The Military Museums

Thurs 19 Dec 2019: Critical Mass: Gender Integration in the Canadian Armed Forces

Lecturer: Dr. Robert Engen

Dr. Engen will be presenting a lecture on gender integration in the Canadian Armed Forces. He is the author of two books: Canadians Under Fire: Infantry Effectiveness in the Second World War, and Strangers in Arms: Combat Motivation in the Canadian Army. He is also co-editor of Military Education and the British Empire.

He has had articles published in Canadian Historical Review, Journal of Military, Veterans and Family Health, Canadian Military History, and Canadian Army Journal. He is lead editor of a forthcoming volume on the Canadian experience of combat motivation.

Sat 14 Sept 2019: Dual book launch

Lecturers: Ted Barris and David O'Keefe

Ted Barris launches his 19th book – Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire – while David O’Keefe unveils his latest book – Seven Days in Hell: Canada’s Battle for Normandy and the Rise of the Black Watch Snipers. Both books will be published this fall by HarperCollins Canada.

Barris’s 18th book – Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany – was awarded the 2018 NORAD Trophy. Barris's latest book pursues the untold story of military medical personnel – military medics, field surgeons, nursing sisters, stretcher-bearers, orderlies, and ambulance drivers who have always disregarded their own well-being in order to save the lives of others on the battlefield. Barris’s father was a WWII medic in the U.S. Army and so he threads that story through the middle of his new book.

O’Keefe’s first book – One Day in August: The Untold Story Behind Canada’s Tragedy at Dieppe – was shortlisted for the Charles Taylor literary prize. O’Keefe’s new work about the Black Watch explores one of the most controversial military stories of WWII, involving the Black Watch engagement in Normandy at Verrieres Ridge in July of 1944. It’s a story that O’Keefe was destined to tell since he was the Watch’s regimental historian and interviewed many of its WWII veterans.

Thurs 25 July 2019 6:30 - 8:30pm: Workshop: Embroidered Postcards

Workshop Leader: Caitlin Thompson

World War I soldiers sent embroidered postcards from France to their loved ones at home. In this workshop, local artist Caitlin Thompson will introduce participants to the history of embroidered postcards. Featured in this summer’s exhibitions Keepsakes of Conflict ad Red Cross Quilts, embroidered postcards from WW1 were a connective thread between military and civilian life. In response to these artifacts, each participant will be given a replica of wartime postcard to embellish with stitches learned in a casual group sewing circle.

Caitlin Thompson grew up in rural east-central Alberta and completed her BFA in Sculpture at Red Deer College and The Alberta College of Art + Design (2007). Caitlin moved to Montreal to pursue an MFA in Fibres and Material Practices from Concordia University (2015). She then moved back to Alberta to complete the beneficial cycle of journeying and returning. Her studio practice focuses on the relationship between the act of making and the formation of identity, specifically in embroidery and animation. Caitlin’s latest body of work, Panoramada, will be exhibited in Edmonton at the Art Gallery of Alberta’s group show Processor: Digital Translations for a Simulated Future this summer.

Thurs 27 June 2019: “Keepsakes of Conflict” Contemporary Craft’s Role in Understanding Trench Art

Lecturer: Julia Krueger

Julia Krueger teaches History of Craft at the Alberta University of the Arts. She assisted with the publication and exhibition, Keepsakes of Conflict, Trench Art and other Canadian War-related Craft.

What might it mean to physically and visibly transform a machine-made object meant for the battlefield into a handmade souvenir-type object for the home? Keepsakes of Conflict researcher and craft historian Julia Krueger will explore this question while sharing other insights and stories associated with the exhibition. The presentation will begin with the definition of trench art used by curator Heather Smith and Krueger and continue with a discussion on craft and the handmade. Specific objects included in the show will be used to illustrate important stylistic influences and unique characteristics found within these objects.

Thurs 20 June 2019: The Battle of Waterloo

Lecturer: James Istvanffy

Join us on June 20, 2019, for a lecture with James Istvanffy where he unpacks the battle that led to the defeat one of the greatest generals in history. The Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815 was one of the most decisive battles in history where the French under Napoleon Bonaparte battled British forces under the Duke of Wellington south of Brussels, Belgium.

