100 Outstanding Albertans

In 2012, to celebrate the Stampede’s Centennial, the Western Legacy Awards moved beyond the traditional three categories and honoured 100 Outstanding Albertans for the contributions to their communities and our province.

William Aberhart

1878-1943 teacher, political visionary, and premier
Alberta’s seventh premier was an Ontario-born school principal and...
Alberta’s seventh premier was an Ontario-born school principal and evangelical lay preacher who was motivated to enter politics by the suffering he witnessed during the Great Depression. “Bible Bill” as Aberheart came to be known, gained a wide following in the 1920s with his Back to the Bible Hour radio broadcasts and establishment of the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. The Dirty Thirties were characterized by “poverty in the midst of plenty.” To address this, he preached the theory of “social credit,” which was meant to increase individual purchasing power. Aberhart’s new Social Credit Party won the 1935 election and passed important legislation, but his monetary reforms proved unsuccessful. Aberhart died in office, but his political dynasty lasted until 1971.
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William Donald Albright

1881-1946 experimental farmer and promoter, Peace River Country
The “Apostle of the Peace River Country”, William Donald Albright,...
The “Apostle of the Peace River Country”, William Donald Albright, attended Ontario Agricultural College in his native province before settling with his wife Eva near Beaverlodge in 1913. His free-thinking Burnsite brand of Methodism informed his independence of mind and allowed him to see the possibilities of the Peace. Albright offered part of his farm to the government for seed experiments. Eventually, his entire farm became a government station with him as superintendent. His pioneer efforts ranged from apple-growing to beekeeping, together with his prolific writing and lecturing, Albright contributed to the agricultural development of this important region in the province.
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Tom Baines

1901-1994 zookeeper and educator
For all but a handful of years between 1929 and 1964, Tom Baines served as...
For all but a handful of years between 1929 and 1964, Tom Baines served as the dedicated curator of the Calgary Zoo. Though untrained in zookeeping, Baines was hired to take over the new zoo three years after immigrating from his native England. During the Great Depression, Baines bicycled around town collecting food scraps from local businesses to feed his charges. After retiring from his long and distinguished career, “Mr. Zoo” began a second one as an educator for the Glenbow Museum. Baines spent decades visiting schools to teach children about the world of nature. He always brought his “gimmick bag”, which contained everything from butterflies to swordfish snouts.
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Dermot Baldwin

born 1942 advocate and provider for the homeless
For 30 years, Dermot Baldwin worked tirelessly to protect, mentor and rehabilitate the most vulnerable of our society. The Montreal-born contract manager...
For 30 years, Dermot Baldwin worked tirelessly to protect, mentor and rehabilitate the most vulnerable of our society. The Montreal-born contract manager moved to Calgary in the 1980s, and in the early 1990s he became executive director of the Calgary Drop-In and Rehabilitation Centre. During his 16 years at its helm, he helped improve tens of thousands of lives. People were fed, clothed and sheltered, but that was just the starting point. Baldwin ensured job readiness training, basic medical services, counseling, case management, transitional housing, supportive affordable housing, computer access and training, a library, seniors' program, memorial services, a myriad of fitness and arts opportunities, and many more options available for each client. Equally important, Baldwin was unflinching in his advocacy. He promoted newsletters to better educate the community about the complexity of homelessness. He opened a 24/7 facility so those who were ill or working nights could rest without incurring loitering tickets. For this man, accepting every person as they were was the only right thing to do. Baldwin brought respect and dignity to struggling and bone-weary Calgarians.
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Tommy Banks

born 1936 musician, broadcaster, and Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts
In 1949, young Tommy Banks moved with his family from his native Calgary to...
In 1949, young Tommy Banks moved with his family from his native Calgary to Edmonton, where he launched his music career at the age of 15. An accomplished arranger, bandleader, composer, pianist and producer, Banks hosted the long-running Tommy Banks Show, a TV variety show. Among many accomplishments, Banks served as musical director for events such as the 1978 Commonwealth Games and 1983 Universiade Games in Edmonton, Expo’86 in Vancouver, and the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary in 1988. In 1978, Banks founded the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts (a forerunner to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts) and served as its chair until 1986. From 2000 to 2011, Banks represented Alberta in the Canadian Senate. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991, and in 1993 he was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence.
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Catherine & Mary Barclay

1902-1985 and 1901-2000 Co-founders, Canadian hostelling movement
In the 1930s, sisters Catherine and Mary Barclay established Canada's first...
In the 1930s, sisters Catherine and Mary Barclay established Canada's first youth hostel and were instrumental in founding the organization that became the Canadian Hostelling Association. Both sisters were Calgary schoolteachers, and Catherine strove to teach French proficiency decades before official bilingualism began. She believed that travel enhanced language, education, and she also felt that young people should be able to do such travel without being inhibited by cost. In 1933, inspired by an article about British hostels that they had read in the Christian Science Monitor, the sisters rented a tent, placed it in a farmer's field in their beloved Bragg Creek, and thereby created the first youth hostel in North America. Along with other enthusiasts, the sisters helped found the Canadian Youth Hostel Association in 1937. Catherine served as its first president, and Mary later became its main spokesperson. In 1987, Mary was invested in the Order of Canada for her accomplishment, and her citation acknowledged Catherine posthumously.
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R.B. Bennett

1870-1947 Prime Minister and philanthropist
Just 25 years after their province was formed, Albertans helped elect one of...
Just 25 years after their province was formed, Albertans helped elect one of their own as Canada's eleventh prime minister. Richard Bedford Bennett led the nation from 1930-35, but the Great Depression that contributed to his victory also led to his defeat. Despite public scorn, including the label "Bennett buggies" for automobiles drawn by horses to save gasoline, Bennett was personally generous to many victims of the Dirty Thirties who asked him for help. Born in New Brunswick, Bennett settled in Calgary in 1897 and made it his home until 1938, when he retired to England. He became the first leader of the provincial Conservative Party in 1905, and he led the federal party from 1927-35.
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Paul Brandt

born 1972 musician, philanthropist, and volunteer
Canada's most awarded male country music artist is also well known for his charitable work in aid of children and the homeless. Calgary-born Paul Brandt was...
Canada's most awarded male country music artist is also well known for his charitable work in aid of children and the homeless. Calgary-born Paul Brandt was a paedeatric registered nurse when he won the 1992 Calgary Stampede youth talent search that launched his music career. He was inspired artistically by his western heritage and the gospel music he heard at his family's church. Brandt's dedication to worthy causes includes his involvement with the Alberta Children's Hospital, Place of Rescue, Samaritan's Purse, and World Vision. His own initiatives include Build It Forward, a homebuilding project that he spearheaded for worthy families in Alberta and developing countries, and the Priceless Gift of Hope Foundation, which he founded to aid organizations that treasure the value of human life.
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Johnny Bright

1930-1983 football player, educator, and coach
In 1952, Indiana-born Johnny Bright declined his draft into the National...
In 1952, Indiana-born Johnny Bright declined his draft into the National Football League and instead joined the Canadian Football League. Bright was black, and as a college player the previous year, he experienced anti-black sentiment when an opposing player broke his jaw on the field. In the CFL, Bright escaped racial prejudice and found fame and success with the Edmonton Eskimos, whom he helped lead to three consecutive Grey Cup victories in the mid- 1950s. He won the 1959 Schenley Award as the league's most valuable player, becoming the first black person to do so. After retiring in 1964, Bright became an Edmonton schoolteacher and, in 1970, the first black school administrator in the Canadian west.
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Walking Buffalo

1871-1967 Bearspaw Stoney chief and peace ambassador
At the age of six, Tatanga Mani - Walking Buffalo - was present at the gathering that produced Treaty No. 7 in 1877. The future chief's mother had died...
At the age of six, Tatanga Mani - Walking Buffalo - was present at the gathering that produced Treaty No. 7 in 1877. The future chief's mother had died giving birth to him, and he was later adopted by missionary John McLean and given the name George McLean. He was formally educated at the McDougall School at Morley and briefly in Red Deer and Winnipeg before returning to the Bearspaw reserve, where he became a minor chief in 1920 and eventually retired as tribal chief in 1935. He was one of the most recognized leaders at the Calgary Stampede and Banff Indian Days. Late in life, Walking Buffalo renewed an old acquaintance with Frank Buchman, a leader in the worldwide Moral Re-Armament Movement. Supported by Buchman's organization, Walking Buffalo toured the world in the late 1950s and the 1960s, speaking to government leaders and to gathered crowds on the need for peace and understanding between the world's peoples.
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Alex Decoteau

1887-1917 policeman, athlete, and soldier
Born on the Red Pheasant Cree Reserve in Saskatchewan, Alexander Decoteau was the son of a warrier who had fought in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. He became...
Born on the Red Pheasant Cree Reserve in Saskatchewan, Alexander Decoteau was the son of a warrier who had fought in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. He became one of the first aboriginal officers of the Edmonton Police Force in 1909, and in 1914 he was promoted to sergeant. Decoteau also became an accomplished athlete, winning most of the middle and long distance races held in western Canada between 1909 and 1916. He was on Canada's Olympic team at the 1912 games in Stockholm and competed in the 5000-metre race. During the First World War, Decoteau enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and he was killed by a sniper at Passchendaele.
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Hugh A. Dempsey

born 1929 historian, museum builder, and First Nations advocate
In 1949, Edgerton-born Hugh Dempsey began his first career as a journalist with the Edmonton Bulletin. An early assignment to cover a meeting of the Indian...
In 1949, Edgerton-born Hugh Dempsey began his first career as a journalist with the Edmonton Bulletin. An early assignment to cover a meeting of the Indian Association of Alberta changed his life: he warmed to the First Nations culture, volunteered for the organization, and married the daughter of IAA President James Gladstone. In 1956, Dempsey was hired to create the Glenbow Museum's archives, which he built into one of the foremost research sources on western Canadian history. Dempsey retired as the museum's associate director in 1991. He has written widely on western history, particularly First Nations history, and he has edited Alberta History magazine for over half a century. Dempsey's research and his access to Native elders and sources has contributed enormously to Canadian historiography. He was invested in the Order of Canada in 1975.
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Joseph Francis Dion

