October 2015 - Lougheed House

New Exhibit “Proudly They Served: Canadian Women’s Army Corps in WWII”

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On October 23rd, we were honoured to perform a flag raising ceremony with Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) Veterans and members of the 15 Field Ambulance of the Canadian Armed Forces. Every year Lougheed House’s Royal Union Flag, a flag symbolic of Canada’s membership in the Commonwealth, needs to be replaced. The flag raising ceremony was an fitting way to start the Opening Reception for our new exhibit, “Proudly They Served: Canadian Women’s Army Corps in WWII”.

_DSC0928CWAC Veteran Rose Wilkinson accepting the Royal Union Flag from Lt. Mary MacDonald of the 15 Field Ambulance.
_DSC0929Lt. Mary MacDonald and Capt. LeAnn Reid of the 15 Field Ambulance of the Canadian Army placing the new Royal Union Flag on the post.

Lougheed House’s ties to CWAC are strong. Lougheed House acted as CWAC barracks from 1942-46. Lougheed House’s new exhibition explores the lives of women who served in WWII in Alberta. The exhibit includes oral histories in the audio tour component of the exhibit from women who served as switchboard operators, cipher decoders, drivers, cooks and clerks. For the first time in Canadian history, women fulfilling non-combatant duties were officially part of the Canadian Army.

_DSC0951Honourable Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, with CWAC Veteran Rose Wilkinson and her daughter, and Lougheed House Curator Trisha Carleton.
_DSC0961Hon. Kathleen Ganley with Lt. Mary MacDonald , Capt. LeAnn Reid,  and Lougheed House Executive Director Kirstin Evenden.
_DSC0968Stop by the House and imagine yourself in the shoes of a CWAC member, like these visitors.

If you missed the Opening Reception, you can still meet a CWAC Veteran. Join us on Nov. 9th from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm for a Tea and Talk with CWAC Veteran Rose Wilkinson.The talk will be led by Lougheed House Curator Trisha Carleton and light refreshments will be provided. Rose Wilkinson volunteers extensively, performs speaking engagements, and was awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2015.

Contact Adrienne Leicht at 403 244-6333 ext. 106 or email aleicht@lougheedhouse.com to purchase tickets.

Sand Painting the House: A Historic Process

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Older buildings require a lot of care and attention, especially here in Calgary with long winters and summer hail storms. This Fall, work is progressing to repair and restore the sand painting on the exterior of Lougheed House as it had become cracked and damaged over time. The Lougheed House is built partly from sandstone and partly from wood coated in “sanded paint”.

Sanded paint is a decorative finish which was used on building from the late 18th Century and through the 19th Century to give the appearance of stone, usually sandstone (Leake, 1991).  For buildings, and parts of buildings, made of wood, this coating would make them look like they were built from stone, and give added durability to the paint.

The technique of sand painting historically involved applying wet paint to the exterior of the building and then throwing sand or blowing it on to the wall with bellows.  Today, air compressors are used.

damage to railings 1


The first stage of this work at Lougheed House involved removing the old sand paint from areas that were damaged, and then filling any cracks in the wood beneath and replacing the old caulking.  In some places on the building, water had got in through the damaged paint and made the wood beneath damp.  This damp wood had to be allowed to dry out before anything new could be applied.  Next the wood was coated in a primer, and when that was dry it was ready to sand paint.

damp wood drying out

The colour of the new paint has been carefully matched to the old paint so any repairs will blend in seamlessly to the older paint. Next time you pass by the House, take a look at this historic technique in action!


Leeke, J.  1991.  “Sanded Paint” in Old House Journal  May/June 1991 p. 32-36.

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