Past Lectures at TMM
The annual Lecture Series began at The Military Museums in the year 2000, and has been an important and popular event at the museum ever since.
The Fall / Winter Lecture Series provides an opportunity to hear speakers from a variety of backgrounds discuss topics of historical, political, social and military significance. The following is a list of lectures that have taken place at the museum since 2009.
Past Lectures at TMM
Thurs, 23 Feb, 2017: H-Hour: Normandy 1944
Lecturers: Leslie Hossack and Lindsey Sharman
Please join artist Leslie Hossack and curator Lindsey Sharman for a tour of their latest exhibition H-Hour: Normandy 1944, and celebrate the launch of a new book that accompanies the exhibition.
The book contains over 70 photographs with contributions by:
- David J. Bercuson, Professor, Department of History, University of Calgary
- Joanne Stober, Historian, War and Visual Culture, Canadian War Museum
- Lindsey V. Sharman, Curator, University of Calgary
- Leslie Hossack, artist
Everyone in attendance will be gifted a free ebook edition of the Hour: Normandy 1944 publication.
Thurs, 3 Nov, 2016: The Frontier Of Patriotism: Alberta And The First World War
Lecturers: Adriana A. Davies and Jeff Keshen
With the centenary of the First World War, communities across Canada arranged commemorations of the war experience to honour local servicemen who, through their triumphs and sacrifices, were presented as laying the foundation for a free and independent country.
Often overlooked are the triumphs and sacrifices of those who supported those soldiers, and the war effort in general, back at home. This presentation provides a detailed look at the Alberta homefront, and how the war affected the lives of people in the province.
Thurs, 27 Oct, 2016: En Victoire: France On The Western Front, 1914-1918
Lecturer: Dr. Pat Brennan, Associate Professor Emeritus of History, Dr. Geoff Jackson, University of Calgary
France’s sacrifice in World War I – almost entirely incurred on French soil – was heart-breaking, with almost double the war dead suffered by her British Empire allies. For the first two years of the conflict, the French Army bore by far the greatest burden of fighting.
Even in November 1918, France fielded the Allies’ largest force. Ironically, this magnificent effort is only vaguely known to English speakers. In 1914, the disastrous Battle of the Frontiers was quickly followed by a dramatic stand at the very gates of Paris. Stalemate ensued in 1915, followed by the grim blood-letting at Verdun in 1916.
France’s war effort reached its nadir in 1917 when a crushing defeat at the Chemin des Dames sparked widespread mutiny among the war-weary poilus. Yet by the summer of 1918 the French Army had stopped the final German offensive, then at Soissons launched the first of the great Allied counter-attacks that would bring total victory only four months later. This is France’s story of duty, sacrifice and ultimately victory.
Thurs, 13 Oct, 2016:The Art Of Command: Portraits And Posters From Canada’s Afghan Mission
Lecturer: Lindsey Sharman, Art Curator for The Founders’ Gallery at The Military Museums
The Art of Command: Portraits and Posters from Canada’s Afghan Mission is a solo exhibition by Gertrude Kearns, Canada’s leading contemporary war artist.
The Art of Command is a reflection of the effects war has on those who call the shots on the front lines. It takes viewers—military and civilian alike—on an emotional journey, through the presentation of fearless, self-assured and ruthlessly honest portraits of military subjects. This talk will include a tour of the exhibition.
Tuesday, 4 Oct, 2016: CTF-150: Maritime Security And Counter Terrorism In The Middle East
Lecturer: Captain Bill Quinn
Captain Bill Quinn will discuss Canada’s participation in the multi-national counter terrorism task force CTF 150, focusing on maritime security operations across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean. This task force has influenced events ashore by denying international terrorists the use of the seas as a venue for attack or for transporting personnel, weapons, or other illicit material.
Royal Canadian Navy Captain Bill Quinn recently returned from service in the Middle East region with Combined Task Force 150 and will discuss his experience, and Canada’s contribution to the operation.
Thurs, 29 Sept, 2016: Play Hard, Fight Hard: Sport And The Canadian Military
Lecturer: TMM Curator Rory Cory, Janene Holman, MA
Rory Cory and Janene Holman takes audiences in for a detailed look at the ground breaking exhibit. Play Hard, Fight Hard explores the relationship between sports and military service, and how the concepts of leadership, teamwork, fitness, and tactical planning are shared between the two worlds. This talk will include a guided tour of the exhibition.
Wed, 18 May, 2016: Mapping A Cold War: Tour And Artist Talk By Leslie Reid
Lecturer: Leslie Reid
Leslie Reid is a Canadian artist who recently participated in the Canadian Forces Artists Program and has travelled throughout Northern Canada and the arctic. In this presentation she will discuss her work, which uses historic and contemporary photography, painting, and video to show past and present relationships between northern populations, northern landscapes, and government and military activities.