1888-1960 teacher, historian, and Metis leader
As a founder of both the Indian Association of Alberta and the Metis...
As a founder of both the Indian Association of Alberta and the Metis Association of Alberta, Joe Dion was a leader for the two peoples with whom he identified. He was born to the Kehiwin Cree band and was educated at the Onion Lake mission school, a Catholic institution. Dion opened the Kehiwin reserve's first school in 1916 and taught there for nearly a quarter-century. Dismayed by the plight of the Metis in Alberta, Dion helped found a provincial association in 1932. His advocacy contributed to a Royal Commission the following year and, eventually, to the Metis Betterment Act. Dion also contributed culturally, organizing a troupe of Metis fiddle dancers who toured the country and helped foster a positive identity for their people. He was instrumental in founding the Indian Association of Alberta in 1944. Dion was also devoted to the Catholic Church, and he was awarded the gold medal "Benemerenti" by Pope Pius XII for his efforts. Dion's writings were published in local newspapers, and his book History of the Cree Indian in Western Canada was published posthumously.
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Robert Chambers (Bob) Edwards

Through the pages of the Calgary Eye Opener, Bob Edwards' combination of...
Through the pages of the Calgary Eye Opener, Bob Edwards' combination of gentle humour, acid wit, and passion for social justice won him a national following. Born in Scotland, Edwards settled in Wetaskiwin by 1897 and started the first in series of small- town weeklies. He launched the Eye Opener in High River in 1902 and moved it to Calgary in 1904. For two decades, Edwards pounded out his one-man journal on a "semi- occasional" basis. Although he struggled with alcoholism, he supported Prohibition and his reforming zeal eventually led him to politics. Unfortunately, he died within a year of his election to the Alberta legislature as an independent.
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Henrietta Muir Edwards

1849-1931 artist, social reformer, and crusader for women's rights
Long before she moved to Fort Macleod in 1903, Henrietta Louise Edwards (neé Muir) was an accomplished artist and champion of women's legal rights. In her...
Long before she moved to Fort Macleod in 1903, Henrietta Louise Edwards (neé Muir) was an accomplished artist and champion of women's legal rights. In her native Montreal, she edited the journal Women's Work in Canada and co-founded the Working Girls' Association to educate and improve conditions for working women. She later helped found the Victorian Order of Nurses and the National Council of Women, which she served for years as its Convener of Laws. Edwards pressed for women's suffrage, divorce on equal grounds, and the rights of widows to a share in their husbands' estates. She became an expert in laws concerning women and children and served as legal advisor to (and a member of) the "Famous Five," a group of Alberta women who advanced the status of women through the Persons Case in 1929. The women petitioned successfully for a judicial ruling that women are persons qualified to sit in the Senate.
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W.J. Elliott

1875-1953 educator and founder of Alberta's 4-H movement
The founder of Alberta's 4-H movement held a lifelong commitment to the...
The founder of Alberta's 4-H movement held a lifelong commitment to the agricultural education of young, future farmers. William James Elliott studied agriculture in his native province, moved west in 1903 to teach at the Montana Agricultural College, and came to Alberta in 1910 to take over the CPR's demonstration farm at Strathmore. In 1913, the Alberta government opened three agricultural schools - in Claresholm, Olds, and Vermilion - and Elliott served as the longtime principal of two of them. In 1917, while principal of the future Olds Agricultural College, Elliott established the first Boys and Girls Swine Club - an organization that eventually became the provincial 4-H organization. After retiring from Vermilion in 1937, Elliott worked for the Department of Agriculture as Director of Youth Training Programs and Junior Farm Club work.
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LaVerne Erickson

born 1943 founder, Rosebud Centre of the Arts
Born in Manning, Alberta, LaVerne Erickson studied education, music, and...
Born in Manning, Alberta, LaVerne Erickson studied education, music, and visual arts/sculpture before moving to Calgary to pursue graduate studies in philosophy and part-time work as an evangelical pastor. In 1973, he organized a summer fine arts camp at Rosebud, a ghost-like town near Drumheller. Erickson developed it into a fine arts high school that later became the post-secondary Rosebud School of the Arts. He also founded Rosebud Theatre, the Canadian Badlands Passion Play in Drumheller, the Canadian Badlands Performing Arts Summer School, and Chemainus Theatre Festival on Vancouver Island. As an artist, Erickson has composed a great deal of choral music and his paintings hang in public and private collections.
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His Honour, Col. (Ret'd) The Honourable Donald S. Ethell

born 1937 soldier, Lieutenant-Governor, and advocate for veterans
His Honour, Col. (Ret'd) the Honourable Donald S. Ethell was installed as the...
His Honour, Col. (Ret'd) the Honourable Donald S. Ethell was installed as the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta on May 11, 2010. His Vice-Regal duties came following a long and distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces that included 14 overseas peace support operations and service as Director of Peacekeeping Operations at National Defense Headquarters. Colonel Ethell retired from the Army in 1993 as a highly decorated peacekeeper.

After his retirement, Colonel Ethell travelled extensively as a military advisor and deepened his focus on humanitarian causes, particularly with programs that deliver aid to African children and adults facing starvation and AIDS-related illnesses. He also worked to support veterans' causes.
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Fil Fraser

born 1932 broadcaster, filmmaker, and human rights champion
Montreal-born Fil Fraser began his radio career in Toronto and moved to Edmonton in 1965. There, he became senior producer and program manger at the nation's...
Montreal-born Fil Fraser began his radio career in Toronto and moved to Edmonton in 1965. There, he became senior producer and program manger at the nation's first educational television station, which was eventually named ACCESS. In the 1970s, Fraser established a film production company and founded both the Banff Television Festival and an annual film festival that eventually became the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association Awards. Fraser's dedication to multiculturalism and human rights, informed by his experience growing up black in a white Montreal neighbourhood, led to his three-year chairmanship of the Alberta Human Rights Commission and his membership in the Citizens' Forum on Canada's Future. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1991.
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Annie Gale

1877-1970 consumer advocate, politician, and social reformer
Calgary's first female alderman was also the first woman in Canada, and...
Calgary's first female alderman was also the first woman in Canada, and likely in the British Empire, to hold that position. Born in West Midlands, England as Hannah Rolinson, Annie Gale moved to Calgary with her husband and family at the height of the city's boom in 1912. She found both housing and food to be expensive and substandard during the city's great boom. Gale became active in the Vacant Lots Garden Club and the Women's Consumers' League, which pushed for the establishment of the Calgary Public Market and then used the market to lower food prices and improve quality. She served as alderman from 1918-23 and as a school board trustee from 1924-25.
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Roland Gissing

1895-1967 pioneer western Canadian artist
Just before the First World War, 16-year-old Roland Gissing left his native...
Just before the First World War, 16-year-old Roland Gissing left his native England for boomtown Calgary intending to become a cowboy. Over the next decade he worked as an itinerant ranch hand and sketched ranching scenes. After settling at Ghost River in the 1920s, Gissing took his art more seriously and staged a one-man show in 1929. Gissing's love of nature inspired his paintings of mountain and foothills scenes, and his work won an international audience. A 1944 fire destroyed his studio and many of his works, but Gissing rebuilt and enjoyed artistic success for the rest of his life. His Calgary Herald obituary declared him "Alberta's best-known artist."
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James Gladstone

1887-1971 First Nations leader and senator
Canada's first Native senator was known as Akay-na-muka, or "Many Guns," in the Siksika (Blackfoot) language. Born at Mountain Hill in what is now Alberta,...
Canada's first Native senator was known as Akay-na-muka, or "Many Guns," in the Siksika (Blackfoot) language. Born at Mountain Hill in what is now Alberta, Gladstone as a successful and innovative farmer and rancher on the Blood Reserve. As president of the Indian Association of Alberta for nearly a decade, he championed First Nations issues, particularly education, treaty rights, and participation in their own administration. In his inaugural Senate speech in 1958, Gladstone used the Siksika language "to place in the official debates a few words in the language of my people, the Blackfoot Indians, as a recognition of the first Canadians." For the rest of his life, he devoted himself to First Nations rights and other causes as a senator.
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Ruth Gorman

1914-2002 lawyer, publisher, and advocate for First Nations rights
Calgary-born Ruth Gorman (ne?e Peacock) graduated from law school in 1940, at...
Calgary-born Ruth Gorman (ne?e Peacock) graduated from law school in 1940, at a time when few women attended and few were hired at law firms. She never practiced, instead offering her legal expertise to worthy causes without ever charging. Gorman championed the rights of the handicapped and led efforts to integrate handicapped people into Calgary's public schools. She worked to change the Dower Act to secure married women's property rights. In the 1960s, Gorman helped preserve Calgary's riverbank from railway development. And for over 25 years, she was legal advisor to the Indian Association of Alberta. Among other accomplishments, Gorman fought successfully for the right of First Nations people to vote without losing their status. From 1965-79, Gorman published My Golden West magazine. Among other honours, she became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1968.
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James H. Gray

