Arts | Heritage
Living Standards | Education And Learning
Community Connections | Citizen Engagement

Heritage Park Society

"Discover How the West was Once" at Heritage Park Historical Village, Canada's largest living history museum. Heritage Park connects visitors to the settlement of Western Canada from the 1860s to the 1950s by preserving, recreating and celebrating Western Canada's distinctive heritage.

Our Story

Why We Exist

 

Mission: CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN CANADA

Vision: PRESERVE AND SHARE OUR WESTERN CANADIAN HERITAGE

We exist to provide incredible moments in the here and now—to feed the forward looking energy of a vibrant, ever-changing west. With the support of our donors, Heritage Park has created a place where the progress of Western Canada can be experienced by all… where imaginations can wander into a different time and place… and where we’re inspired to create our own unique history. Together we can continue this legacy of progress. We can build new experiences based on the stories from our past, and ignite the imaginations of future generations.

My name is Hayley and I am a six year old student from Calgary. Today at Heritage Park my favourite thing to learn was handwriting, and about Roman numerals at the old One Room School House. It was fun to write and learn all of the different things like they did in the olden days! The teaching is just right for kids.

I think it’s important for children to learn about the past so they know what life was like in the olden days and to help them appreciate what they have now when they think about how much life has changed. Heritage Park helps kids learn by letting them do lots of fun things like looking at and walking through exhibits, spending time with their families and having fun.

I loved visiting Heritage Park! I would like to visit again to learn more about our history.

 

Our Impact

What We Do

When Heritage Park opened on July 1, 1964, it had a handful of exhibits and was originally intended to be a children’s pioneer theme park. Today, Heritage Park has grown into Canada’s largest living history museum with over 325+ exhibits, and over 50,000 artifacts, all of which have been carefully selected to share a story from our past. Park staff and volunteers are trained with knowledge and insight of the people and places they are representing and the programming is carefully curated to provide an accurate and fulsome experience.

2017 Highlights:

Visitors                                                                       588,220

Educational Program Attendance                           57,946

Annual Pass Holders                                                  10,400

Historic Buildings & Exhibits                                         325+

Artifacts                                                                        50,500

Volunteer hours committed                                      71,640

  • Journey of a Lifetime was launched to commemorate Canada’s 150th year. The Park is restoring Colonist Car 1202, and developed an exhibit and theatrical performance to tell the stories of immigrants and immigration. In the fall of 2017, the exhibit and theatre troupe travelled from Pier 21 in Halifax to the Museum of Vancouver, with stops in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta along the way. A fitting tribute to the people who contributed to a dynamic and innovative nation.
  • We enhanced our Indigenous programming with new narratives emphasizing women’s traditional roles and knowledge, along with Métis traditions and culture. We engaged First Nations and Métis women to deliver demonstrations, tours, and hands-on activities for daily visitors, and to perform during special events such as Women of the West and Drum. Dance. Discover.

2016 Highlights:

  • Celebrated 100 years of Alberta suffrage in the Famous 5 Centre of Canadian Women.
  • Extended our reach to the community by providing free tours to new Canadians; a free day at the Park for Syrian refugees and free admission for residents of Fort McMurray for the entire summer.
  • Celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Little Synagogue including a Klezmer concert at Music in the Plaza.

Our Programs

How We Do It

Each year Heritage Park welcomes over 600,000 guests through the gates, providing authentic memorable experiences in many different ways.

Our educational programs currently reach over 57,000 school children every year, connecting them to the people and places from the early days of western settlement. All of Heritage Park’s programs have a carefully created education component that is innovative, interactive and memorable, making it easy for school children to forget they are learning as they live, breathe and enjoy the past!

The park provides immersive education for adults as well, ranging from brewing workshops to historical cooking classes, weekends spent working with a team of heavy horses, to learning how to garden for bees. Since 2009, Heritage Park has placed a greater emphasis on its adult education offerings, and this continues to grow each year.

Keeping Alberta’s Story Alive

The Natural Resource Area of the Park, including the replica Dingman No. 1 Discovery Well, coal tunnel, and other exhibits depicting Alberta’s oil, gas and mining legacies, have been off-limits to the public for years due to their deteriorated state of repair. The Park’s Master Plan approved in 2014 included a complete renewal of this area, with a twist.

In addition to restoring the existing infrastructure, we will add a whole new dimension — an interpretive centre dedicated to the past, present, and future of the energy industry. This centre will use advanced technologies that corral the power of solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro. Visitors will be able to witness these renewable sources of energy being converted to useable green energy.

By presenting the history and diversity of energy in all forms, we hope to inspire visitors to understand how their actions and decisions today will play an important role in energy tomorrow.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

Please help us continue to teach and delight children like Hayley and their families, preserving the past while building a bright future. With your contribution, we can keep history alive and continue bringing families together to make lasting memories. As a charitable organization, Heritage Park relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to make the preservation of the past possible.

HELP KEEP HISTORY ALIVE

Financial support for Heritage Park can be provided in a variety of ways: annual gifts, sponsorships, donations for special projects, exhibits or programming, fundraising events, capital projects and legacy gifts.

1.      Natural Resources Area Capital Campaign – Lead gift $1,000,000

2.      Education Programs – $10,000 to $30,000

3.      Summer Camp Bursaries (for low income families) – $5,000

4.      Street Theatre and Artistic Programming – $5,000 to $60,000

5.      Exhibit Adoption – $1,500 to $10,000

6.      Leave a legacy gift so that future generations can learn about and appreciate our Western Canadian heritage.

All donations to Heritage Park make a difference. With your support, we can build new experiences based on the stories from our past, and ignite the imaginations of future generations.

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Contact

Lisa Barrett

Head of Fund Development

403.268.8524

Charitable Number: 118956457RR0001

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