ROAR consists of 2 exhibitions and a host of exciting programs. Nine Lives: Changing Notions of Femininity Through Time (until April 28) connects to the house’s history as a space for women. After the Lougheed family lived here (Lady Isabella Lougheed raised six children here and was a significant Calgary community builder), the house was occupied by the Dominion Youth Training Program, which trained young women for domestic work; it served as a barracks for the Canadian Women’s Army Corps during World War Two; and was the headquarters for the Red Cross in Calgary for many years, an organization that was primarily staffed by women at the time. We were interested in exploring how women’s roles have shifted from the Victorian era, over the last century. The exhibit, developed in partnership with the Big Kitty Crew, an all-female urban art collective, explores this shift.
Outliers: Exploring Queer History in Calgary, (May 9 – June 9) explores Calgary’s queer history. Before Lougheed House was restored and opened as a Historic Site, the park surrounding the house was used as a gay prostitution stroll known as the ‘Fruit Loop’. Many residents of the neighbourhood were concerned for the safety of people using the park, and this was partially the impetus for the cleanup and restoration of the site. We thought it would be interesting to explore this history from the perspective of the queer community so we have partnered with the Queer Arts Society and Pride Calgary to present this exhibit featuring unique private collections that tell the rich history of this community and its impact on Calgary.
We think that both these projects have unique connections to the history of Lougheed House and that they represent a move to a more inclusive future for the Historic Site and Museum. Lougheed House has been a witness to over 128 years of Calgary history and we are excited to work with community to reveal the diverse regional histories of our rich shared past. We invite you to check out our unique programs, events and openings happening this spring that celebrate community and our dynamic history in fun and immersive ways.
We at Lougheed House are excited to share in these community conversations and look forward to continuing the dialogue in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
Kirstin Evenden, Executive Director