1906-1998 social historian
Long before his books on prairie social history became popular, James H. Gray...
Long before his books on prairie social history became popular, James H. Gray lived that history. He grew up in poverty in Winnipeg, the son of an alcoholic father. He suffered unemployment and tuberculosis during the Great Depression. He educated himself at the public library, having dropped out of school after grade nine. And he wrote about it in The Winter Years, a book that took twenty years to be published. In the meantime, he wrote for the Winnipeg Free Press, then moved to Calgary in 1948 and edited the Farm and Ranch Review and the Western Oil Examiner before becoming Home Oil's public relations manager. He retired in 1966 and wrote a dozen books on such themes as alcoholism, prostitution, and the Depression on the prairies. Apart from his incisive biography of R.B. Bennett, Gray focused on ordinary people instead of politicians. He was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1987 and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1988.
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Stu Hart

1915-2003 wrestling promoter and mentor
The founder of Stampede Wrestling was a mentor and inspiration to countless young athletes over the course of five decades. Stewart E. Hart was born on a...
The founder of Stampede Wrestling was a mentor and inspiration to countless young athletes over the course of five decades. Stewart E. Hart was born on a Saskatchewan farm and grew up in poverty in Tofield and Edmonton. He became an accomplished wrestler, and after his Second World War service, he began promoting wrestling cards in Edmonton. In 1952, Hart bought the Calgary territory and established the Stampede Wrestling promotion. He trained many young wresters, including his owns sons, in the "Dungeon"-the basement of his Calgary mansion. Stampede Wrestling's television show was a pioneer for the sport and found an international audience. Hart supported over thirty charitable and civic organizations, including the Alberta Firefighters Toy Fund and the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children. He became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000.
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Eric L. Harvie

1892-1975 businessman, community builder, and philanthropist
In his long career as a Calgary lawyer and businessman, Eric Harvie amassed a fortune of over $100-million, much of it through mineral rights he had acquired...
In his long career as a Calgary lawyer and businessman, Eric Harvie amassed a fortune of over $100-million, much of it through mineral rights he had acquired in what became the oilfields of Redwater and Leduc. Having served overseas during the First World War and as commandant of the Calgary Mounted Constabulary during the Second World War, Harvie had a history of community service. Beginning in the 1950s, he applied this principle to cultural development. He established the Glenbow Foundation, which collected the art, archives, and artifacts that filled the Glenbow Museum which he also created and donated to the people of Alberta. Harvie also endowed the Devonian Foundation, and one of its legacies is Calgary's Devonian Gardens. The Banff School of Fine Arts, the Calgary Zoo, and Heritage Park Historical Village are among the many beneficiaries of Harvie's gifts. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967.
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Harry Hays

1909-1982 rancher, community builder, and politician
Calgary's 27th mayor was a 49-year-old political novice when elected in 1959,...
Calgary's 27th mayor was a 49-year-old political novice when elected in 1959, and he went on to become an accomplished federal minister of agriculture from 1963-65 and an effective senator from 1966 until his death. Harry Hays was born in Carstairs, and in 1924 he moved with his family to a dairy farm south of Calgary. He became an innovative cattle breeder and pioneered the shipment of export cattle by air. In the late 1950s, Hays sold his farm for development as Calgary's Haysboro district and bought a ranch near High River. His term as agriculture minister saw the establishment of the Canadian Dairy Commission, a national farm accounting system, and the importation of exotic cattle breeds from Europe. Known for his popular annual Stampede breakfast, Hays was a life director of the Calgary Stampede association.
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Marmie Hess

born 1916 educator and promoter of First Nations art and culture
Throughout her life, Margaret P. (Marmie) Hess has worked tirelessly to preserve the art and history that surround us. Dr. Hess earned her Bachelor of Arts...
Throughout her life, Margaret P. (Marmie) Hess has worked tirelessly to preserve the art and history that surround us. Dr. Hess earned her Bachelor of Arts in 1938 and taught art at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art in her native Calgary. After completing post-graduate work, she became a respected lecturer, developing a particular interest in Aboriginal art. In 1970, she opened Calgary Galleries Ltd. to create awareness and understanding of Aboriginal art and culture. In 1952, she acquired the Spencer Creek Ranch in Alberta's foothills and developed it into a successful horse breeding and cattle operation. She helped to establish the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary and created what became the university's Margaret P. Hess Collection, a nationally-significant resource of historical books, journals, and pamphlets. Many community organizations have enjoyed her tireless efforts, among them the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Calgary Regional Arts Foundation, the Calgary Stampede, the Canadian Red Cross Society, the United Way of Calgary & Area, the Calgary Zoological Society, the Rotary Club of Calgary West, and the RCMP Committee for Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. Dr. Hess was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1982 and an Officer in 1993. She was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2005.
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Lois Hole

1929-2005 horticulturalist, university chancellor, and Lieutenant-Governor
Alberta's 15th Lieutenant-Governor was born as Lois Veregin in Buchanan,...
Alberta's 15th Lieutenant-Governor was born as Lois Veregin in Buchanan, Saskatchewan, and moved to Edmonton at age 15. She married Ted Hole two years later, and they established a St. Albert farm that eventually became Hole's Greenhouses and Gardens. Lois wrote nearly twenty best-selling gardening books and became a popular speaker on the subject. She also served as a school board trustee and a member of Athabasca University's governing council. In 1998, she became Chancellor of the University of Alberta. As Lieutenant-Governor from 2000 until her death, affectionately becoming known as the "Queen of Hugs." She was named to the Order of Canada in 1999.
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Katherine Hughes

1876-1925 teacher, author, and archivist
Born in Prince Edward Island to an Irish Catholic family, Katherine Hughes...
Born in Prince Edward Island to an Irish Catholic family, Katherine Hughes studied education and eventually became a teacher on a Mohawk reserve. She became sympathetic to First Nations and established the Catholic Indian Association. Hughes changed careers in 1902, becoming an author, journalist, and founding member of the Canadian Women's Press Club. She moved to Edmonton in 1906 and reported on the legislature for the Edmonton Bulletin. In 1908, she was appointed as Alberta's first provincial archivist in charge of developing the Bureau of Archives. Hughes later served as private secretary to Alberta's first and second premiers, and she also founded the Women's Catholic Club of Edmonton and wrote a biography of Father Albert Lacombe, whom she knew personally. She left Alberta in 1913 when she was posted to London as an assistant and secretary for the province's agent general. There she became involved with the Irish national movement, to which she remained dedicated for the rest of her life.
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William Roper Hull

1856-1925 rancher, businessman, and philanthropist
Between 1884 and 1905, English-born William Roper Hull built up a Calgary-based meat business that included ranches, a slaughterhouse, and a chain of retail...
Between 1884 and 1905, English-born William Roper Hull built up a Calgary-based meat business that included ranches, a slaughterhouse, and a chain of retail meat stores. He built the magnificent Calgary Opera House in 1893 and the city's first skyscraper, the Grain Exchange Building, in 1909. Hull and his wife Emmeline had no children, but they willed a large portion of their estate to establish and maintain the William Roper Hull Home for orphaned and troubled children.
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Mel Hurtig

born 1932 publisher and political activist
In 1956, long before he made his mark as a publisher, Mel Hurtig founded a...
In 1956, long before he made his mark as a publisher, Mel Hurtig founded a landmark Edmonton bookstore that eventually had three locations. Hurtig Publishers Ltd., which he launched in Edmonton in 1967, became a significant cultural force at the national level and supported Canadian authors. Perhaps most notably, Hurtig published the Canadian Encyclopedia in 1985 with support from the Alberta government, followed by the Junior Encyclopedia of Canada in 1990. As a political activist, Hurtig helped found the Committee for an Independent Canada in 1970, the Council of Canadians in 1985, and the National Party of Canada, which he led in the 1993 federal election. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1980.
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William Irvine

1885-1962 Unitarian minister and socialist politician
In contrast to Alberta's reputation for conservatism, William Irvine reminds...
In contrast to Alberta's reputation for conservatism, William Irvine reminds us of our political pluralism. A Methodist lay preacher in his native Scotland, Irvine was ordained in Winnipeg as a Presbyterian and became the minister of Calgary's Unitarian Church around 1915. He became active in the city's labour movement, published a left-wing newspaper, and represented Calgary East as a Labour Party MP for one term in the 1920s. Irvine later became a farmer at Wetaskiwin, which he also represented in parliament. Irvine was part of the Ginger Group of left-wing MPs, and he worked with J.S. Woodsworth to form the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the precursor to the New Democratic Party.
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Mary Percy Jackson

1905-2000 pioneer northern physician
After graduating in medicine and surgery from the University of Birmingham in...
After graduating in medicine and surgery from the University of Birmingham in her native England, Dr. Mary Percy responded to a 1929 advertisement and planned to spend a year working in western Canada. She instead stayed for the rest of her life, practicing medicine for 45 years and finally retiring to the northern community of Manning. In 1930, she married trapper Frank Jackson and settled with him at Keg River, even further north than her original assignment, itself some 120 kilometres from the nearest medical aid in Peace River. Under frontier conditions, Dr. Jackson delivered hundreds of babies, fought rabies and tuberculosis, and even treated cattle. She was awarded the Centennial Medal of Canada and was later named to the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Order of Canada. Dr. Jackson published her memoirs in 1988.
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Tom Jackson

born 1948 actor, musician, and philanthropist
The creator of the Huron Carole Benefit Concert Series is as well known for his charitable work as he is for his accomplished careers as an actor and musical...
The creator of the Huron Carole Benefit Concert Series is as well known for his charitable work as he is for his accomplished careers as an actor and musical artist. Tom Jackson was born on the One Arrow reserve in Saskatchewan and grew up in Namao, Alberta and in Winnipeg, where at one time he lived on the streets. A small singing role on a Winnipeg television show was the start of Jackson's career, which led to fame as a film and television actor, notably as the star of the CBC series North of 60. Jackson has also recorded 14 albums as a singer-songwriter. His extensive humanitarian efforts have included fundraising for disaster relief, family service agencies, food banks, soup kitchens, and other charitable causes. His best-known effort is the Huron Carole, which toured Canada for 17 years raising money for food banks. Among his many honours, Jackson was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999 and received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2002. In 2009, he was appointed Chancellor of Trent University.
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Alex Johnston

