2016 - Lougheed House

Sterling silver lapel pins. Limited edition for our 125th anniversary

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

How would this look on your tree, or your lapel? These sterling silver pins were made exclusively for our 125th Anniversary (2016) by Calgary silversmith Shona Rae. Only 50 were made & each features an image of Lougheed House. Each comes either in a gift box, or choose one that we’ve paired with a removable bow (seen here) for hanging on your tree Christmas eve. Keep it as a treasured Christmas ornament, or remove the bow and wear it on your lapel, hat or scarf. $125 each at our Lougheed House Shop.


New Children’s Garden at the Lougheed House

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

There is an exciting new addition to the garden this year. In commemoration of dedicated Lougheed House volunteer Brian Exton, a children’s garden has been developed at the west side of the house. The garden features miniature versions of flowers found in the larger beds, including teddy bear sunflowers, miniature snapdragons (nemesia), and knee-high sweet peas. As Sir James and Isabella Lougheed raised six children in the house, who spent many summers exploring and socializing in the garden, a children’s area is a fitting addition to the historic fabric of this outdoor space.


The new butterfly house in the children’s garden

At the north end of the bed a red butterfly house has been erected with the addition of some butterfly-friendly flowers and a nearby mud-bath. Butterflies prefer to cool themselves in slightly dirty water; this method allows them to soak up both moisture and minerals at the same time. The butterflies of the Lougheed House garden have been provided with a stone bath implanted in the ground so that the water naturally gathers dirt. Bright orange and yellow calendulas surround the base of the butterfly house to encourage these beautiful pollinators to take up residence. To the left of the new butterfly area, at the end of the “yellow brick road” in the center of the bed, birdhouse ornaments made by the garden volunteers at Christmas have been strung up. No doubt the vibrant colours and engaging designs of these birdhouses will also help attract friendly pollinators to the garden.


The birdhouses created by the garden volunteers at the end of the yellow brick road

Vegetable and other edible varieties have been seeded by the volunteers next to the raised tomato bed. In keeping with the theme of the other varieties in the children’s garden, the tomatoes in the raised bed are miniature-scale (sweet millions and tiny tims). Other plants seeded in the vegetable patch will be inspired by popular children’s fables. Scarlet runner beans will be planted to indicate Jack and the Bean Stalk and pumpkins for Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.  Be sure to come down and enjoy the new garden as it develops this summer, and keep an eye out for friendly pollinators such as butterflies, bees and beetles who will be busy working in this new space!


A bee works diligently to extract pollen from the wild rose bush on the grounds

2016 AGM and Something Old, Something New Opening Reception

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Thank you to all who attended our 2016 AGM and the Opening Reception to Something Old, Something New: 125 Years of Wedding Fashion! This year marks the 125th Anniversary of the House’s construction in 1891 and there were some special surprises this year. Dedicated Gardens volunteer Mary Faundry was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award and board member Neil Richardson was awarded the Ron Robertson Leadership Award. See some of the highlights from the evening and learn more about our current exhibit.

Ron Robertson

Past Board Chair Ron Robertson received the first of 50 special pins created by local artist Shona Rae to recognize his long-time contributions to the Lougheed House Conservation Society. The pin features a textured rendering of the House’s facade and marks the 125th Anniversary. The pin will be available in the Gift Shop as a fundraiser. Call 403-244-6333 ext. 101 for more information.

joe lougheed editedJoe Lougheed, great grandson of Sir James and Lady Isabella Lougheed, gave a special toast to celebrate the 125th Anniversary.

CrowdThe Opening Reception began later in the evening and it was well attended.

SandraExhibit Curator Sandra Morton Weizman made remarks and introduced the exhibit- a celebration of wedding fashion spanning 125 years.

_DSC1093Ann and John Brownlee, who have loaned the silk dress of Katharine Crawford Frizzell when she married Stuart Henry Brownlee in Owen Sound, Ontario in 1929, with Executive Director Kirstin Evenden. 

Looking at exhibitThe 1929 silk dress on loan from John and Ann Brownlee.

_DSC1078Board members Sue McMaster and Carol Howes with past Board Chair Ron Robertson and 125th Anniversary Project Coordinator Matt Masters.

Kenna BurimaLougheed House’s first artist in residence of 2016, Kenna Burima, performing at the AGM. Lead by Matt Masters, Lougheed House will set up several artist residences throughout the year to celebrate the 125th Anniversary. Kenna has composed several original pieces inspired by the House’s history as part of her residency.


125 Years of Blooming in the Beaulieu Gardens

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments


The wildflower garden in full bloom

“Then & Now” was last year’s theme – many of the featured flower beds were recreations of past garden themes at the Lougheed House. This year, Head Gardener Marie Gattinger and the hardworking garden volunteers have recreated the British and Canadian flags in the formal garden beds in honour of the 125th anniversary of the construction of Lougheed House. Recently planted petunias, alyssum, ageratum and calibrachoa will soon bloom to reveal the design and colours of each flag. As the Canadian bed was planted first, it has had a bit of a head start on the British bed, and the flag design is already emerging.

