Heritage Weekend at Calgary Public Library

Besides LOVING ART in CALGARY, I’m also very interested in history and so managed to get over to the Central Branch for their session on Calgary Stories in the John Dutton Theater.

A most entertaining session was delivered by three local historians.  Wowsah!

First, Historian Laureate, Harry Sanders, shared archival images Z-A and brief and entertaining snippets of our local history while he went.  Harry, your website isn’t current, but looking forward to reading content after construction ends.  For now, updates can be scanned via Mr. Sander’s twitter account.  His presentation was very entertaining and the public library promises that yesterday’s session will be taped for the purpose of viewing in future on Youtube.

Directly from Harry Sander’s website…this.

An historian from an early age . .

When he was a child, Harry Sanders found an old beat-up photo of the hotel his family owned and knew he wanted to find out more. That photo inspired Harry to research and write about the Whitehouse Hotel in Drumheller, Alberta and he has been writing ever since. Harry uses historic buildings as the catalyst to an exploration of the people and events that have shaped Calgary and Alberta history. He especially likes making obscure connections that others may not have noticed and relating current events to what has happened long before most of us were even born.

Harry has published articles in several magazines and is the author of 7 books on local history. He will have two new books published in 2012. As well as being a prolific author, Harry is also a popular public speaker.

Next, Harry Sanders introduced Historian, John Gilpin.  Now, with my interest in the river as metaphor for mostly everything I think and do, this talk fascinated me.  John Gilpin has authored several books, one being The Elbow: A River in the Life of the City.  The focus of yesterday’s talk was our history with flooding and the issues surrounding decisions on historical mitigation.  I took a couple of photographs in the dark…absolutely fascinating.  Visually, the projected images and the timeline for the building of the Glenmore Dam were of particular interest to me.  

P1130926 P1130927Fascinating that our city should have such a history around flooding.  Again, once the talk has been published, I will post it here…it was absolutely ‘spilling over’ with interesting fact and narrative.  John Gilpin is often involved with tours and talks and has participated in the Jane’s Walks events, an organization I hope to tap into this coming spring.

David Finch, dressed in his early oilman ‘get up’ was the last to speak and his focus was on the oil, natural gas and other related products as the industries developed in Turner Valley.  A charming speaker, this was another very informative and packed session.

I can not speak highly enough about the programs generated at the Calgary Public Library.  As I made my way to the theater, there was Artist-in-Residence, Lea Bucknell, busy with at least fifteen people of all ages, drawing and looking at books.  What a wonderful event!

A Library, Phil, Tim, Good Snacks & Lea Bucknell, Artist in Residence

P1130185I hopped on the train after Esker and Max and stopped at City Hall.  The CPL is right there on the opposite corner and as is always the story about the library, great things were happening last night.  An Artist in Residency program is under way!

Torn directly out of the social media event description…this…

The New Gallery has partnered with the Calgary Public Library to implement a special residency program. Beginning in the fall of 2013, this collaboration encourages social practices and public engagement. Lea Bucknell, the inaugural artist-in-residence, will be building a wooden structure, Graphite Mountain, at the Library’s Central Branch (616 Macleod Trail SE) to act as a place for public gathering and a venue for cartographic and drawing-based workshops.

Both poetic and playful, Graphite Mountain resembles an idealized mountain form and provides a unique and unexpected experience for library-goers. Clad in old wooden fence boards that have been cut and arranged to mimic mountain stratigraphy, the structure’s interior cavity becomes a studio for the artist during her residency. A curiosity in the library, this mountain environment collapses notions of picturesque landscapes and retreat spaces into one stand-alone structure.

I treasured conversation with former student, Tim Belliveau and his Bee-Kingdom buddy and mine, Phillip Bandura.  I also learned some new things from Lea’s talk and look forward to learning more about ‘the follies’ and participating in the various related workshops happening with the library during her residency.

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Wreck City: Lea Bucknell and my Good Byes

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

My son and I attended Wreck City yesterday afternoon.  It was my good-bye to the houses.  Things have changed and have evolved since opening night.  I felt a certain sadness yesterday…but then, I’m sad lately anyway, so that was ok.  Saying good-bye is always difficult…a cliche, but true.  I was able to talk to Lane, however briefly, and also with the artist-gent who kept the Giving Tree fire going all these evenings.  Those conversations helped.


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

I climbed all of the ladders and did all the crawling and discovering that I hadn’t done on opening night because of spatial constraints and a huge public presence.  I particularly loved Lea Bucknell’s camera obscura.

I also felt such peace, being up in the bird nest in the sunshine and spring breeze.  I have gathered so many different images that I am going to keep them in my archive and use them, over time, to illustrate my posts and poems.  Thank you to all who had anything to do with Wreck City…the artist curators, artists and visionaries.  Thanks to Awesome Foundation Calgary.  You could not have donated $1000.00 to a more current and abiding vision.


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors


Wreck City: Remnants of 801

Catalogued as debris, I am more inclined to call the ‘stuff of our lives’ remnants.  That’s just me.  Brandon A. Dalmer is the curator for House 801.  The artists exhibiting there…Brian Schirk, Sasha Foster, Morris Fox, Tiffany Wollman, Lindsay Sorell, Farlee Mowat, Tammy Primeau, Lea Bucknell, Rebecca Noone, Katarzyna Koralewska and Sarah Vansloten.

I was very much impressed by the archive of slivers and bits of matter revealed as art in one of the houses…a collection of slides and notations that spoke of the unique content of the property, the walls and floors throughout the house.  I will be returning to Wreck City later in the week and hope to gather more focused shots of the numerous items collected.  This was a theme that appeared in several spaces, but as unique artistic expressions.  I also wish to make note of the specific artist who created this art within the space.

I also need to return to the site during the week because I didn’t do any of the stairs/ladders to basements…and I want to revisit Lea Bucknell’s Pinhole Camera in the daytime.

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