1920-1989 agricultural scientist and historian
Long before becoming the volunteer historian at Sir Alexander Galt Museum in 1981, Lethbridge's "Mr. History" had been a range ecologist at the city's Canada...
Long before becoming the volunteer historian at Sir Alexander Galt Museum in 1981, Lethbridge's "Mr. History" had been a range ecologist at the city's Canada Agricultural Research Station and had undertaken foreign assignments for the Canadian International Development Agency and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. Alex Johnston was born in Webb, Saskatchewan, and educated at the universities of Saskatchewan and Montana. He was posted to the Lethbridge station in 1941 and returned after his army service during the Second World War. After retiring in 1980, Johnston dedicated himself to his other longstanding interest - local history. He was a founding member of the Lethbridge Historical Society and led efforts to have Fort Whoop-Up recognized by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board. Johnston wrote many historical articles and books, and he inspired future generations of local historians. Among other honours, he was Lethbridge's Citizen of the Year in 1974 and was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1984.
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Yutetsu Kawamura

1908-2005 community leader and Lethbridge's Japanese garden champion
Like his father before him, Yutetsu Kawamura studied to become a Buddhist minister in his homeland Japan. In 1934, he accepted an assignment to become the...
Like his father before him, Yutetsu Kawamura studied to become a Buddhist minister in his homeland Japan. In 1934, he accepted an assignment to become the spiritual leader of Buddhist communities in prairie Canada, and he and his wife settled in Raymond, Alberta. There, Kawamura spent fifty years as a community leader. He opened Japanese language schools and a Japanese co-op grocery, helping to absorb Japanese-Canadians whom the federal government displaced from British Columbia during the Second World War, and worked to integrate Japanese-Canadians into Canadian society. In 1967, Kawamura was instrumental in creating the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1984 and received a Japanese Emperor's Medal in 1986.
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Brian Keating

broadcaster, educator, and wildlife expert
For nearly three decades between 1983 and 2011, Medicine Hat-born naturalist...
For nearly three decades between 1983 and 2011, Medicine Hat-born naturalist Brian Keating served as the Calgary Zoo's Head of Education & Conservation Outreach. In that capacity, he spearheaded global environmental efforts that lead Reader's Digest Magazine to name him "Canadian Hero of the Year." He has inspired countless Albertans through his documentaries, regular appearances on the Discovery Channel, weekly segments on CBC Radio (both in Calgary and Edmonton), five children's books, and international public speaking. For three decades, Keating has led groups on nature-based expeditions to some of the world's best wildlife areas.
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Frank King

born 1936 chairman and CEO, 1988 Olympic Winter Games
Calgary businessman Frank King is best known as one of the visionaries who...
Calgary businessman Frank King is best known as one of the visionaries who brought the Olympic Winter Games to Calgary and for his role as Chairman and CEO of the Games' organizing committees. Born in Redcliff, King earned a chemical engineering degree at the University of Alberta in 1958. He received several awards and accolades for his role in the success of the Games, including induction into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. He also received the Olympic Order in Gold, the highest award presented by the International Olympic Committee, he was even named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1988. In 1992, King served as national co-chair of Canada 125, the celebration of the nation's 125th birthday. He was a board member of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce for four years and served as co-chair of the Alberta campaign for the establishment the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. King has supported a wide range of initiatives in the community, including his long-standing affiliation with the Chancellor's Club at the University of Calgary, the Calgary Booster Club, Winsport Canada, and the World Presidents Organization. He is a longstanding member and the past president of the Rotary Club of Calgary South, and in 2011 he became chair of the Calgary ProAm Hockey Tournament for Alzheimers.
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Gerald Knowlton

born 1933 developer, volunteer, and railway preservationist
In his retirement, the man who helped shape Calgary's skyline has turned his energies to prairie railway preservation. Gerald Knowlton was born in Calgary...
In his retirement, the man who helped shape Calgary's skyline has turned his energies to prairie railway preservation. Gerald Knowlton was born in Calgary but raised in Standard, where his father was the longtime CPR station agent. Knowlton Realty Ltd., which he founded in 1961, trained a generation of top-notch realtors and became Calgary's largest commercial real estate firm. Its major development projects included Bow Valley Square, Petro-Canada Centre, and the South Centre shopping mall. Distraught by the demolition of railway stations in the 1970s, including his father's in Standard, Knowlton acquired and restored the CPR station in Champion, moved it to land he bought near Okotoks, and developed the site as Champion Park, complete with extensive CPR artifacts, a locomotive and rail cars, and a quarter-mile of railway track. There he has hosted school groups, seniors' organizations, and many others. He has devoted his time to many community organizations, among them the Alberta Speech and Debate Association, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum Advisory Board, and the YMCA.
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Robert Kroetsch

1927-2011 writer, poet, and literary critic
When he died in a car accident, Robert Kroetsch was mourned as "Alberta's foremost literary voice." Born and raised in Heisler, Kroetsch studied at the...
When he died in a car accident, Robert Kroetsch was mourned as "Alberta's foremost literary voice." Born and raised in Heisler, Kroetsch studied at the Universities of Alberta and McGill, and at institutions in Vermont and Iowa. He taught at the Universities of Calgary and Manitoba and at various writing retreats, particularly the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts. In his many novels, non-fiction books, and poetry collections, Kroetsch explored the identity of the Canadian prairies with a spectacularly distinctive focus. He also co-founded a critical journal, Boundary 2, and mentored and encouraged young writers over the course of decades. His third novel, The Studhorse Man, won the Governor General's Award for Fiction in 1969. Kroetsch was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004.
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Norman Kwong

born 1929 CFL football player, businessman, and Lieutenant-Governor
Alberta's 16th Lieutenant-Governor was the first person of Chinese heritage...
Alberta's 16th Lieutenant-Governor was the first person of Chinese heritage to hold the office. He became the first Chinese-Canadian to play in the Canadian Football League when he joined the Calgary Stampeders in 1948. That year, the Stamps won their first Grey Cup, and 19-year-old Normie Kwong became the youngest player on a Grey Cup-winning team up to that time. Kwong also won three Grey Cups during his decade with the Edmonton Eskimos. Kwong played in roles ranging from captain and co-captain to regular teammate throughout his career. He was named Canada's Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year, and he won the Schenley most outstanding player award twice. In 1980, Kwong entered a partnership with other businessmen to establish the Calgary Flames Hockey Club. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1988, and he served as Lieutenant-Governor from 2005-10.
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George Lane

1856-1925 farmer, rancher, and stockmen's advocate
Following his youth working in the ranchlands of Montana, Iowa-born George Lane came to Alberta in 1884 as foreman of the Bar U Ranch west of High River....
Following his youth working in the ranchlands of Montana, Iowa-born George Lane came to Alberta in 1884 as foreman of the Bar U Ranch west of High River. Lane eventually bought the ranch, one of the largest and best-known ranching operations in the province. Perceiving the challenge that farming posed to the open range, Lane diversified into large-scale wheat growing and raising Percherons to supply farmers with heavy draught horses. Lane was a president of the Western Stock Growers' Association and a founder of the Cattlemen's Protective Association. In 1912, Lane joined Pat Burns, A.E. Cross, and A.J. McLean as the "Big Four" ranchers who offered $25,000 each as security for the first Calgary Stampede.
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John Laurie

1899-1959 educator and advocate for First Nations rights
It was the loss of a horseshoe that changed John Laurie's life and led him to...
It was the loss of a horseshoe that changed John Laurie's life and led him to champion First Nations causes. In 1926, the Ontario-born Calgary schoolteacher was riding near the Stoney Reserve at Morley when his horse lost a shoe. A blacksmith on the reserve shoed the horse and allowed him to stay overnight. Laurie returned many times and developed friendships with Native people at a time when most people did not. In 1944, he became the longtime secretary of the Indian Association of Alberta, and he worked tirelessly to redress injustices against First Nations people. Calgary's John Laurie Boulevard is named in his honour.
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Barbara Leighton

1909-1986 artist and founder of the Leighton Art Centre
From her marriage in 1931 until her husband's death in 1965, Barbara Leighton...
From her marriage in 1931 until her husband's death in 1965, Barbara Leighton devoted all her time to promoting and managing the artistic career of her husband, Alfred Crocker (A.C.) Leighton. They were both born in England but met in Calgary, where the former Barbara Harvey was an art student at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art and "Acie" was her instructor and the art director. Barbara earned a diploma in fine craft and metalwork in 1969, and she became known for "Barleigh" prints - woodblock prints that she made of her husband's artworks. In 1970, she turned part of her rural home south of Calgary into an art gallery. She also restored an old schoolhouse as a centre for practicing artists and as a teaching facility for children. Together, they became the Leighton Art Centre, operated by the Leighton Foundation that she established in 1974. The centre expanded into a larger complex with a wide influence on the arts in Alberta. In 1984, Barbara received the Alberta Achievement Award for her contribution to Alberta's arts.
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Herman Linder

