Heritage Park Honours the Famous 5
This morning at a private ceremony for media and donors, Heritage Park Historical Village officially opened the Famous 5 Centre of Canadian Women.
The Centre will initially feature the story of five brave, persistent and victorious Alberta women; Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Emily Murphy, who petitioned and won the right for women to be considered “Persons” under the British North America Act in 1929. The five women are commemorated in bronze, in a silent, yet triumphant pose on Parliament Hill and in Olympic Plaza in Calgary, but now their stories will come to life in this beautiful new exhibit.
The Famous 5 Centre of Canadian Women is an enhanced replica of Nellie McClung’s Calgary home where she and her husband lived from 1923 to 1932. The home features a number of artifacts that belonged to Nellie, including her original writing desk, which is on display in an upstairs writing room.
Heritage Park will recreate a sense of discovery and discussion in the Famous 5 Centre of Canadian Women. Costumed interpretive staff are on hand daily to answer questions, provide tours, and engage guests in rousing discussions from the era. Educational programs are offered to thousands of school children in the lower level classrooms, and guests can enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea on the verandah, each Sunday during the summer. After hours, the Centre is available for use as catering and events venue.
This 3.4 million dollar investment into the community included the Centre, programming, landscaping and an endowment fund. This project was possible thanks to the support of the lead donor, the Peter and Adele McKeen family and major donors, the Province of Alberta, City of Calgary, Shane Homes, Dick and Lois Haskayne, Newalta and Talisman Energy.
“Today is particularly poignant and significant,” said Alida Visbach, President and CEO of Heritage Park Historical Village. “I feel that collectively, we have created an important legacy through which we will teach generations of Canadians about the women who helped shape our society. I cannot overstate the importance of this.”
For more information about the Famous 5 Centre of Canadian Women, please visit www.HeritagePark.ca