Thurs, 14 April, 2016: Lock, Stock, And Icebergs: A History Of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty
Lecturer: Adam Lajeunesse
Lock, Stock, and Icebergs: A History of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty If the waters of the Arctic Archipelago are as Canadian as the Rideau Canal, why then did it take successive governments over a century to claim the waters as wholly Canadian?
Lock, Stock, and Icebergs recounts the events, pressures, and behind-the-scenes negotiations that shaped Canada’s legal claim to the waters of Arctic Archipelago.
Thurs, 31 March, 2016: The Enigma Story
Lecturer: Dr. Peter Berg, University of Alberta
The Enigma Story: Technology, Turing, Trondheim, Toronto. Discover the remarkable story of the Enigma machine, a device used by the German military during WWII to encrypt their military communications.
Dr. Peter Berg, Chair of Science at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus, will explain the machine’s inner workings, the code-breaking efforts of Alan Turing and his team, the role that Canadians and Norwegians played, and the ties to modern espionage and encryption technology. The unique highlight of the evening will be the display of an original Enigma machine, one of only two devices in Canada.
Thurs, 24 March, 2016: Ultra: The Allied Secret Weapon
Lecturer: Maria Robson
Maria Robson presents a broad overview of Ultra - what it was, and why it was a watershed moment in the history of Intel. This presentation will explore Ultra’s role in World War II, the Bletchley Park codebreakers, the Enigma code, and how British and American intel guarded the Ultra secret.
Thurs, 17 March, 2016: Camp X: Secret Agent School
Film: Camp X: Secret Agent School (Runtime 60 minutes)
During the Second World War, the British, Canadian and American governments established a secret agent training facility outside of Toronto. Known as ‘Camp X,’ the school produced some of the world’s first modern spies.
This film tells the stories of some of the individuals trained at the camp, and examines their crucial contributions to the war effort.
Thurs, 10 March, 2016: The Maple Leaf And The Tulip
Lecturer: Rory Cory, Senior Curator at The Military Museums
Rory Cory presents a photo essay about Holland and the Canadians during the Second World War.
Photographs, artifacts, and interviews portray life under occupation, Dutch resistance, liberation, and the unique relationships that formed between the two countries and their people in the following years.
Thurs, 3 March, 2016: Film, War Story: Bomber command
The Thursday 3 March event is the following film presentation, War Story: Bomber Command
This film examines the heavy toll of the bombing missions carried out over Germany by British and Canadian aircrews during the Second World War.
Thurs, 25 February, 2016: (Film) The Liberation Of Holland
Film Screening with introduction by Irene Bakker, the Honourary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Calgary.
This acclaimed CBC documentary mixes re-enactments and archival footage to provide an account of events that led to Holland’s liberation from German occupation.
Thurs, 18 Feb, 2016: (Lecture) 17 Days Of Hades
Historian and author Norman Leach delves deeper into what happened at the Second Battle of Ypres. This presentation will explore the role of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the famous Great War battle.
Please note that while this presentation expands on topics covered in the film screening, it is still a stand-alone event. Attendance to the film screening is not a requirement.
Thurs, 11 Feb, 2016: (Films) The Front Lines & The Trenches
Film Screenings with introduction by Ryan Goldsworthy
The story of the Great War is the recovered letters and war diaries of five individuals who experiences it. These entries are narrated over photographs and historical footage to create a personal and human account of war. The film Front Lines is 33 minutes, and The Trenches is 6 minutes in length.
Thurs, 4 Feb, 2016: Canadian Sacrifice And Its Meaning In The Great War
Lecturer: Ryan Goldsworthy
Historian Ryan Goldsworthy provides an analysis of how Canadians on the home front reacted to massive unexpected casualty rates in the later years of the war, and how they attempted to make sense of a young nation's sacrifice.
Thurs, 28 Jan, 2016: (Film) 17 Days Of Hades
Film Screening with introduction by Norman Leach
A grim and compelling look at Canada's role in the Second Battle of Ypres. This 45 minute film combines footage and interviews to convey the brutality of trench warfare, and the first use of chlorine gas.
Sat, 28 Nov, 2015: One-Two-Three: The Story Of The 123rd Overseas Battalion, Royal Grenadiers, CEF
Lecturer: Dan Mowat
Author Dan Mowat presents a chronicle of an infantry battalion that was raised in 1915, and trained for mobilization to France. 123 Battalion served as combat pioneers and engineers through all of the major Canadian battles of the First World War.
Mowat's 350 page book covers the officers and men who served in the Battalion and what they did to contribute to winning the war.
Note: This presentation is on Saturday at 1PM.
Tues, 17 Nov, 2015: CTF-150: Maritime Security And Counter Terrorism In The Middle East
Lecturer: Commodore Brian Santarpia
On 4 December, 2014, Canada took command of the multi-national counter terrorism task force CTF 150. Participating in maritime security operations across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean, this task force influenced events ashore by denying international terrorists the use of the seas as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other illicit material.