The hard-fought battle saw the arrival of the Prussian Army under Field Marshal Blucher which greatly tipped the scales against the French. Waterloo was the end of an era - the last major engagement of a long series of wars and over 70 major battles.

Sun 16 June 2019: Sword Making

Lecturer: Robert Pooley

Join us on June 16, 2019, for a Lecture by world renowned sword maker Robert Pooley. This is a once in a lifetime event! Treat your Dad for fathers day and let him try his hand at Sabering a bottle of Prosecco.

The Pooley Sword, formed in November 2005, has an outstanding reputation for craftsmanship and has been established as the leading supplier of swords to the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth Nations, and Overseas Defence Forces including Canada.

In August 2005, Wilkinson Sword – distinguished sword makers for over 200 years – ceased trading as sword makers. Robert Pooley, who had been commissioning swords from Wilkinson’s for over forty years, purchased from Wilkinson’s their drawings, spares and much of their tooling.

This event is only available for people over the age of 18 and a waiver will need to be signed prior to participating. Waivers will be available at the event. Light refreshments will be available.

Thurs 6 June 2019: 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Lecturer: James Istvanffy

Join us on June 6, 2019, for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day as we commemorate the day with a lecture by James Istvanffy on the greatest amphibious invasion in history.

The discussion will include the Allied and German preparations leading up to the invasion, the main events of June 6, 1944, and the aftermath of the Allied liberation of western Europe from Nazi occupation.

Fri 31 May 2019: D-Day Dodgers

The term "D-Day Dodgers" was coined by Lady Astor, a generally disliked socialite and Member of Parliament, in reference to the troops fighting in the Italian campaign. Despite the negative ring to the name "D-Day Dodgers", the men fought a long arduous campaign to free Italy, enduring up to twice as many casualties in taking the island of Sicily as those that fell on the beaches of Normandy. Not ones to turn the other cheek when slandered, the D-Day Dodgers responded to Lady Astor's remarks through a song which will be played at the event.

The opening night will feature:

  • The Calgary Crescendo Choir
  • The Prairie Motor Brigade
  • Speaker Presentations
  • The King's Own Calgary Regimental Band

Thurs 2 May 2019: The Empire on the Western Front - Book Launch

Lecturer: Dr. Geoffrey Jackson

When Great Britain and its dominions declared war on Germany in August 1914, they were faced with the formidable challenge of transforming masses of untrained citizen-soldiers at home and abroad into competent, coordinated fighting divisions.

The Empire on the Western Front focuses on the development of two units, Britain’s 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division and the Canadian 4th Division, to show how the British Expeditionary Force rose to this challenge.

Geoffrey Jackson follows their development, from their respective genesis through to the end of the war, and all aspects of the division-building process – from leadership and training to discipline and morale. What influence did the senior leadership and the fighting doctrine that shaped training have on the divisions’ performance in France? How did internal operations and the divisions’ role within the larger corps and armies influence their effectiveness in battle? Did the division-building process differ in Britain and the dominions? 

In answering these questions, The Empire on the Western Front examines army formation and operations at the divisional level and ultimately calls into question existing accounts that emphasize the differences between the imperial and dominion armies. This book will appeal to those interested in the development and operations of the dominion armies and the British Expeditionary Force during the Great War.

Thurs 28 Feb 2019: Dark Tourism: Canadian Residential Schools through the European model

Lecturer: Jackie Jansen van Doorn

Dark tourism is not a new concept, although not widely known, in North America. Jackie Jansen van Doorn looked extensively at dark tourism sites throughout Europe with a primary focus on Holocaust sites. She explored how these models could be best applied to residential schools.

Through graduate work at the University of York, United Kingdom, she developed the proposition that the techniques of dark tourism could enable, Canadians to further their knowledge about the atrocities of residential schools and thereby create a more sustainable stride for reconciliation.













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