Whenever I travel to a new city, I like to experience everything that city has to offer; I go to museums, I see shows, I walk along the main streets, and check out all the markets and shops. I think a lot of people would agree that they do more activities like these in cities they are visiting, than they do in their own city. I’m the same. I am embarrassed to admit this, but Calgary, I can’t remember the last time I went to the Glenbow Museum. It has been on my list ever since the Kaleidoscopic Animalia exhibit opened in October 2015 and I just kept procrastinating. So, you can imagine my excitement when, in January 2016, the Glenbow Museum began offering free entry on the first Thursday evening of every month! I brought my parents!
We started on the top floor and worked our way down. The Mavericks exhibit on the third floor was incredibly cool. We took a trip down historical lane and learned about the hard working and spirited mavericks – both men and women – who helped build Southern Alberta. We learned about David Thompson, the map maker, D.W. Davis, Alberta’s first member of parliament, and Colonel James Macleod, whom you may know as an important RCMP officer, of the time or from that Trail we named after him. We learned about George Lane, one of the Calgary Stampede’s “Big Four,” who helped fund the first ever Stampede. Under his portrait was the quote, “always keep yourself in a position to look any man straight in the eye and tell him to go to hell.” Good for you, George Lane, and good advice for all of us. We read about Tom Three Persons, the first Native man to enter the Stampede Rodeo. He won the championship for bronc riding— on a horse that had thrown all the other riders! Henrietta Muir Edwards, one of the Famous Five, fought for the political rights of women. It was the Famous Five who fought to have women declared as “persons” under the law. Oh my gosh, I learned so much about Alberta.
On we went to the next floor. We visited the Kaleidoscopic Animalia exhibit, designed and curated by Paul Hardy. This temporary exhibit showcased window display-like installations with the most extraordinary costumes and props. Each abstract piece drew my eye. It was hard to look away! Paul Hardy said, “my desire in creating this exhibition was to startle the viewer,” and startle me he did!
The Glenbow Museum offers free entry from 5pm-9pm on the first Thursday of every month. The event is made possible by the generous support of Servus Credit Union.