In this presentation, Commodore Brian Santarpia will discuss his role commanding CTF 150.
Monday, 9 Nov 2015: Book Launch: Our Finest Hour
Lecturer: David Bercuson
With his new book, Dr. David Bercuson examines the formulation and execution of Canada's Second World War strategy.
Our Finest Hour examines how a nation unprepared for war in 1939 succeeded to increase production on the home front, and field an invasion force that would go on to play a crucial role in the Allied victory.
Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing after the presentation. Doors open: 6PM Lecture: 7PM
Thurs, 5 Nov 2015: Barracks To Banks: Canadian Silk Screens For War And Peace
Lecturer: Ian Sigvaldason
Visiting writer Ian Sigvaldason will discuss the exhibition Barracks to Banks: Canadian Silkscreens for War and Peace. This lecture and exhibition tour will focus on how the silkscreens provided a morale boost to Canada's WWII soldiers.
Starting in 1942, vibrant landscape silkscreens by A.J. Casson, Emily Carr, Charles Comfort, Lawren Harris, and 50 others were sent to soldiers across the country and around the world. After the war, these prints became extremely popular within Canada and adorned the walls of banks, schools, and other public buildings. Barracks to Banks shows the massive support Canada's best-known artists offered to their troops and the vital role that support played in the formation of Canadian national identity.
The exhibition runs until January 17th, 2016.
Saturday, 17 Oct 2015: The Walking Dead: Stories Of The Supernatural And Uncanny Among Canada's Great War Soldiers
Lecturer: Tim Cook
TMM welcomes military historian and writer Tim Cook for this special Saturday presentation of the TMM Lecture Series.
Ghosts, spectral beings, and premonitions of death - noted author and historian Tim Cook examines the supernatural stories and legends that emerged during the Great War. This talk will be followed by a book signing.
Thurs, 8 Oct 2015: Prelude To Passchendaele
Lecturer: Norman Leach
Norman Leach will discuss the formative events that set the stage for the carnage that became the Battle of Passchendaele.
Thurs, 24 Sept 2015: The Last Hundred Days
Lecturer: Ryan Goldsworthy
Ryan Goldsworthy is a specialist on the hundred days offensive, which marked the final days of the First World War. This talk will cover the role of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the late summer and fall of 1918.
Thurs, 21 May 2015: The Maple Leaf and the Tulip
Lecturer: Rory Cory, Senior Curator at The Military Museums
Rory Cory discusses The Maple Leaf and the Tulip, and exhibition about Holland and the Canadians during the Second World War
Photographs, artifacts, and interviews portray life under occupation, Dutch resistance, liberation, and the unique relationships that formed between the two countries and their people in the following years.
Thurs, 7 May 2015: Dutch War Brides
Lecturer: Beverley Tosh
Trees Heeft een Canadees, (Teresa has a Canadian) is a popular song in the Netherlands about Dutch women who fell in love with Canadian soldiers during the Second World War. In Dutch War Brides, artist Beverley Tosh shares these women`s stories, their life during the occupation, their weddings in Holland, and their one-way passages to Canada.
Thurs, 23 April 2015: Did Ultra Win the Second World War?
Lecturer: Dr. John Ferris, University of Calgary Department of History
In this lecture, Did Ultra Win the Second World War?, Dr. John Ferris examines how Alan Turing and Ultra shaped the outcome of the Second World War.
Bletchley Park in the Second World War was a hub for cryptology. It was there that Alan Turing developed a machine to use against the premiere encryption device of the time, Enigma. Ferris will expand on Turing’s contribution to the war effort, and how it affected the course of the war.
Thurs, 9 April 2015: Bracing for Armageddon: How Canadians Viewed the Great War's Outbreak
Lecturer: David Gallant, Doctoral Candidate with the University of Calgary Department of History.
Canadians in 1914 were often portrayed as naïve – unaware of the brutal realities of industrialized warfare. Gallant’s research however, tells a different story. His examination of how media reacted to the impending conflict reveals a population that largely understood that the war would be long, costly, and catastrophic. Many even believed that a general European war in the modern industrial age constituted "Armageddon."
Wednesday, 1 April 2015: Into the Unknown
Lecturer: Patrick Brennan, Into the Unknown: Canada and the Great War, 1914-1915.
Into the Unknown is part of the New Perspectives on the World Wars series sponsoned by the UofC History Graduate Students Union. Note: This lecture is on a Wednesday.
Thurs, 26 March 2015: Burnt Generation: Curators Talk
Lecturer: Lindsey Sharman, Art Curator for The Founders' Gallery at TMM presents a curator's talk on the currently running exhibition Burnt Generation.
