The Wreck of Nova Zembla

Calgary Public Library Event

In September 1902 the whaling vessel Nova Zembla struck a reef off Baffin Island and sank fast. Using first-hand accounts and other historic clues Dr. Michael Moloney and Dr. Matthew Ayre, research fellows at the Arctic Institute of North America, UCalgary, found the remains of the wreck and will take you through their fascinating investigation.

Monday, March 4


Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall, Central Library

Free Event, No Registration Required


CCHS Quarterly Newsletter: Spring 2020

January 2020 Newsletter

Read January's monthly newsletter, featuring a history of Chestermere by Brandi Holmes.

December 2019 Newsletter

Read our latest monthly newsletter, featuring the announcement of the recipient of the 2019 Diana Sim Volunteer Recognition Award and an article by Shari Peyerl on holiday photos from the Glenbow.

CCHS Quarterly Newsletter: Winter 2019

Winter 2019 Newsletter (pdf)


November 2019 Newsletter

Read our latest monthly newsletter, featuring articles by  Jennifer E. Salahub, Professor Emerita at AUArts and Christine Hayes, information specialist for the Calgary Public Library.

October 2019 Newsletter

Check out our latest newsletter, featuring an article on haunted Calgary by Brian Robertson.


2019 Shortlist for the Governor General's History Award

Congratulations to the Calgary Gay History Project!

Congratulations to our friends with the Calgary Gay History Project, which has been shortlisted for the Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Community Programming. See here for the full list of shortlisted candidates.

Uncovering Human History: Archaeology and Calgary Parks

The City of Calgary has just released an archeological survey of many Calgary Parks. Check it out here.


Fall 2019 Quarterly Newsletter

Fall 2019 Newsletter (pdf)


September 2019 Newsletter

 Our 2018 initiative to launch a monthly e-newsletter for CCHS members was stalled due to unforeseen circumstances. We are pleased to announce that this project is now up and running for the 2019/2020 season.  In addition to our quarterly print newsletters, CCHS members with e-mail addresses can now expect to receive an e-newsletter sent to their inboxes on the 15th of every month.  We will also make the newsletter available here.


Ranching Under the Arch

In her most recent book, High River author D. Larraine Andrews follows seven pioneering cattle ranches; telling their stories of “hope and big ambitions, grand schemes and wild optimism”, and ultimately “survival, perseverance, prosperity and triumph” on Southern Alberta’s Rangeland.

If you missed Larraine Andrews CCHS presentation, you can also hear her speak as part of the Southern Alberta Pioneers and their Descendants' Historical Committee Speaker Series.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

7:00 p.m. at the Southern Alberta Pioneers Memorial Building

President's Report September 2019

Historic Calgary Week 2019 brought 112 events to Calgary and region between July 26 and August 5. Thank you to the more than 150 volunteer organizers and presenters for making this possible. Attendance set new records this year and the theme of Oh, What Fun We Had resonated with presenters and attendees. We have put together a summary of HCW 2019 and it is available on our website at Check out the News tab on our home page to see other history events happening in our City.

The Building Calgary Communities program, in cooperation with the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners will commence again in October. The first event will be on October 4, 2019 at cSpace King Edward and will see Dolly Castillo presenting the history of the Filipino Community in Calgary. On November 1, 2019, Hal Eagletail will highlight the history of the Tsuut’ina Nation. All the BCC programs start at 1:00 pm.

Please take note of and plan to attend our special presentation on October 15, 2019 entitled The Glenbow Western Research Centre: An Introduction and Tour of the Taylor Family Digital Library.” This event will be held at 7:00 pm in the Gallery Hall of the Taylor Family Digital Library at the University of Calgary. This is an opportunity to hear Dr. Annie Murray talk about the special and archival collections in the new Centre that is incorporating the Glenbow Archives material into the U of C collections.

Our Board looks forward to seeing our members and guests at the programs during the Fall and Winter.


You are invited to the up-coming event with the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, celebrating Alberta's 114th Birthday! The National Band of the Naval Reserve shall be performing and several awards shall be presented including the 2019 Alberta Youth History Award and the Gold and Silver Medals for the first ever 190.5 Metre Race, in keeping with the year our great province was born.

When: Saturday, September 1st

Time: 1:00-3:00 PM

Where: Bow Valley Ranche in Fish Creek Provincial Park

Heritage Park Speaking of the Past Series

Fall 2019


The tradition continues with another exciting season of outstanding presentations guaranteed to bring Western Canadian history alive.

