The Calgary Numismatic Society is pleased to host the 55th Anniversary Convention of The Canadian Numismatic Association. 2005 is the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Province of Alberta and The Canadian Numismatic Association’s 2005 Convention shares with the residents of Alberta in celebrating the 100th Anniversary by declaring its theme “Alberta 100 Years Proud. Come Celebrate Our Centennial”.
The 2005 Convention Committee was pleased to offer several offsite tours which will allow the delegates to share in Alberta’s and Calgary’s rich historical, cultural and natural resources. The convention activities commenced Wednesday morning with a bus tour of some of the scenic and historic highlights of the province’s southern landscape. The tour travelled south of Calgary showing the participants a brief glimpse of some of Calgary’s southern neighbours including High River, Nanton, with its numerous antique shops and its Lancaster bomber display, and Claresholm. The bus did not stop in any of these locations but continued on to its first destination “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump”.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a World Heritage Site located approximately 2 hours south of Calgary. The interpretive centre at the site allows visitors to view one of the oldest, largest and best preserved buffalo jumps in North America. The five level site provides an excellent insight to the methods, procedures and actual site used by the native Americans for nearly 6,000 years. Lunch was provided at the interpretive centre and featured their famous delicious “Buffalo Stew”.
The tour then proceeded through historic Fort McLeod, with its many historic buildings, to the south-west corner of the Province, where in this breathtaking part of the world, the majestic Rocky Mountains rise suddenly out of the rolling prairies. Amid the peaks are the beautiful lakes of Waterton Lakes National Park, carved out of the rock by ancient glaciers. Also located in the Park is the beautiful and historic Prince of Wales hotel. In the Park there was a brief stop to enjoy the mountain air and the amenities of the town
The bus then returned to Calgary along scenic Highway 22X through the “Foothills” of Alberta and passed by the Big Rock near Okotoks. The Big Rock is a glacial erratic (huge boulder) left behind following the retreat of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. The Big Rock is estimated to weigh 16,000 tons. Okotoks is named for the Blackfoot word "okatok," which means rock. The bus arrived in Calgary around 6:00 PM leaving the delegates with the whole evening to enjoy the restaurants and sights of Calgary.
On Friday morning the spouses and delegates were given a chance to share in Calgary’s rich history by enjoying a tour of some of the gravesites of the famous or infamous residents in Calgary’s Union Cemetery. The cemetery tour was led by Don Sucha, a member of the Calgary Numismatic Society and an avid local history researcher. Among the gravesites that were visited are: Thomas Kempster; one of the original inventors of the Mounted Police Musical Ride, who has his medals engraved on his tombstone; Col. James Macleod, the man who ordered the building of Fort Calgary and who gave Calgary its name; Harry Cooper, The Yorkshire Giant - a circus performer of immense height who passed away while performing in Calgary and whose grave remained unmarked for over 100years; George Clift King, the first Mountie to set foot on the site of Fort Calgary, and who became Mayor of Calgary following a scandal; and Sam Livingstone, Calgary's first white settler. The tour then proceeded to the restored turn of the 20th Century residence of Senator James Lougheed, grandfather of Alberta’s former Premier, Peter Lougheed, for lunch and a tour of the restored residence. The residence was restored for the Province’s centennial.
On Friday evening, delegates and guests were invited to The Nickle Arts Museum, located on the campus of the University of Calgary. The Nickle Arts Museum holds one of the most important numismatic collections in Canada. The museum opened in 1979 and is named in honour of its benefactors, Sam and Carl Nickle. Carl Nickle was a prominent Calgary coin collector, whose large collection comprises the core of the museum's numismatic holdings. The numismatic Curator, Geraldine Chimirri-Russell gave delegates and guests a private tour of the two major numismatic exhibitions, "Canadian Money" and "Money bridging Cultures," The latter exhibition is part of the International Council of Museums theme of "Museums Bridging Cultures", and features so-called primitive money, recently donated in honour of Jack Shinske. The cost included a cocktail party with a no host bar.
On Saturday, spouses and delegates were given the opportunity to see some of the more famous sites of Calgary by participating in a bus tour in the afternoon. Some of the sites that will be encountered are the Calgary Tower, the Pengrowth Saddledome, Canada Olympic Park, the Calgary Zoo, and the University of Calgary featuring the Olympic Oval and The Nickle Arts Museum