Burnt Generation is an exhibition of contemporary Iranian photography curated by Fariba Farshad, Director of Candlestar, London, UK.
Thurs, 12 March 2015: Sam Hughes
Lecturer: Pat Brennan with the University of Calgary presents a revisionist perspective on the life and career of Sam Hughes, Canada’s controversial Minister of Militia and Defense during the First World War.
Wed, 4 March 2015: Dispatches from the Front: Matthew Halton, Canada’s Voice at War: by David Halton
Lecture: Dispatches from the Front, by David Halton - As senior war correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during the Second World War, Matthew Halton reported from the front lines in Italy and Northwest Europe and became “the voice of Canada at war.” His gripping, passionate broadcasts chronicled the victories and losses of Canadian soldiers and made him a national icon.
In this special presentation of the TMM Lecture Series, Matthew's son David Halton examines his father’s often tumultuous personal life through excerpts from his recently published book, "Dispatches from the Front: Canada's Voice at War."
This event is a reading and book signing by the author.
Thurs, 26 February 2015: Liberation of the Netherlands: From Memory to Remembrance
Lecture: 70 Years of Liberation of the Netherlands: From Memory to Remembrance: Seventy years ago Canadian troops played a pivotal role in liberating the Netherlands. This special lecture presentation is part of a nation-wide series in which Canadian and Dutch historians take us back to the Canadian military campaign that led to the capitulation in Wageningen.
Featured speakers will include Dr. David Bercuson (Moderator), Mark Zuehlke, Canadian Military Historian and Dr. Erwin van Loo, Dutch Historian.
Thurs, 12 February 2015: Veterans Street Voice
Lecture: Veterans Street Voice: Patricia Dribnenki with the Outreach Nurse Homelessness Project will discuss her work with Calgary’s homeless veteran community. Patricia recently published 'Veterans Street Voice,' a magazine that explores the experiences of veterans living on the streets of Calgary.
Friday, November 28 2014: Material Objects in Digital Narratives
Lecture: Material Objects in Digital Narratives – WWIcentenary: Material Objects in Digital Narratives a lecture by Travis Lutley (Glenbow) in conjunction with the exhibition #euromaidanYYC.
Travis Lutley will discuss Glenbow's twitter campaign commemorating the First World War, raising issues of the relevance of material culture in a digital world.
Thursday, November 20 2014: Life in the Trenches
Lecture: Life in the Trenches – Lecturer Barry Elve draws from his private collection of artefacts for an examination of trench life. This presentation will have a special focus on equipment used by Canadians in the First World War.
This talk is organized in conjunction with the Founders' Gallery exhibition Wild Rose Overseas: Albertans in the Great War which runs until 15 December, 2014.
Thursday, November 6 2014: Twitter and Facebook on The Modern Battlefield:
Lecture: How Twitter and Facebook Change The Modern Battlefield – Kourtney Halverson will be in conversation with VICE journalist Ben Makuch to further delve into issues surrounding the role of social media in modern conflict.
This talk is organized in conjunction with the exhibition #euromaidanYYC currently running in the Founders' Gallery at TMM. Photographer and filmmaker Tomas Rafa shows the ongoing Ukrainian unrest that originated with the help of social media in Kiev's Maidan Square.
Presented by Kourtney Halverson, University of Calgary Student and Ben Makuch, Journalist with VICE Magazine.
Thursday, October 30 2014: Music of the Great War
Lecture: Music of the Great War – TMM and Calgary Opera present a lively presentation about society, art and cultural influences on music during the First World War. The talk will focus on jazz/ragtime, popular music of the Great War era, as well as songs that were popular among the soldiers of the time.
Thursday, October 23 2014: Aboriginal Involvement – James Dempsey
Lecture: Aboriginal Involvement – Despite access to exemption status, an estimated 3,500 aboriginal people served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI. James Dempsey (University of Alberta) examines the reasons for enlistment, the government’s response, and the post-war experiences of returning veterans.
Thursday, October 16 2014: Ukrainian Internment – Linda Gerhardt
Lecture: Ukrainian Internment – Linda Gerhardt speaks about a little known dark period in Canadian history when 4000 Ukrainians had their property confiscated and were forced to work in internment camps across the nation, four of which were in the Canadian Rockies.
Thursday, October 9 2014: Conscription Crisis – Patrick Brennan
Lecture: Conscription Crisis – Patrick Brennan (U of C) speaks about the great unrest, violence and bloodshed in French Canada caused by the issue of military service. The issue was so volatile that Wilfrid Laurier, then leader of the opposition, believed conscription would tear the country apart.
Thursday, October 2 2014: Crisis of Conscience - Amy Shaw
Lecture: Crisis of Conscience: Conscientious Objection in Canada during the First World War – Guest speaker Amy Shaw (University of Lethbridge) explores WWI as an early example of the recognition of the rights of ethnic and religious groups, which would later become an important part of Canada’s rights and statutes legislation.
