Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation

Preserve – Conserve – Exhibit – Write – Educate – Inform – Connect – Support

The Luxton family and their legacy provide a rich source of stories. But that is not the only function Eleanor desired for her Foundation. The Foundation connects people and places. It works with others to teach and inform, to preserve and conserve, to be a knowledgeable support of heritage projects, and to make the sum of its work greater through the work that others can accomplish with a little assistance.


Preserve & Conserve

Preserving history and built heritage is at the core of the Foundation’s work. The properties owned by the Luxton Foundation form a contiguous heritage sector in Banff, unlike any other neighbourhood. It is the Foundation’s desire to see this entire street designated and protected, and the Foundation will work with their neighbours to make this happen.

  • Historic Luxton Home: The home is at the heart of the Beaver Street story. As an accredited museum, it acts as a gateway to introduce visitors to the colourful history of Banff.
  • Care of Artifacts: Not only is the home cared for and preserved, the contents are being managed under the standards of Canadian Museum guidelines.
  • Archives: The extensive paper records of the family are being properly documented and are accessible through the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies Archives.
  • Bison Belong: Through a different kind of conservation, the Luxton Foundation spearheaded the campaign to  return the bison to the Canadian Rocky Mountains landscape.


Exhibiting in Partnership

The Historic Luxton Home is meant to be maintained as Eleanor left it. This approach leaves little room to showcase more of the collection and tell more stories. The Foundation is working toward creating more exhibit spaces but, until then, exhibit work is undertaken through partnerships. These community collaborations will continue even as more dedicated exhibit space is developed.

Exhibiting with the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies enables the Foundation to expand our reach and tell more stories to larger audiences.

  • We have developed, designed and created exhibits specific to the Luxton’s stories that were hosted in the galleries at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.
    • High Fashion of the Rockies (2011)
    • Stuff of Legend (2008)
  • We also participate in exhibits developed by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.
    • Small Things (2018)
    • Gateway to the Rockies (2012)

In order to expand our exhibiting potential, we have plans to develop:

  • Travelling exhibits that will enable us to tell the Luxton & McDougall family histories and share stories of Banff around Alberta and beyond.
  • On-Line Exhibits that will provide a way to share stories using our collection and archives in an on-line format, extending our reach to audiences even further afield.
  • A dedicated museum of our own that will provide space to showcase the hundreds of magnificent artifacts we have in storage. The museum will enable us to:
    • Tell more of the incredible stories that contributed to the development of Alberta and Western Canada
    • Create engaging programs
    • Support our community by offering reasonable, safe spaces for meetings, events and other functions.


Write & Educate

A key component to sharing history is the written word. Eleanor Luxton was a writer, and the Foundation continues to re-publish and promote her works as well as to publish new works. The books we currently offer include:

  • Banff: Canada’s First National Park
  • Tilikum: Luxton’s Pacific Crossing
  • Latch String Out
  • The Last of the Buffalo: Return to the Wild

Eleanor Luxton was also a passionate teacher. Fostering good writing skills and an appreciation for history in our youth were of utmost importance to her. The Foundation continues this legacy.

  • Creative Writing Competition
    • In partnership with the local schools in Banff, students in grades 8 – 12 are required to research a topic that relates to Banff history using the local archives and write an essay. These essays are judged by a panel of local writers. Awards and recognition go to the top three submissions.
  • Scholarships
    • With a focus on Alberta history, the Foundation supports graduate work with scholarships for students at the Universities of Alberta and the University of Calgary. More Alberta Universities may soon be added to this list.


Inform & Connect

Through engagement with others in a variety of formats and platforms, the Foundation shares informs and learns. This community engagement helps us to advocate for heritage.

  • Tours of the Luxton properties allow for direct contact with groups of people and the sharing of history and heritage values
  • Open hours at the Historic Luxton Home allows visitors a sense of discovery as they enter the front door and experience the world of Banff, circa 1930
  • Events in the historic garden or the Beaver Lodge property provide an opportunity to develop programs and content important to our local heritage and conservation, or to open the spaces for other local not-for-profits to do their work in a unique heritage setting
  • Serving on local boards keeps us engaged with the local community:
    • Banff Heritage Corporation
    • Banff Arts & Culture Committee
  • Working with the Banff-Canmore Community Foundation increases opportunities community collaborations



The collective knowledge of the Luxton Board gives the Foundation credibility and the ability to offer support to causes that resonate with our own.

  • McDougall Stoney Mission Society
  • Whyte Museum exhibits
  • Buffalo Nations Museum
  • Banff arts and culture venues
  • Local not-for-profit organizations

For more than 20 years, the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation has frequently supported the work of others. A knowledgeable board has made well-informed decisions, supporting heritage and conservation initiatives in Banff and the Bow Valley.

Working with others fulfills a major area of the Foundation’s mandate. However, there is also a need to focus on our own history and heritage impact in Banff. By preserving three (soon to be four) heritage properties and making them available to visitors, we continue to honour the Luxton legacy by:

  • Opening the Historic Luxton Home to the public
  • Presenting garden events
    • e.g. annual Foundation garden party
  • Accommodating facility use for not-for-profits
  • Hosting walking tours for community partners
  • Developing temporary exhibits on other Foundation properties (e.g. Beaver Lodge)
  • Participating in Banff Gallery Hop

In the past few years, the Foundation has become increasingly aware of the vast potential of the heritage properties under the Foundations care and how much more we could do to:

  • Support our own story
  • Preserve and share the history of Banff
  • Advocate for Banff heritage and
  • Create and strengthen meaningful connections within our community

We are embarking on an amazing journey between now and 2025. With heritage in the forefront, our plans for Beaver Street in Banff will unfold in a three-phase project. This project will realize development of the properties with heritage preservation and future sustainability at the forefront. All development will highlight this important historic district in Banff.



We will need vocal support as we embark on a journey to seek ways to save and protect Banff heritage. Though there is a form of municipal heritage designation for some buildings in town, this designation does not save buildings from a wrecking ball. We want to research how other towns and cities have managed to build protection into their by-laws and advocate for that legislation in Banff.

There will be times when we need a show of hands, tangible support, knowledgeable voices, sensitive interactions, and bodies in attendance at meetings.



As our vision of a museum and presentation spaces begins to manifest in the form of drawings and blueprints, then turn to concrete foundations and restored or new buildings, we will require monetary support to meet the intended goals.



We currently operate with a very small staff and a volunteer board. To continue to grow our public engagement and advocacy efforts, we are calling on volunteers who are sympathetic and understanding not only to our cause, but to the importance of heritage and conservation of Banff.

Volunteer duties may include:

  • Physical support for delivering programs
  • Guides for walking tours or garden programs
  • Research
  • Marketing or social media assistance


Not-For-Profit Connections

We support not-for-profit groups by making our spaces available for a very nominal fee. This allows groups to offer their own programming or fundraising events without the worry of a high rental rate for a space.

We focus currently on supporting not-for-profit organizations in our area. We may be open to supporting not-for-profit organizations from further afield that have a mandate that resonates with that of the Foundation.

Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Historic Luxton Home Manager

Lynne Huras



More Info


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