Our Story

Heritage Park Historical Village first opened its gates on July 1, 1964. Since opening its doors, the Park has grown into one of Calgary’s premier tourist attractions.

Park Beginnings

The initial concept for Heritage Park Historical Village was formulated in 1961 during discussions between trustees of the Woods Foundation and City of Calgary Commissioners concerning the development of a children’s pioneer theme park. The Woods Foundation provided $150,000, which was matched by the City of Calgary, which also provided the land. Interested Calgarians pledged a further $77,000. With funding in place, the foundation was laid for what would become one of North America’s largest and most successful living history museums.

Bowell Station 1965
Grain Elevator

City officials and staff of the Glenbow Foundation jointly undertook the early planning of the Park. The Heritage Park Society was then formed in the fall of 1963 and placed in charge of the construction, development and operation of the Park. To complete the ambitious project, Standard Holdings Ltd. provided a project manager; the Glenbow Foundation supplied a field representative; and the City of Calgary, various corporations and individuals made personnel and services available at little or no cost to the Society.

Within nine months, two dozen historical buildings were moved in, repaired and then furnished with a few thousand artifacts. A vintage train, which is now the Park’s most iconic feature, was restored to operating condition and 4,300 feet of track was laid for its thundering journey around the Park. The public first experienced the Park on July 1, 1964, which at the time was operated by just 100 volunteers, six full-time staff, and 22 part-time employees.

Reflect. Reimagine. Renew.

As part of the Reflect. Reimagine. Renew. process, we’ve been consulting with community members, visitors, annual membership holders, neighbours, community leaders and donors, listening to their thoughts about Heritage Park’s continued evolution.

Watch as President and CEO Lindsey Galloway talks about some of our big takeaways and learnings for this important project.

More About the Reflect. Reimagine. Renew. Process

Spring 2022 Update

The Spring Update shares what we heard, and what that means as we move on to reimagining the Park’s next 20 years.

View the Spring Update

What’s Next?

The Reflect. Reimagine. Renew. process has reaffirmed that Heritage Park has social impact that extends beyond our gates.

Heritage Park is set to expand our impact as a living history museum, one of Alberta’s top tourism attractions, and a community builder.  We look forward to sharing the Park Development Plan in the coming months, and to continuing to engage with our stakeholders as we bring the plan to life.

Watch this space for updates on the Reflect. Reimagine. Renew. process and how to share your input.

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The cover of the 2022 Spring Update on the Reflect. Reimagine. Renew Strategic Planning Process at Heritage Park