Thursday, 18 September 2014: Albertans in the Great War - Rory Cory
Lecture: Albertans in the Great War Photo essay by TMM Curator Rory Cory discusses Alberta's participation in the First World War, from training, to fighting, to demobilization, and homecoming.
Thursday, 11 September 2014: Re-monumentalizing 9/11 - Dick Averns
Lecture: World Trade Centre Architectural Artefacts: Where Are They Now?
A Lecture Presentation by Dick Averns. 7pm.
Monday, 25 August 2014: The Great Escape: A Canadian Story - Ted Barris
A reading and book signing by author and journalist Ted Barris. Monday, 25 August 2014 7pm
Lecture: On the night of March 24, 1944, eighty Commonwealth airmen crawled through a 336-foot-long tunnel and slipped into the dark pine forest beyond the wire of Stalag Luft III, a German POW compound near Sagan, Poland. The event became known as “The Great Escape,” an intricate breakout more than a year in the making, involving as many as 2,000 POWs working with extraordinary co-ordination, intelligence, and daring.
Yet within a few days, all but three of the escapees were recaptured. Subsequently, on orders from Adolf Hitler, fifty were murdered, cremated, and buried in a remote corner of the prison camp. For the first time, The Great Escape: A Canadian Story tells one of the most astonishing episodes in the Second World War as researched through Interviews, lost transcripts, diaries and memoirs.
Thurs, 5 June, 2014: Haze Grey and Mountbatten Pink: 100 Years of Naval Camouflage - Timothy Choi
Lecture: 100 Years of Naval Camouflage. “Haze Grey and Underway” is often used to reference modern warships at sea. Yet, for almost as long as they have been painted in that distinctively monotonous medium-grey colour, they have also been coated in a variety of other schemes – different not just in colour, but in pattern as well.
From the Cubist-inspired “dazzle” schemes of the First World War to Lord Mountbatten’s purple-mauve colours in the Second World War, naval camouflage has long attempted to resolve the fundamental conundrum facing naval officers: how does one reduce the observability of 250-metre-long behemoths on an effectively flat terrain?
This lecture traces the history of visual concealment and deception at sea from the age of dreadnoughts to the present day, where electronic sensors would seem to suggest the demise of elaborate camouflage patterns.
This lecture concludes with a guided tour of “(re)Constructed Warships: Technical Speculations of Grand Naval Monuments,” an exhibit in the Founders' Gallery featuring ship models by Chris Flodberg and Richard Edwards, putting them within the lecture’s context.
Timothy Choi is a Doctoral student at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary.
Thurs, 22 May 2014: Bonfire: The Life of John McCrae - Susan Raby-Dunne
Lecture: Bonfire: The Life of John McCrae:
Historian and author Susan Raby-Dunne provides a unique perspective on the life and career of famous First World War soldier John McCrae, author of "In Flanders Fields".
Thurs, 8 May 2014: The Silk Road to Peace - Jorg Ostrowski, Negar Badri, Menijeh Rabiei, Helen Ostrowski
Lecture: The Silk Road to Peace: The Persian Gardens, Past, Present, and Future:
Ancient history and current events intersect in this panel presentation about the silk road, and the ancient Persian gardens that can be found along its path.
These sites were oases, serving as places of refuge to those traveling along the dangerous trade routes from Istanbul to China. Many of these sites are still in existence today across the middle east.
University of Calgary researchers explore the history and architecture of the Persian Gardens and the international redevelopment project that aims to restore these sites and turn them into ecologically sustainable centres for peace, international cooperation and cultural exchange.
Thurs, 24 Apr 2014: Perseverance: the Canadian Sea King Helicopter - John Orr
Lecture: Perseverance Fifty Years of the Canadian Sea King Helicopter
The CH-124 Sea King has been a mainstay in the Royal Canadian Navy since 1963. Originally designed to counter the advent of nuclear submarines, this utility Helicopter remains in active service today, increasing the range and combat effectiveness of Canada's destroyer fleet.
Colonel John Orr, an experienced Sea King pilot, has spent three years researching the helicopter's history. On April 24th, he will discuss it's 50 years of service in the Canadian Forces.
Thurs, 27 Mar 2014: Cultures, Communities, and Conflict: Histories of Canadian Universities at War - Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz
Lecture: Cultures, Communities, and Conflict: Histories of Canadian Universities at War - Provocative, cutting-edge perspectives on the history of English-Canadian universities and war in the Twentieth century.This lecture explores how universities contributed not only to war efforts, but to the cultural development of the Canadian nation during its most difficult times.
