Finding Friday


History in the Canadian West.

Finding Friday are blogs about historical facts as they pertain to Western Canada.

In my travels throughout North America as a Canadian I discovered there is little known about the Canadian West both south of the border or in Eastern Canada.  Originally it appears as though the west was set up as a colony where westerners supplied easterners from their vast resources.

Three words can destroy western Canada almost immediately.  National Energy Program.  It has happened twice – when Canada first started – Sir John A. MacDonald, our first Prime Minister, implemented it – a big reason for Canada’s Civil War and more recently Pierre Elliott Trudeau again tried it in the early 80’s.  I watched houses abandoned, homeless wandering the streets and saw the results of the dreaded National Energy Program. It seems simply a method of punishing the west for prospering.  I hope it won’t happen a third time.

Recently I have read a few articles where Canadian magazines have actually bragged about how Canada didn’t have troubles with their natives like the USA did.  One magazine actually went on to say – Canada had no Indian Wars.  How this article was ever published, by a Canadian magazine to boot, I’ll never know.  It’s simply not true.

I now live in Calgary, Alberta.  There were two states in my travels who seemed to know much about Calgary, Texas and Georgia.  Texans knew that Calgary hosts the largest outdoor rodeo in the world, the Calgary Stampede. Many Texans are participants in this huge event. Combine that with Calgary being the oil capital of Canada and we understand why Texas might know all about Alberta.  When my husband worked in the moving industry, there was a steady flow of Canadians going to Texas and Texans coming to Calgary to work in the oil-field Head Offices.

In 2013 Calgary had the worst flood here in recorded history.  Two weeks before the Stampede the grounds and downtown Calgary were flooded.  Two weeks later everything was ready for the Stampede.  Yeah Calgary.  We are Calgary

Georgia has people who are well aware Calgary purchased their Atlanta Flames hockey team, to become our proud Calgarians Calgary Flames instead.  Calgary also has the largest population of Americans who live outside the United States. Many of the settlers who started ranches near Calgary were originally from the USA.

Join me in reliving and learning about Western Canada’s fascinating past.  Meet individuals as notorious as Jesse James and learn of some legends that appear might be true and not legends at all.

Welcome to Calgary, The New West:

Ah my beautiful home again - Calgary

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5 thoughts on “Finding Friday

    • I wrote a book – Hawk’s Gift – which takes place just before the Riel Rebellion – and I really researched the reasons why there was even a rebellion – that was one of them – the NEP. Then in the 80’s when Trudeau put it in – it was when my husband and I bought our first house – an abandoned house – just took over the mortgage – no down-payment. It was scary times. Unfortunately many people are too young to remember.

  1. The Western Imprint Canada Show returned to Calgary for its 15th annual event, October 18 & 19 in Calgary, and 1,136 buyers were on hand to mark the occasion and see the great new products from nearly 100 leading exhibitors. On display were the newest introductions in imprintable apparel, ad specialty products, equipment and accessories for embroidery, digital printing, screen printing, engraving and more. Congratulations to Olga De La Vega of Visual Communications Professionals (VCPROS), based in Edmonton, Alberta, grand prize winner of the Show’s Spirit of Alberta Design Competition, for her entry titled Calgary United. As Mrs. De La Vega explained, “This design represents the union of the community during this summer’s floods that affected so many people in Calgary and surrounding areas. The people — represented by figures with different shades of colours and shapes represent the different cultures and backgrounds Calgary is made of, all of them united by one cause. Inside of them, the river and the rocky mountains: one representing the floods and the other representing the beautiful icon of Calgary. “And last but not least, the rising of the sun… meaning hope of a newer and stronger Calgary.” The design was printed on T-shirts sold at the Show, and all proceeds and unsold shirts were donated to the Canadian Red Cross (Alberta Floods Fund). This competition was presented by RB Digital, Fruit of the Loom Canada, North American Logistics Services and Imprint Canada. The next Imprint Canada Show takes place in Toronto January 10 & 11, 2014. Free registration is now open. For more information, call (905) 856-2600 or e-mail shows@imprintcanada.com.

  2. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you’re going to be telling us about Jesse James as I just learned recently that The Sundance Kid spent some time in this city. There are so many US/Canada historical connections, especially in Calgary, aren’t there.

    • Yes – especially in Calgary. Even right now we have the largest group of Americans living outside of the States – right here. But the ranchers (successful ones especially were Americans too – and those notorious whiskey traders and the list goes on and on…) But I wasn’t going to do Jesse James as there is much about him – fiction and documentary – just someone as notorious as him (ever heard of Billy Miner – a train robber – mostly known in Princeton, BC where he lived – but I say Western so I should include him). But I’m glad you told me about the Sundance Kid as I didn’t know that. 🙂 I’ll have to research that.

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