M.I. Father Léon Doucet, O.M.I. joined him in 1875 and went on to Notre-Dame-des-Prairies (Bow River) on May 18th. He was the first white man to set up a tent at the mouth of the Bow and Elbow Rivers (Calgary) where a stockade would be built. Six months later, it was named Fort Brisebois only to be re-named Fort Calgary in 1876.
Thus began the battle for survival of the French presence, language and culture, on all fronts in Calgary. “Rouleauville”, Calgary’s historic French Quarter (1899 to 1907) was seemingly destined to disappear forever … until the early 1990’s, when the “stars aligned” and the French Finger of Fate pointed to the past and attracted a network of fact-finders.
Join Suzanne de Courville Nicol, Calgary’s francophone community advocate and Rouleauville history researcher-educator and promoter since 1989, to learn about exciting discoveries related to Rouleauville.
Known as “Madame FRANCO-FUN CALGARY” for the multiple FUN bilingual community events she has organized since 1994, make no mistake, Suzanne is very serious about all matters pertaining to Calgary’s French history and heritage. She will bring the “Significant Seven” Calgary’s French Pioneering trailblazers to life, as she talks about these unsung heroes. She will leave you shaking your head in amazement, and make you want to know more about “Rouleauville”, the Cradle of Calgary.
March 1, 2019
The History of Calgary’s Jewish Community
Harry Sanders, Historian
Like other Calgarians of diverse backgrounds, Jews have made notable contributions to city life. Though no more than two per cent of Calgary's population at its peak (one in 50 Calgarians was Jewish in the 1921 and 1941 census years), the community and its members have engaged as fully as possible with the broader population through business, arts and culture, military service, politics, public school, and membership in service organizations. Join historian Harry Sanders, a board member of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Alberta, for an illustrated talk on the history of Jewish Calgary.
April 5, 2019
Italian Immigration to Calgary, 1900 - 1970
Italians came to Calgary and Alberta in three main waves, pre-WWI, post WWI and post WWII. The presentation will look at where the immigrants came from, why they came, where they settled and how they contributed to the history of Calgary.
May 3, 2019
Calgary’s German Russian Community
Who are the Germans from Russia? Germans started moving to Russia beginning with the reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584). The biggest influx began at the invitation of Catherine the Great in 1763.
After Catherine the Great died their circumstances drastically changed and many began looking for a better place to live
This presentation will look at how the Germans from Russia found out about the Canadian West, how and why they came to Calgary and specifically Bridgeland / Riverside. They came in large numbers during the early 1900s (approximately 188,000 between 1904 and 1914). What kinds of businesses were they involved in? How has this ethnic group positively impacted Calgary and area?