Thurs, 13 Mar 2014: Peace Parks: A Diplomatic Tool for Protecting Sovereignty - Peter Poole
Lecture: Peace Parks and Diplomacy Across the world Peace Parks are used as diplomatic tools, resolving territory disputes and acting as buffer zones between nations. In this lecture Conservationist Peter Poole examines the ways in which this Alberta-born innovation has been applied to prevent conflict.
Thurs, 27 feb 2014: Forging a Nation: Canada Goes to War - Lindsey Sharman
Lecture: Curator Lindsey Sharman discusses the latest exhibition in The Founder's Gallery. Forging A Nation: Canada Goes to War illustrates the remarkable events of WWI and the following 100 years of conflict, portraying the experiences of ordinary Canadians who endured the extraordinary.
Thurs, 13 Feb 2014: The Diaries of Doc Alexander - Rob Alexander
Lecture: Journalist Rob Alexander discovered a gripping first hand account of the Dieppe Raid and the invasion of Italy in the journal of his late Grandfather. In this lecture he will discuss the journal, and his ongoing project to preserve the history within.
Thurs, 30 Jan 2014: The outbreak of the First World war - Dr. John Ferris
Lecture: Join Historian Dr. John Ferris, an expert on war and diplomacy in the 20th century, as he discusses the outbreak of the First World War and the causes that led up to it.
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, setting in motion a string of events that would lead to one of the deadliest conflicts of the modern era. How did the assassination of an Austrian Archduke set the stage for war?
Dr. Ferris will examine the events that followed Ferdinand's assassination, and through analysis of the diplomatic manoeuvering among Europe's key powers, he will make the case that the war was preventable.
29 Aug 2013: Life on the Battlefields: Pulling artifacts out of Ypres - Charlotte Descamps
Lecture: On 29 August, 2013, The Military Museums is proud to host Belgian-born historian Charlotte Descamps. Having lived on the Ypres Salient for most of her life, Descamps draws on her personal experience as well as her research to discuss life on the battlefields.
This lecture explores the excavation of unexploded ordinance on the battlefield (known as the “Iron Harvest”), and the process of identification of recently discovered human remains through the use of DNA research. Descamps will also describe the legacy of the war, including Belgium’s highly-experienced bomb disposal squad, the realities of living in proximity to dangerous hidden ordinance, and the wealth of historical information being pulled out the ground today.
19 Sep 2013: Warships of the Bay of Quinte - Roger Litwiller
Lecture: In this lecture, Naval Historian Roger Litwiller tells the story of six Canadian warships. Drawing from historical records, crew interviews, letters, diaries, and newspaper articles, Litwiller pieces together the successes and the mistakes of these fighting vessels, and discusses their roles in Canadian history.
26 Sep 2013: Eleven Women Facing War - Lindsey V. Sharman
Lecture: In 2001, photographer Nick Danziger created eleven portraits of women and girls affected by the conflicts around the world. Then, in 2008, he set out to find each of these women and document how their lives remain affected by war.
This photographic exhibition features the stories of these women who were caught up in conflicts in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, and the Middle East.
Join us as Exhibition Curator Lindsey V. Sharman discusses the eleven women featured in the exhibition, and the ways in which conflict altered the course of their lives forever.
03 Oct 2013: Defending a nation: Canada and the Korean War - Rory Cory
Lecture: TMM Curator Rory Cory details the major battles that Canadians were involved in during the war in their context as a United Nations mission and as part of the Cold War, with stories and unique photographs of major Canadian units that served there.
10 Oct 2013: Political and Military History of the Korean War - Dr. David J. Bercuson
Lecture: David J. Bercuson, a Canadian Military and Political historian at the University of Calgary, will provide an overview of the conflict from a Canadian perspective: the causes that led up to it, the key moments, and it's aftermath.
Dr. Bercuson is the Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS) at the U of C.
17 Oct 2013: Beyond the Danger Close: the Battle of Kapyong - Hub Gray
Note: The lecture on 17 Oct was cancelled.
24 Oct 2013: Canada's Forgotten War - Norman Leach
Lecture: Military historian Norman Leach will discuss the history of Canada's contribution to the Korean War.
Saturday, 26 Oct 2013: The Great Escape - Ted Barris
Lecture: Join us for a reading and book signing by Ted Barris of his latest book, "The Great Escape, A Canadian Story".
Afghan Mission film festival: 15-16 Nov, 2013
The Military Museums Foundation and our supporters are proud to host the Afghan Mission Film Festival in support of the legacy project, Afghanistan: A Soldier's Story. This project is the effort of serving and retired Canadian Forces volunteers working to preserve the legacy of the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan.
21 Feb 2013: Canadian Forces Mentors in Sierra Leone - Colonel Mike Vernon
Lecture: Calgary filmmaker and retired Colonel Mike Vernon will team up with CWO Emmet Kelly to assess the Canadian Forces mentoring mission in Sierra Leone, and the mission's first major test: intervention in Somalia.