1907-2001 rodeo champion and promoter
Born in Wisconsin to Swiss immigrant parents, Linder came to Alberta with his...
Born in Wisconsin to Swiss immigrant parents, Linder came to Alberta with his family in 1918, growing up on a ranch south of Cardston. Like his older brother Warner, Herman became a rodeo performer, eventually winning 22 championships at the Calgary Stampede for bareback riding and saddle bronc. Convinced that rodeo athletes were professionals, Herman helped found the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (as it was eventually renamed) in 1936. When he retired at the height of his fame in 1940, Herman was hailed as "King of the Cowboys". He bought a Cardston ranch with his winnings, became a rodeo judge, and went on to a 30-year career as a rodeo promoter, mounting a successful show at Expo '67 in Montreal. Among his many honours, Herman Linder became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998, and he served as the Stampede Parade marshal in 1999.
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Evelyn Eagle Speaker Locker

born 1935 Stampede Queen
In 1954, Evelyn Eagle Speaker - a Calgary secretarial student and daughter of the Kainai (Blood) chief - became the first Native woman chosen as Stampede...
In 1954, Evelyn Eagle Speaker - a Calgary secretarial student and daughter of the Kainai (Blood) chief - became the first Native woman chosen as Stampede Queen. The Stampede queens and princesses were expected to wear harmonized cowgirl outfits, but at the parade and in her crowning ceremony, Evelyn wore a traditional buckskin dress that her mother had made for the occasion. "My one thought on accepting this honour is for the good it can do my people", she said. The five Treaty 7 nations held a ceremony to endorse her as representative of all of them, and they gave her the ceremonial name Princess Wapiti. Appropriately, wapiti means "elk" and it was the Elks Club that sponsored her candidacy and supported her decision to wear her traditional dress.
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E. Peter Lougheed

1928-2012 premier and political visionary
In 2012, a panel of distinguished Canadians chose Peter Lougheed as Canada's...
In 2012, a panel of distinguished Canadians chose Peter Lougheed as Canada's "Best Premier of the Last 40 Years". In his 14-year term between 1971 and 1985, Lougheed played a national leadership role while strongly defending Alberta's interests, particularly those relating to natural resources. Born in Calgary, Lougheed played professional football for the Edmonton Eskimos while attending the University of Alberta. He earned an MBA at Harvard Business School before 1956 when he returned to Calgary and joined the Mannix Company Limited as general counsel. By the time he left in 1962 to enter private legal practice, Lougheed had served as Mannix's vice president and board member. In 1965 he became leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives, and within six years he had taken the party from zero seats in the legislature to majority status. Among its many accomplishments, his government created the Alberta Heritage Trust Fund, improved arts funding, education, and health care, and encouraged oil sands development. Lougheed played a key role in the patriotion of the Canadian constitution in 1981- 82. Heir to a political mantle established by his grandfather, Senator James A. Lougheed, the premier established his own legacy; the party he brought to power remained in government for the rest of his life. After leaving office, Lougheed became one of the architects of the Canada- United States Free Trade Agreement and chancellor of Queen's University. Among his many honours, he was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1971, appointed to the Privy Council of Canada in 1982, appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1987, and invested in the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1989.
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Grant MacEwan

1902-2000 author, environmentalist, mayor, and Lieutenan-Governor
Grant MacEwan's rural Manitoba roots led to his first career as a professor...
Grant MacEwan's rural Manitoba roots led to his first career as a professor of Animal Husbandry. In 1952, he moved to Calgary as head of the Canadian Council of Beef Producers, and before long he was elected, as alderman, Liberal MLA, and provincial Leader of the Opposition. As mayor of Calgary from 1963-65, his first action was to request a cut in salary. MacEwan's populism served him best as Lieutenant-Governor, a post he held from 1966-74. He authored forty-nine books on agriculture, conservation, and history. Through his boundless energy, enduring charisma, and unshakeable personal creed that valued hard work and eschewed waste, MacEwan came to embody the spirit of western Canada. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1975, and in 1985 he received the Governor General's Conservation Award.
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Jack MacKenzie

1919-2003 school board chair and Marigold Foundation benefactor
The creator and benefactor of the Marigold Foundation who personally lived...
The creator and benefactor of the Marigold Foundation who personally lived its values: lead by example, give of yourself, and be personaly involved. Born in Webb, Saskatchewan, and raised in Stettler, John R. (Jack) MacKenzie left his engineering studies to fight in the Second World War, for which he was mentioned in dispatches and named a Member of the Order of the British Empire. After completing his engineering and business degrees, MacKenzie settled in Calgary in 1951 and established a series of successful companies and organizations. In the 1950s, his efforts secured landowners' mineral rights from seizure by the province. Mackenzie chaired the Calgary School Board from 1965-68. At home, MacKenzie and his family billeted foreign exchange students and Aboriginal high school students. A lifelong philanthropist, MacKenzie established the Marigold Foundation Ltd. in 1980. Its programs included student bursaries, support for battered women and their children, support for elementary schools in high-need areas, and assistance with building or replacing playgrounds.
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Preston Manning

born 1942 political visionary
The son of Alberta's longest-serving premier went on to change the course of federal politics in Canada. Preston Manning grew up in and near Edmonton and...
The son of Alberta's longest-serving premier went on to change the course of federal politics in Canada. Preston Manning grew up in and near Edmonton and worked on his family's dairy farm. In 1987, he became one of the principal founders of the Reform Party of Canada. Under his leadership, Reform grew from a western-based protest party to become the Official Opposition in parliament, advancing the principals of fiscal and social responsibility, democratic accountability, and reformed federalism. Manning led the party until 2000, when he was instrumental in creating its successor, the Canadian Alliance (a forerunner to the Conservative Party of Canada). He holds a strong commitment to democratic principles, the value of a private enterprise economy, and active social responsibility, and is particularly interested in bridging the communications gap between the scientific and political communities. Manning has served as a Senior Fellow of the Canada West Foundation and the Fraser Institute, and in 2005 he founded the Manning Centre for Building Democracy. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2007.
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Allan P. Markin

born 1946 community builder and philanthropist
A business leader, community advocate, champion of social change and philanthropist, Allan Markin is dedicated to enhancing education tied to health and...
A business leader, community advocate, champion of social change and philanthropist, Allan Markin is dedicated to enhancing education tied to health and wellness. Born in Bowness (now part of Calgary), Markin earned a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Alberta in 1968. He held executive positions with several oil and gas companies, becoming Chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) in 1989. Markin is dedicated to improving his community by focussing on education and health. His contributions in the area of education include being one of the founders of St. Mary's University College in Calgary, helping establish the CNRL/Markin Natural Resources Engineering Facility at the University of Alberta, and creating the Distinguished Writers in Residence Program at the University of Calgary. In 2006, Markin created Pure North S'Energy Foundation, an innovative preventative health program focussing on promoting a positive lifestyle as the foundation of a happy, healthy and long life. Pure North started as a program strictly for CNRL employees and their families but has expanded to reach a diverse cleintele. Markin retired as Chairman of CNRL in 2012 to head Pure North S'Energy on a full time basis. He was named Calgary's Citizen of the Year in 2004 and received the Alberta Centennial Medal the following year. In 2008, Markin received the Alberta Order of Excellence and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
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M. Ann McCaig

born 1939 community leader, philanthropist, and volunteer
Ann McCaig is one of Canada's most prominent leaders in the not-for-profit sector, a well-known advocate in the areas of youth, education, and health, and an...
Ann McCaig is one of Canada's most prominent leaders in the not-for-profit sector, a well-known advocate in the areas of youth, education, and health, and an accomplished fundraiser. Born and raised in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, McCaig studied at the University of Saskatchewan and taught English and History in the early 1960s. After settling in Calgary with her family in 1970, McCaig began volunteering with the Junior League and the United Way. She went on to serve on the boards of many organizations including the University of Calgary, where she was also chancellor from 1994 to 1998. She has lead numerous capital campaigns for Calgary institutions such as the Alberta Children's Hospital. McCaig chairs the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC), Calgary Health Trust, and the Calgary Stampede Foundation. She is a trustee of the Killam Trusts and a member of the board of the Child Advocacy Centre. Her numerous awards include the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award and the 125th Confederation of Canada Award. She is a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Order of Canada. In 2012 her outstanding contributions were recognized at Calgary's National Philanthropy Day when she was named Outstanding Lifetime Philanthropist.
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Nellie McClung

1873-1951 politician, social reformer, and crusader for women's rights
Born in Ontario and raised in Manitoba, Nellie McClung was a best-selling...
Born in Ontario and raised in Manitoba, Nellie McClung was a best-selling author, a public speaker, and an activist in the temperance and women's suffrage movements before she moved to Alberta in 1915. From 1921-26, she sat as an opposition Liberal MLA for Edmonton while commuting between that city and Calgary. McClung pushed for workplace safety, a minimum wage for women, and other reforms. She later became one of the "Famous Five," a group of Alberta women who advanced the status of women through the Persons Case in 1929. The women petitioned successfully for a judicial ruling that women are persons qualified to sit in the Senate. After moving to Vancouver Island in 1933, McClung continued her public speaking and served as a member of the CBC's first Board of Governors and as a delegate to the League of Nations.
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Lanny McDonald

born 1953 NHL hockey player and volunteer
In 1989, Calgary Flames captain Lanny McDonald capped his 16-year career with the National Hockey League by leading his team to win its first Stanley Cup....
In 1989, Calgary Flames captain Lanny McDonald capped his 16-year career with the National Hockey League by leading his team to win its first Stanley Cup. Born to a farming family in Hanna, McDonald played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and the Western Canada Hockey League before joining the NHL in 1973. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Colorado Rockies before his trade to the year-old Calgary Flames in 1981. After retiring in 1989, McDonald remained with the team at the management level. Following his personal philosophy of "pay it forward," McDonald has been actively involved with the Alberta Children's Hospital, Big Brothers, Ronald McDonald House, and, most notably, the Special Olympics, for whom he coached and led fundraising efforts. He was the first recipient of the NHL's King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership qualities on and off the ice and for significant humanitarian contribution in the community.
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Louise McKinney