FREE with admission to Gasoline Alley


Thursday, September 19th
2:00 PM
Folk Fantasy in Western Canada

What drives us to build and experience the otherworldly in our prairie environment? Jude Griebel; co-founder of the Museum of Fear and Wonder explores the history of constructed fantasy environments in Western Canada. From corn mazes to theme parks, attractions have become more commercial and signalled the decline of the driving destination holiday. Mr. Griebel will also illustrate the impact of this history on rural communities. 

Thursday, October 17
2:00 PM
A Reading by Nellie McClung, "In Person"
The year is 1922.  Come and meet Nellie McClung as she reads "The Play," a chapter in her new book, Purple Springs. No stranger to public performance, Nellie performed the role of Premier in January 1914 when members of the Manitoba Women's Political Equality League staged a Mock Parliament.  It is widely thought that their performance began the change in public opinion that led to granting suffrage for the province’s women 2 years later.  

Thursday, November 21
2:00 PM
Word on a Wire
Did you know that the internet was really invented in the 1830s? Do you know what lightning slingers do? And who was the Morse guy anyway? While we’re at it, what’s with this landline voodoo stuff? We have the answers you’ve been looking for. The two Kens; Ashmead and Godard of the newly formed Heritage Park Telegraph Club will present an entertaining look into the history of telegraphy in Western Canada.



Historic Calgary Week 2019

Oh, The Fun We Had!

Chinook Country Historical Society is pleased to present the 29th annual Historic Calgary Week from July 26 through August 5, 2019, a collaborative history festival with more than 40 partner organizations. We are pleased to be working again with many organizations with an interest in our history. We would like to acknowledge the significant contributions to HCW 2019 of Southern Alberta Pioneers and their Descendants, Calgary Public Library, particularly Central Library and Memorial Park Library, Calgary Heritage Authority, the Calgary Herald and Central United Church.  Several of our partners, including Heritage Park, Glenbow, Canada Sports Hall of Fame, National Music Centre’s Studio Bell, Lougheed House and Reader’s Garden Café offer discounts throughout the year to HSA members. Our members also get “first crack” at registering for certain events that have attendance limits. 

With over 100 events, this will be the largest, most fun-filled HCW ever. Sports, dancing, music and cinema are only a few of the events. Participate in the Barley Belt Bicycle Breweries tour. Learn about the history of the downtown movie palaces and take in some of the movies that were shown in them. Relive the family-friendly sports days. Learn about the history of Calgary’s ghost signs and experience our haunted haunts. Playgrounds, Parks, Polo, Peonies, Pride, and Planetariums are just a few of our Pioneers Passions. Behind all this fun are the stories of the people that made Calgary and region their home over the centuries.

The “week” will start with our opening ceremonies at the Southern Alberta Pioneers building at 9:45 am on July 26.  Stay for the four presentations during the day. Return for the talks, walks, films, family events, museum and community visits. Discover the historical treasures in our city by taking part in our History Hunt.  Challenge yourself with the HCW Crossword Puzzle that will appear in the Calgary Herald at the beginning of the festivities.

There are many opportunities to volunteer with us in bringing HCW 2019 to Chinook Country so please send us an email to to be part of Calgary’s largest history festival. General enquiries are always welcome as well. 


President's Report Spring 2019

We have moved our website to a new address: Visit this site from time to time to see the latest news on our programs and other events of interest to the history community in Calgary and region. Any questions, ideas or comments can be directed to our email:

May 28 saw the last of our Fall and Winter programs, Treasures: The Beulah Home for Unmarried Mothers, 1909 – 1939, presented by Amy Kaler of the University of Alberta. We had another successful year with attendance as high as 170 people at events. The 2019-2020 program is now out with ten events this year, including a special presentation on October 15, 2019 at the University of Calgary Taylor Library. This event will showcase the new Research Centre opening in the Fall which will house several archives, including the Glenbow Archives. The latter are in the process of moving to the University, so plan on attending this event to learn how these archives will be incorporated into the U of C.

Historic Calgary Week is coming up on July 26 and will run for 11 days again. Oh, The Fun We Had! is the theme this year. Join us in the more than 100 interesting and informative events celebrating our history. The program brochure is included with this newsletter in the mail out to members. The full program will appear on our website in early July after our members have an opportunity to register for programs.

We are continuing our planning for the new initiative to develop video tours of Calgary historic sites. Our first video will be of the Grand Theatre. If any of you or people you know has personal stories of this historic site, please contact us at - your experiences and stories will make this a more interesting product.

The Building Calgary Communities program, in cooperation with the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners will commence again in October. Check our website later this summer for details.

--Walt DeBoni