The rest of the formal garden features plant colours that are emblematic of each room of the house. Each bed will be labelled so visitors can identify the elements of the garden design that correspond with each room. In addition to the transformation of the formal garden, a new garden in memorial to Peter Lougheed has recently been completed at the west side of the house. This project, undertaken by one of the garden volunteers, features a flowering crab tree which has really taken root this spring.


The Canadian flag design in the formal gardens


The new Peter Lougheed memorial garden at the west side of the house

Seeds and annuals were distributed throughout the formal gardens last week. Some of the seeds have quickly sprouted and it will not be long before the garden has filled out completely. Unfortunately this also means that the garden volunteers must be on the lookout for the resurgence of garden pests. Last year saw a slow re-emergence of the red lily beetle, which appeared in August, but luckily it was easily controlled by hand-picking. The martagon lily was the worst hit and had a late flowering, but it has fully recovered this year. Only four beetles have been spotted so far this summer, an indication that the volunteer’s efforts to curb the spread of this pest have paid off.


A Sarah Bernhardt peony in the formal gardens. This heritage variety was introduced in 1906 and named for the famous French dramatic actress. You will be able to view this specimen from the Beaulieu Gardens at the Canadian Peony Show, held at the Calgary Zoo June 24-26.

The garden weathered two hail storms in the summer of 2015, with the first stripping the plants substantially. However, most grew back thicker and heartier. This left some of the garden personnel requesting another hail storm this summer so that the plants might grow denser! Many of the flowering varieties were late to bloom last year as a result, but due to the extended growing season many also produced a second and third bloom: most notably the roses, which were still blooming in November. In the wildflower garden, some varieties were left to self-seed and have come back in abundance this year. You can often find a group of lively chickadees socializing in the bird bath of the wildflower garden (and occasionally, you may catch the neighbourhood robin taking a dip as well).


A local bird bathing in the wildflower garden

This year has seen a quick start to the flowering season due to the early warm weather Calgary experienced this spring. The irises were one of the first plants to begin blooming this year and as they fade they will soon be replaced by peonies, as the large buds look ready to emerge in the next few weeks. It is hard to predict how the early start to the season will affect growing conditions later in the summer but it may allow for many varieties to experience multiple blooming periods once again. With the emergence of even more blooming plants in June and the lilac bushes perfuming the grounds, it is a beautiful time of year to visit the garden and enjoy this unique space in the Beltline.


Orange poppies in bloom


Climbing roses on the arbour


Blog post by Lougheed House summer student Mieke Rodenburg

Urban Portraits Pop-Up Exhibit Opening

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Get to know the downtown community through photography! The vibrancy and diversity of the residents of Calgary’s downtown is captured by the lens of photographer Kerri Singh in a special pop-up exhibit, Urban Portraits, on until May 1st in the Lougheed House Drawing Room. On Friday, April 22nd, the Opening Reception was held and many of the subjects of the photographs attended. Each photograph captures a unique story. The setting for each photograph is an important place in the participants’ lives. You might even recognize some popular Beltline locations! Be sure to visit to discover them all. We captured some of the community members with their photographs at the Opening Reception.

Photographer Kerri Singh with Stampede Princess Vanessa Strongarm

IMG_0131Sangeeta, Charvi and Jitesh Shah

IMG_0133Vipul Jasani and Vrushti Jasani

IMG_0138Theresa Litschke

IMG_0140Sasa, Tijana, Marko, Filip and Sophia

IMG_0141Rich Theroux and Jessica Szabo

IMG_0149Alex Lam and Vincent Yau

Herein We Dwell Opening Reception

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Opening Reception for Herein We Dwell: Unexpected Images of Calgary in the 1890s celebrated the 125th anniversary of the construction of Lougheed House in 1891. The 1890s was a decade in which Calgary saw tremendous growth and ambition. What has stayed the same and what has changed? Many community members attended the Opening Reception to glimpse into the past of the community we call home. Make sure to snap a photo or selfie at our 1890s photo booth and enter to win an Instamax mini with film and other prizes when you upload your photo to Instagram with the hashtags #1890syyc and #lougheedhouse. Full details available here. Take a look at some highlights from our Opening Reception and view more photography exhibits as part of Exposure Photography Festival 2016.

 Peter Duthie_Doreen LougheedGuest Curator Peter Duthie and Doreen Lougheed.
_DSC0989Guests in amazing 1890s style costumes.
_DSC0979Operations Manager Maria Vinnels and Duncan Vinnels enjoying the 1890s photobooth.
_DSC1016A slideshow of 1890s photography is also on display.
_DSC0999Lougheed House Executive Director Kirstin Evenden and Exposure Festival Chair Vince Varga.
Looking at photosMany of the photographs are full of detail – take your time looking at them.

We have year round exhibits and free events.

Join our newsletter list to be the first to know!

Sign up for our e-newsetter.