1868-1931 politician, social reformer, and crusader for women's rights
When Alberta women received the provincial franchise in 1917, Louise McKinney...
When Alberta women received the provincial franchise in 1917, Louise McKinney (nee Crummy) became one of the first two female legislators in the province - and in the entire British Empire. The Ontario-born schoolteacher moved to Alberta in 1903 with her husband, a Methodist minister. Both opposed consumption of alcohol, and along with her devotion to women's rights, McKinney dedicated herself to the temperance movement and the Women's Christian Temperance Union, for whom she organized dozens of chapters. McKinney was the independent MLA for Claresholm from 1917-21. She later became one of the "Famous Five," a group of Alberta women who advanced the status of women through the Persons Case in 1929. The women petitioned successfully for a judicial ruling that women are persons qualified to sit in the Senate.
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Douglas Craig McTavish

1863-1954 northern missionary and educator
In 1912, Douglas Craig McTavish moved to Fort McMurray in search of economic opportunities while also serving as a lay missionary for the Presbyterian...
In 1912, Douglas Craig McTavish moved to Fort McMurray in search of economic opportunities while also serving as a lay missionary for the Presbyterian Church. McTavish was born in Tavistock, Ontario, and educated at the University of Toronto and Columbia University. Besides establishing a church, Douglas and his wife Cassia opened Fort McMurray's first schoolhouse, where Douglas worked as the unofficial superintendent while Cassia was the emerging town's first schoolteacher. The McTavishes were critical in the survival of public education in Fort McMurray through to their departure in 1923. They organized two tax sales to provide funds to cover wages and the construction of an additional school.
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Betty Mitchell

1896-1976 community theatre pioneer
Virginia-born Dr. Betty Mitchell founded the theatre group that eventually...
Virginia-born Dr. Betty Mitchell founded the theatre group that eventually became Theatre Calgary. Her decades-long tenure at Western Canada High School inspired generations of drama students, including her best-known discovery, future television star Conrad Bain. In 1998, the Betty Mitchell Awards (or "Bettys") were introduced to recognize outstanding achievement in Calgary's professional theatre community.
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W.O. Mitchell

1914-1998 author, playwright, and performer
Considered the Mark Twain of Canada, William Ormond Mitchell will be remembered for his classic novel Who Has Seen the Wind (1947) and for his Jake and the...
Considered the Mark Twain of Canada, William Ormond Mitchell will be remembered for his classic novel Who Has Seen the Wind (1947) and for his Jake and the Kid stories and long- running radio series set in fictional Crocus, Saskatchewan. W.O. Mitchell was born at Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and studied at the Universities of Manitoba and Alberta. Apart from a few years in Toronto (where he was fiction editor for Maclean's magazine) Mitchell lived in Alberta for much of his life, first settling in High River in 1944. He was Writer-in-Residence at the Banff Centre, the University of Calgary, and other Canadian institutions, and served as director of the Banff Centre's Writing Division from 1975-85. Mitchell was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1973, and his 1989 novel According to Jake and the Kid won him the Stephen Leacock Award.
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Emily Murphy

1868-1933 judge, social reformer, and crusader for women's rights
The first female police magistrate in the British Empire, Edmonton's Emily...
The first female police magistrate in the British Empire, Edmonton's Emily Murphy (ne?e Ferguson), was born to a prominent legal family in Ontario. She was a successful journalist and author before moving to Edmonton in 1907, and she wrote a series of books under the pen name "Janey Canuck." She served as president of the Canadian Women's Press Club and the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada. She educated herself in the law before her 1916 appointment to the bench, and a gender-based challenge to her qualifications led Murphy to campaign to have women recognized as "persons." She led the "Famous Five," a group of Alberta women who advanced the status of women through the Persons Case in 1929. The women petitioned successfully for a judicial ruling that women are persons qualified to sit in the Senate.
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Marion Nicoll

1909-1985 artist and educator
As an educator, painter, and printmaker, Marion Nicoll inspired generations...
As an educator, painter, and printmaker, Marion Nicoll inspired generations of artists in Alberta and beyond. Marion McKay first studied at the Ontario College of Art from 1926-28 before returning to her native Calgary to attend the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (the forerunner to SAIT and the Alberta College of Art and Design). There, she studied under A.C. Leighton and Jock Macdonald. She then taught design, fabric, block printing, silk screening, stencil, and tie dying at the "Tech" from 1933-65, marrying artist Jim Nicoll in 1940. Marion's love of the Alberta landscape informed her later abstract art of mid-1960s. She brought international recognition to Alberta art. Arthritis forced Marion to retire from teaching and painting, but she concentrated on her printmaking. In 1976, Marion became the first female Alberta artist to be elected to membership in the Royal Canadian Academy.
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Ed O'Connor

died 1988 entrepreneur, volunteer, and Calgary Stampede president
Ed O'Connor's philosophy was that "community service or volunteering was the price you paid for the space you occupied," and he lived up to that ideal in...
Ed O'Connor's philosophy was that "community service or volunteering was the price you paid for the space you occupied," and he lived up to that ideal in spades. The Winnipeg-born businessman moved to Calgary in 1940, and for 37 years he served as business administrator for the Calgary Associate Clinic, all the while maintaining a variety of entrepreneurial interests. His commitment to community organizations was as varied as it was extensive. Among others, he served on the advisory board of the 1967 centennial celebrations and the Calgary Transit Commission, and he headed the Calgary Community Chest (now the United Way), the Calgary Jaycees (as well as their national organization), and the Calgary Stampeders football club. His early-1970s tenure as president of the Calgary Stampede saw the advent of the Historical Committee and plans for a major redesign of Stampede Park.
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J. Percy Page

1887-1973 basketball coach, politician, and Lieutenant-Governor
Long before he became Alberta's eighth Lieutenant-Governor, John Percy Page...
Long before he became Alberta's eighth Lieutenant-Governor, John Percy Page was known as the coach of the Edmonton Commercial Grads, a women's basketball team with an unmatched North American winning record. In 1912, the New York-born, Ontario-rased teacher moved to Edmonton, where he was hired to introduce high school-level commercial training. In 1914, he became coach of the McDougall Commercial High School girls' basketball team, and he continued to coach the same team after they graduated. By 1940, when the team disbanded, the Grads had won 502 of 522 games, including four Olympic meets. For 17 years in a row, the Grads held the world women's basketball title. Page was later elected to the Alberta legislature, serving as Leader of the Opposition from 1944-48. He served as Lieutenant-Governor from 1959-66.
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Frits Pannekoek

historian, educator, and communications innovator
Since earning his Ph.D. in history at Queen's University in 1974, Alberta-born Dr. Frits Pannekoek has made a substantial contribution to the fields of...
Since earning his Ph.D. in history at Queen's University in 1974, Alberta-born Dr. Frits Pannekoek has made a substantial contribution to the fields of western Canadian and Me?tis history, museum and heritage studies, and information and communications studies. As Director of Information Resources at the University of Calgary, he headed the university's transformation from a traditional, print-based institution to a leader in digital learning. Dr. Pannekoek contributed to the establishment of Synergies, a project to move Canada's scholarly discourse in the social sciences and humanities online. He was also involved in creating the interpretive centre at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). In 2005, Dr. Pannekoek became president of Athabasca University, and under his leadership the university launched an open access press that provides free electronic access to its publications. He has also served as president of the International Council for Open and Distance Education and as a member of the Alberta SuperNet Research Alliance.
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Irene Parlby

1868-1965
politician, social reformer, and crusader for women's rights Alberta's first...
politician, social reformer, and crusader for women's rights Alberta's first female cabinet minister was born Mary Irene Marryat in London, England, and she emigrated to Canada in 1896, marrying rancher Walter Parlby of Alix. Irene helped form the first women's local of the United Farmers of Alberta, and she later led its new parent organization, the United Farm Women of Alberta, as its first president. When the UFA formed the provincial government in 1921, Irene was appointed Minister Without Portfolio. She advocated for public health care and women's rights, and in 1930 she served as a delegate to the League of Nations. Irene was one of the "Famous Five," a group of Alberta women who advanced the status of women through the Persons Case in 1929. The women petitioned successfully for a judicial ruling that women are persons qualified to sit in the Senate.
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Bruce Peel

1916-1998 librarian and bibliographer
Bruce Braden Peel was born on his family's homestead near Ferland, Saskatchewan, and taught school in rural Saskatchewan and later in Saskatoon. He...
Bruce Braden Peel was born on his family's homestead near Ferland, Saskatchewan, and taught school in rural Saskatchewan and later in Saskatoon. He eventually earned graduate degrees in history and library science, and in 1951 he became chief cataloguer at the University of Alberta, rising to the position of "Librarian to the University" in 1955. By the time he retired in 1982, Peel had built up the institution into one of the three largest research libraries in Canada, and he was instrumental in the creation of the University of Alberta Press and the university's library school. Peel wrote several books, but his greatest legacy is his Bibliography of the Prairie Provinces, a compilation of sources that became an essential tool for any study of prairie history.
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Stan Perrott