7 Mar 2013: Graffiti: Art or activism? - Curator of Art, Lindsey Sharman
Lecture: Curator of Art Lindsey Sharman will give a talk on The Founders' Gallery's latest exhibition, Walls Between People. Sharman will focus on political graffiti covering these walls, including works by UK street artist Banksy.
21 Mar 2013: In the Shadows of Walls - Marcello Di Cinto
Lecture: Calgary writer Marcello Di Cinto, author of Walls: Travels Along the Barricades (2012), will take visitors through The Founders' Gallery exhibit, sharing the personal stories of the people he met who live in the shadows of the walls.
4 Apr 2013: Korea: The Other War - Norman Leach
Lecture: This year, 2013 marks the 60th Anniversary of the armistice that brought the Korean War to a ceasefire. Join Norman Leach as he discusses the people, politics, and battles on land, sea and air of the Korean War. Through video and interactive storytelling Norman brings to life the history of those who sacrificed to bring peace and freedom to South Korea.
18 Apr 2013: Deception on D-Day - Dr. John Ferris
Lecture: The Military Museums is proud to host Dr. John Ferris and his lecture Deception on D-Day as part of the ongoing Winter Lecture Series. Dr. Ferris will assess Allied efforts to mislead the Nazis through Operation Fortitude. He will examine Allied and German planning for the invasion of France, and explore the question: How did deception affect the outcome of the battle at Normandy?
2 May 2013: Canadians in Desert Storm: The Desert Cats - Col(ret.d) Don Matthews
Lecture: In this lecture, Col (ret.d) Don Matthews will discuss the lessons that can be learned from Canada’s involvement in the Gulf War that would apply to the new squadron of fighter planes. From the perspective of a fighter pilot, he will explore the question: what capabilities should a new fighter have?
16 May 2013: Seeing Soldiering - Althea Thauberger
Lecture: According to Vancouver artist Althea Thauberger, the serving men and women who appear in her latest exhibition are not just subjects; they are also collaborators.
In this upcoming exhibition in The Founder's Gallery, Seeing Soldiering, Thauberger invited the individuals depicted in her works to provide their own perspectives on what it means to serve in the military. What results is a multitude of perspectives on the interior and exterior life of a soldier, and the universal struggle between individual and group identity.
Pieces in the exhibition include The Art of Seeing Without Being Seen, a photomural that depicts Canadian soldiers as they undergo a training exercise in a mock Afghan village; and Kandahar International Airport, a photomural highlighting female soldiers in Afghanistan.
6 June 2013: Arctic Ops: The Royal Canadian Navy in the Northern Ocean - Commander Douglas Campbell, CD
Lecture: Canadian Forces Commander Douglas Campbell will provide his account of Operation NANOOK, and the involvement of Canada’s elite special forces squad Joint Task Force 2. From his perspective as the Commanding Officer of HMCS St. John's, Campbell will also address the overall challenges of Navy operations in the Arctic.
Campbell grew up in various cities in Alberta, Germany, and Ontario before attending Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He has a degree in English Literature and History.
13 Sept 2012: Oil, Blood, and Water - Rob Alexander
Lecture: Searching for the story of the grandfather he never met, Rob Alexander began reading his grandfather’s Second World War journals as a young man.
Dr. Laurence Guy Alexander, known as Doc Alexander to most, lived and breathed in the world of medical care. The medical officer for the 14th Canadian Army Tank Battalion, he survived the Dieppe Raid and after the war he was the family doctor for many of the regiment’s members. Rob will share a piece of his family history with his lecture Oil, Blood, and Water.
27 Sept 2012: Embedded on the Home Front - Barb Howard, Joan Dixon and others - Free Lecture
Lecture: Today, the home front is a minority community comprised of people with intimate connections to the military. Embedded on the Home Front: Where Military and Civilian Lives Converge is a brand new anthology of personal essays from writers with experiences on the home front.
Several contributors will give short readings from their essays, which explore concepts of duty, faith, fate, remembrance, and family. This FREE lecture is a series of readings from the anthology, followed by a moderated discussion.
11 Oct 2012: Shaping Canada: The War of 1812 - Norman Leach
Lecture: The War of 1812 defined who Canadians were and would become. By looking at the lives of the major players in the war, Brock, Secord, Tecumseh, and Fitzgibbon, the lecture will show how Canadians see themselves and how these characters shaped us as a people. Using multimedia and storytelling the lecture will bring the War of 1812 to life.
18 Oct 2012: Unfinished Business: What does Canada's most famous First World War painting tell us about conflict, art, and memory? - Dr. Laura Brandon
Lecture: Canada’s war art collection acts as a nationally popular ‘site of memory’ in formulating Canadians’ understanding of their participation in the First World War. A year ago, what is arguably the conflict’s most important Canadian art commission was presented in public for the first time.