1917-2001 artist, teacher, and mentor
This former director of the Alberta College of Art (now the Alberta College...
This former director of the Alberta College of Art (now the Alberta College of Art and Design) has been credited for transforming the art department of a technical college into one of the continent's leading educational institutes for the visual arts. Born in Claresholm, Perrott studied at what was then the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (the future SAIT) in Calgary from 1935 to 1939. He returned as an instructor in 1946 but took a leave to study with American Modernist artists from 1954 to 1955 which helped him establish his own style. From 1967 to 1974 he headed the art college, overseeing its move into a purpose-built facility in 1973. Perrott inspired generations of art students, including John Hall, Douglas Haynes, Katie Ohe, and Robert Scott. Through his charcoal, prints, and watercolours, Perrott interpreted the landscape of Alberta's foothills. In 1988, he was awarded the Sir Frederick Haultain Prize for his outstanding contribution to the enhancement and development of visual arts in the province.
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Greg Powell

physician and founder of STARS Air Ambulance
After a hemorrhaging patient died while being transported by ground ambulance, Dr. Greg Powell - head of emergency medicine at Calgary's Foothills Hospital -...
After a hemorrhaging patient died while being transported by ground ambulance, Dr. Greg Powell - head of emergency medicine at Calgary's Foothills Hospital - dedicated himself to the provision of air ambulance services. In 1985, his efforts led to the establishment of what became the Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society. Under his leadership as president and CEO, STARS Air Ambulance evolved into a pre-eminent emergency air medical transport program. Through STARS, he pioneered the mobile human patient simulator training program, the first of its kind in North America, to take emergency medical training to rural medical doctors and other emergency responders and care givers. In 2005, he was recognized as one of the province's "100 Physicians of the Century". Dr. Powell was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2007.
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Abdul Rahman

born 1955 physician, community leader, and volunteer
In 1979, while a student at Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, Abdul Rahman and two other students endeavoured to improve the situation for some of...
In 1979, while a student at Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, Abdul Rahman and two other students endeavoured to improve the situation for some of the poorer patients at the hospital where they were working. Originally Patients' Welfare Association (PWA) provided medicines to the patients, but it grew to become the largest blood bank in Pakistan. PWA now has a TB control program where medications are given free of cost and runs its own Thalassemia center. There is no cost to patients for any of these programs. After immigrating to Canada in 1996 and settling in Calgary in 2001, Dr. Rahman continued to work and advocate for improved medical conditions in this country, and he has been a member of several committees and association related to the medical profession. He has also promoting youth involvement in society, particularly Muslim youth, with the organization called Muslims of Southern Alberta Initiating Change Incorporated (MOSAIC). The goal of MOSAIC is to provide opportunities for youth to obtain training and experience through volunteerism. Over last few years, MOSAIC has worked with scores of different organizations in the city including Interfaith Foodbank, St. Mary's Church, Feed the Hungry program, the Mustard Seed, Homeless Shelter, CUPS and Canadian Blood Services.
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Ken Read

born 1955 alpine ski racer and charity fundraiser
Perhaps best known as a charter member of the "Crazy Canucks" from 1974-83, Ken Read won five World Cup events and competed in the Olympic Winter Games in...
Perhaps best known as a charter member of the "Crazy Canucks" from 1974-83, Ken Read won five World Cup events and competed in the Olympic Winter Games in 1976 and 1980. Since retiring from competition, his accomplishments have included an award-winning career in broadcasting, athlete advocacy, and fundraising projects that have raised over $3.8-million for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He has devoted himself professionally to national and provincial sport organizations, and in 2003 he helped found the organization Own The Podium. Read has introduced innovative approaches to sport development and leadership. He is an honoured member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, the Canadian Ski hall of Fame, and the International Ski Racing Hall of Fame. Read was named to the Order of Canada in 1991.
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William R. Reader

1875-1943 developer of Calgary's parks system
In his lengthy career as Calgary's Parks Superintendent from 1913-42, William...
In his lengthy career as Calgary's Parks Superintendent from 1913-42, William Roland Reader transformed the city from a largely treeless prairie town to a city of tree-lined boulevards with a variety of parks, playgrounds, and outdoor recreational facilities. In 1908, the English-born landscape planner moved to Calgary, where he worked for rancher and industrialist Patrick Burns, contributed to the Calgary Herald, and helped found the Calgary Horticultural Society. Perhaps his greatest legacy is Reader Rock Garden, which he developed on the slopes of Cemetery Hill next to his city-owned residence. Reader grew thousands of species of plants there, demonstrating the city's gardening potential and giving seeds to anyone who asked for them.
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Ernest L. Richardson

1876-1952 agricultural spokesman and Calgary Stampede exhibition manager
Like his more famous colleague Guy Weadick, Ernie Richardson deserves to be remembered as a founder of the Calgary Stampede. After graduating from the...
Like his more famous colleague Guy Weadick, Ernie Richardson deserves to be remembered as a founder of the Calgary Stampede. After graduating from the Ontario School of Agriculture in his native province, Richardson eventually moved to Regina, where he became an administrator for the North West Territories government. He became assistant manager of Calgary's annual exhibition in 1903 and assumed its management in 1906. In his 35-year tenure, Richardson transformed the grounds into a year-round agricultural and livestock centre for southern Alberta, and he built the exhibition into a significant regional event and a showcase for agriculture, art, entertainment, sports, and technology. Richardson had his doubts Guy Weadick's proposal to hold the first Calgary Stampede in 1912. But it was Richardson who, in 1923, invited Weadick to make the Stampede a permanent component of the exhibition.
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Andy Russell

1915-2005 author, mountain guide, and conservationist
Raised on his family's homestead south of Pincher Creek, Andy Russell spent his childhood exploring nature and dropped out of high school to become a cowboy...
Raised on his family's homestead south of Pincher Creek, Andy Russell spent his childhood exploring nature and dropped out of high school to become a cowboy and trapper. He later became a pioneer guide and outfitter, settling on his beloved Hawk's Nest Ranch near Waterton National Park in 1937. In 1945, Russell began writing for Outdoor Life magazine. In time, he authored 14 books, beginning with Grizzly Country in 1967. Russell was a lifelong conservationist and environmental advocate, which he expressed through his writings, radio vignettes, wildlife photography, and three feature-length films that he produced. He became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1976, and in 2002 he was inducted into the Alberta Order of the Bighorn.
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Bert Sheppard

1901-1999 cowboy, rancher, writer, and philanthropist
Bert Sheppard grew up on his family's Cottonwood Ranch near High River, and at the age of eleven he attended the first Calgary Stampede. Not long after,...
Bert Sheppard grew up on his family's Cottonwood Ranch near High River, and at the age of eleven he attended the first Calgary Stampede. Not long after, Sheppard became a cowboy, eventually breaking horses at the Bar U Ranch. There he worked for George Lane, one of the Big Four ranchers who backed the 1912 Stampede. Sheppard later became a ranch owner and manager in his own right. In his seventies, he wrote two acclaimed memoirs, Spitzee Days and Just About Nothing (1977) that captured his life and times on the range. He supported western artists, decorating his home and illustrating his books with their works. After the Bar U Ranch became a National Historic Site, Sheppard commissioned artist Rich Roenisch to sculpt Lane and persuaded a reluctant Parks Canada to place the bronze statue on Lane's old ranch. At Sheppard's 90th birthday celebration, former prime minister Joe Clark called him a "national institution".
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Joe Shoctor

1922-2001 community builder and founder of Citadel Theatre
Despite his success as an Edmonton lawyer and real estate investor, Joe...
Despite his success as an Edmonton lawyer and real estate investor, Joe Shoctor never forgot his early interest in show business. He headed for Hollywood after graduating law school, but he returned to Edmonton after earning only a few small theatre roles. Shoctor invested in Broadway productions before turning his attention homeward. In 1965, he headed a group that purchased the old Salvation Army Citadel and transformed it into the home of a professional theatre company, which he served as executive producer and chair of the board. A decade later, Shoctor raised the funds for a purpose-built Citadel Theatre, which has become an institution of national significance. Among other honours, Shoctor received the Alberta Order of Excellence, the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, and the Order of Canada.
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Arthur Smith

1919-2008 businessman, war hero, and politician
When Arthur R. Smith died in 2008, Alberta premier Ed Stelmach eulogized him...
When Arthur R. Smith died in 2008, Alberta premier Ed Stelmach eulogized him as "a hero in war, a leader in business, and a champion for the homeless." Calgary-born Smith worked as a roughneck in the Turner Valley oilfield before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force at the outbreak of the Second World War. He became a bomber pilot and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, Smith became a journalist and editor for Oil in Canada magazine before establishing his own journal, the Petroleum Exploration Digest. He was elected to city council in 1952 (and again in 1965), to the provincial legislature as a Progressive Conservative in 1954, and - following his father's footsteps - he served as a Progressive Conservative MP from 1957-63. He also served as a delegate to the United Nations. Smith contributed to Peter Lougheed's victory in the 1971 provincial election. He helped to found the Calgary Booster Club and the Calgary Olympic Development Association, and as co-chair of the Calgary Economic Development Authority, Smith contributed to the city's recovery from the recession of the early 1980s. Among other organizations he was involved with, Smith was president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Chief of Protocol for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, and Chairman of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires. He mentored and advised politicians, contributed to the memorialization of Second World War airmen's service, and championed the homeless by spearheading the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Smith's many honours include the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1997, the investiture as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1989, and as an Officer in the order in 2003.
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Ralph Steinhauer

1905-1987 First Nations leader and Lieutenant-Governor
Alberta's tenth Lieutenant-Governor was the first person of First Nations...
Alberta's tenth Lieutenant-Governor was the first person of First Nations heritage to be appointed to the position in any Canadian province. Steinhauer was born at the Morley Reserve but grew up and eventually farmed on the Saddle Lake Reserve near St. Paul. He served as a councillor of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation for 34 years and three years as its chief. Steinhauer was a founder and president of the Indian Association of Alberta, president of the Alberta Indian Development Corporation, and was actively involved in many organizations that promoted aboriginal and rural economic development. In 1972, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.
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Mark Tewksbury

born 1968 swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and gay rights advocate
By the time he retired from competition in 1992, Calgary-born swimmer Mark Tewksbury won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and gold and bronze...
By the time he retired from competition in 1992, Calgary-born swimmer Mark Tewksbury won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and gold and bronze medals at the 1992 games in Barcelona - as well as four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, 21 national swimming championships, and seven world records. His subsequent career has been just as admirable. In 1998, Tewksbury resigned as an athlete representative with the International Olympic Committee, citing corruption within the organization. The same year, he came out as a gay man and began advocating for LGBT causes. Tewksbury later became president of the World Outgames, and in 2012 he served as chef de mission for Canada's athletes at the Summer Olympics in London. He is an author, broadcaster, and motivational speaker.
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Ed Thiessen

born 1941 rancher and veterinary innovator
After completing his engineering degree and working in the oilpatch, Ed Thiessen returned Strathmore to join his brother in operating the family's mixed...
After completing his engineering degree and working in the oilpatch, Ed Thiessen returned Strathmore to join his brother in operating the family's mixed farm. They expanded the operation into an intensive cattle feedlot, and Thiessen turned his innovative mind to the concept of "biological accounting." Using original software developed in Alberta, Thiessen individually identified some 20,000 cattle and filed their individual abstracts. Instead of patenting this method, Thiessen participated in a formal publication on the subject, allowing any livestock operator to inventory animals in situ in the barn, at chuteside, or in a feedlot hospital using this method. His was also the first feedyard in the province to provide a learning opportunity to veterinatyry students. Thiessen has served on many crop, livestock, and university organizations. A family man to the core, he has inspired several of his children to pursue careers in agriculture.
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Kate Thrasher

entrepreneur, community builder, and volunteer
Kate Thrasher is an award winning entrepreneur, business builder and community leader. Born in Saskatchewan, Kate moved to Calgary from Toronto and led the...
Kate Thrasher is an award winning entrepreneur, business builder and community leader. Born in Saskatchewan, Kate moved to Calgary from Toronto and led the public affairs departments for two major energy companies. She is an executive management consultant and President of Success At Work Inc. and Selling Success Inc. Her companies have helped over 3,500 management and professionals find jobs; launched over 650 small businesses, and supported the business objectives of over 10,000 Alberta organizations. Kate is a Founder of the Epcor Centre, the Calgary Winter Festival and the Jubilee Auditoria Society and she created the infrastructure to support the Province's high profile activities at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thrasher promotes western values and has introduced hundreds of new Canadians to the Calgary Stampede. In 1980 she coordinated the Calgary Stampede's 75th Anniversary celebrations and went on to become a volunteer on the Theme and Western Showcase Committees. Kate is a past chair of the Grandstand Committee.
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Henry Marshall Tory

1864-1947 first president of the University of Alberta
In 1908, the Nova Scotia-born, McGill University educated Henry Marshall Tory...
In 1908, the Nova Scotia-born, McGill University educated Henry Marshall Tory arrived in Edmonton as president of the newly-established University of Alberta. Over the next two decades, he built it from a school with 45 students and five instructors to a significant institution offering degrees in commerce, household economics, medicine, and pharmacy, among other disciplines. Tory traversed the province to promote the institution and ensure its status as Alberta's university, not Edmonton's. Before leaving the university in 1928, he established the Alberta Research Council (1921) and CKUA, the university's radio station (1927). The following year, Tory moved to Ottawa where he helped establish the National Research Council.
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Guy Weadick

1885-1953 Stampede legend and promoter
The originator of the Calgary Stampede grew up in Rochester, New York, nourished by his uncles' stories of their work as ranch hands in Wyoming and...
The originator of the Calgary Stampede grew up in Rochester, New York, nourished by his uncles' stories of their work as ranch hands in Wyoming and California. Before long he went west himself, working on ranches in Montana before starting a performing career as a trick roper in 1905. He met and married fellow performer Florence LaDue the following year, and in 1908 the two performed at the Dominion Exhibition in Calgary. When they returned four years later, Calgary was in the midst of a phenomenal boom and ready for Weadick's dream: a rodeo that would "make Buffalo Bill's Wild West extravaganza look like a sideshow". Four wealthy ranchers bankrolled the project, and despite organizational problems the show was a success. Weadick reunited with the "Big Four" to stage the Victory Stampede in 1919, and in 1923, Calgary exhibition manager Ernest L. Richardson asked Weadick to make the Stampede a permanent component of the annual fair. In 1920, Weadick and LaDue settled near Longview, where they operated a guest ranch that they called the Stampede Ranch.
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Ed Whalen

1927-2001 broadcaster and volunteer
The "voice of the Calgary Flames" was set to attend medical school in his...
The "voice of the Calgary Flames" was set to attend medical school in his native Saskatoon when he chose instead to follow his boyhood dream as a radio personality. He moved to Calgary in 1955 and became news and sports director for CHCT (now Global Television). For decades, Whalen also served as the popular host of Stu Hart's "Stampede Wrestling" broadcast and as the play-by-play announcer for Calgary Flames hockey games. Whalen's extensive charity work included hosting the Children's Miracle Network telethons and the Homeless Awareness Week kickoff and founding the Ed Whalen Used Equipment Drive for Kidsport.
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Arthur O. Wheeler

1860-1945 co-founder, Alpine Club of Canada
Born and educated in Ireland, Arthur Wheeler settled with his family in...
Born and educated in Ireland, Arthur Wheeler settled with his family in Ontario and became a Dominion Land Surveyor. He surveyed widely in western Canada, but is best remembered for his passionate connection to the mountains. Wheeler was a pioneer in the use of photo- topographic surveying; using triangulation and camera stations at high altitudes, he mapped the eastern slopes of the Rockies, in connection with engineering requirements for irrigation in southern Alberta from 1895. Wheeler's boundless energy for climbing peaks resulted in his production of the first topographical map of the foothills in 1897. In 1906, Wheeler co-founded the Alpine Club of Canada, becoming first president and editor of its journal. He later founded a mountain tour company that eventually went to Brewsters of Banff.
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Catharine Robb Whyte

1906-1979 painter and philanthropist
In the late 1920s, Massachusetts socialite Catharine Robb enrolled as an art...
In the late 1920s, Massachusetts socialite Catharine Robb enrolled as an art student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. There she met fellow student Peter Whyte, the son of a Banff storekeeper. The two married in 1930 and settled permanently in Banff. Catharine's wealth allowed them to spend their lives painting, skiing, hiking in Banff and travelling the world. Eventually, it allowed them to found the Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation, which Catharine directed, and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, which preserves the history and showcases the art of their beloved mountain community. Catharine's charitable endeavours included art, conservation, natural science, and the Stoney First Nations, who embraced her as an honourary member.
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Francis Winspear

1903-1997 businessman, philanthropist, and political reformer
Between his high school graduation in Calgary and his retirement in Edmonton...
Between his high school graduation in Calgary and his retirement in Edmonton in 1964, Francis Winspear built a successful national accounting firm and launched some forty business ventures. He then dedicated the rest of his life to philanthropy, giving some six million dollars alone to his alma mater, the University of Alberta. A strong supporter of the arts, particularly music, Winspear funded an endowment that allowed the University to hire the Edmonton Symphony's concertmaster and conductor as visiting professors. He also contributed six million dollars for the establishment of the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, a $45-million concert hall that opened only months after his death. Outside of the realm of education, Winspear was dissatisfied with central Canadian dominance in federal politics, he provided initiative and funding that led to the creation of the Reform Party of Canada in 1987.
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Dianne Wittner

born 1958 wildlife biologist, conservationist, and broadcaster
Thanks to Dianne Wittner, tens of thousands of wild animals - ranging from...
Thanks to Dianne Wittner, tens of thousands of wild animals - ranging from hummingbirds to moose - have been rescued from injury or death. Raised on her family's remote cattle ranch in British Columbia, Wittner grew up close to nature and encountered wildlife on a daily basis. After graduating in biology from the University of Calgary, Wittner returned to B.C. and became a wildlife rehabilitator in 1983. A decade later, she moved to Alberta and founded Rockyview Wildlife Recovery, later renamed the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, northwest of Calgary. Wittner led a group of volunteers in developing this charitable organization into a wildlife clinic that treats some 2,000 injured animals every year. A wildlife trauma specialist, Wittner is an author, broadcaster, educator, and international speaker. She has won the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Animal Action Award and Global Television's Woman of Vision Award.
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Henry Wise Wood

1860-1941 farm leader, philosopher, and political visionary
Henry Wise Wood was a successful cattle farmer in his native Missouri before...
Henry Wise Wood was a successful cattle farmer in his native Missouri before moving to the new province of Alberta in 1905. He settled on a wheat farm near Carstairs and became an early member of the United Farmers of Alberta, serving as its president from 1916-31. At a time when farmers and their families comprised a majority in the province, Wood was their most influential leader. He reluctantly concluded that his organization should enter politics, but he declined the premiership when the UFA won the 1921 election. Wood was instrumental in the establishment of farmer-owned wheat pools, and he doubled as president of the Alberta Wheat Pool from 1923- 37.
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Kerry Wood

1907-1998 wildlife author and conservationist
"An inspiration to naturalists around the world", reads Kerry Wood's Order of...
"An inspiration to naturalists around the world", reads Kerry Wood's Order of Canada citation. Inspired by the American naturalist-philosopher Henry David Thoreau, Wood spent nearly two years living in the bush after graduating high school in Red Deer. The experience launched his prolific career as a nature writer and broadcaster. Generations of children drew inspiration from his books, many of them co-authored with his wife, Marjorie. Wood was instrumental in preserving the Gaetz Lakes area as a bird sanctuary and wildlife refuge. To Governor-General Ray Hnatyshyn, Wood was "among the few who perceived the fragile nature of nature itself".
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