Commissioned in 1917 as the centrepiece for a war memorial art gallery in Ottawa that was never built, celebrated British artist Augustus John’s massive mural was unfinished when he died in 1961. The work then disappeared into private hands for 40 years until it was acquired by the Canadian War Museum in 2011. What it depicts challenges some current interpretations of the war and raises questions about the intersection of war, art, and memory. This lecture is FREE.
25 Oct 2012: A Brush With war: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan - Gertrude Kearns
Lecture: Artwork by Gertrude Kearns is featured in The Founders’ Gallery’s newest exhibit A Brush With War: Military Art From Korea to Afghanistan. Drawing from two decades of experience as a war artist, she will discuss her paintings and diverse responses to military and war art.
22 Nov 2012: Alan Turing and Enigma - Dr. John Ferris
Lecture: The dramatic story behind of one the key cryptographers who helped to break the Enigma code during the Second World War.
6 Dec 2012: 1942 Seventy Years On - Timothy Balzer and Alexander Statiev
Lecture: The History Graduate Students' Union is pleased to announce, "1942: Seventy Years On", the third annual public lecture in our New Perspectives on the Second World War series. This year's lecture commemorates the Canadian raid on Dieppe, and the German Army’s attempts to cross the Caucasus in the fall of 1942. This is a free lecture.
10 May 2012: Vimy Ridge Pilgrimage - Norm Christie
Lecture: Norm Christie is the acclaimed television host of several History Channel Documentary series including: King & Empire, King & Country, Lost Battlefields, Striking Back, In Korea and Battlefield Mysteries. In 1936, Canadian veterans and their families traveled back to France to a place where history was made in April 1917. The victory at Vimy was widely viewed as Canada's coming of age as a nation. This lecture is about that great Pilgrimage, the unveiling of the incredible Vimy Memorial, and the ephemera that survives to this day. Cocktails 6:30 PM Lecture 7:30 PM
26 April 2012: Ring of Fire: Canadians in the Pacific in the Second World War - Rory Cory
Lecture: Unsung heroes of the Canadian navy, army, and air force helped turn the tide against determined Japanese foes in the Second World War. Tales of sacrifice, heroism, victory and defeat are explored in stories of Canada’s war in the Pacific.
Rory Cory is the Senior Curator and director of collections at The Military Museums. A highlight tour of the current exhibition in The Founders’ Gallery will follow his lecture. This photo essay Includes never-before-seen colour photographs.
19 April 2012: Military Bridges - Derek Flippance
Lecture: W.O. (retd.) Derek Flippance will deliver one of three illustrated talks: The Mulberry quays, The Canadians at the Rapido Crossing, or Bridges That Work and Bridges That Don't. Mr. Flippance has 24 years of experience as a Royal Engineer.
12 April 2012: Canadians aboard the Titanic - Norman Leach
Lecture: One hundred years ago the White Star Line ship the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic killing 1,490 people. More than 300 Canadians were aboard that fateful night. This is the story of one of them. Major Arthur Peuchen of the Queen’s Own Rifles would be a hero at the sinking, yet to be destroyed by his experience. As a product of Victorian and Edwardian society, Peuchen would feel the full weight of surviving the sinking when so many others lost their lives.
Norman Leach is a historian, award winning freelance writer, and professional speaker.
Tues-27 March 2012: Navajo Code Talkers - Zonnie Gorman
Lecture: The Navajo Code Talkers helped to contribute to military victory in the Pacific by developing a cypher code in their native language that baffled the Japanese forces. Zonnie Gorman will share the story of her father Carl Gorman, one of the original Navajo Code Talkers.
Thank you to everyone for your interest in this important presentation. Lecture begins at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30pm.
24 Nov 2011: Breakout from Juno - Mark Zuehlke
Lecture: Breakout from Juno is a story of uncommon heroism, endurance and sacrifice by Canada's World War II volunteer army and pays tribute to Canada's veterans at a time when many Canadians, young and old, are actively engaged in acts of remembrance.
27 Oct 2011: Evidence - David Garneau
Lecture: Artist and writer David Garneau will discuss his painting Evidence, a haunting depiction of the autopsy photo of Neal Stonechild, a young First Nations boy of 17 who froze to death in a field outside of Saskatoon.
The lecture is part of the Diabolique exhibition, a provocative visual arts display that explores themes surrounding human conflict. The Military Museums (TMM) is the final stop for this travelling contemporary art show, which is on loan from the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina.
13 Oct 2011: Family Portraits by a Civilian Soldier - Scott Waters
Lecture: Family portraits by a civilian soldier: This lecture will explore the distance between the soldier and civilian life. Scott Waters is one of 22 artists in Diabolique, the current exhibit in The Founders' Gallery. Scott's experience as a soldier, his civilian life, and his artistic ability lend to his contributions to Diabolique and the lecture series.
5 May 2011: Preserving Family History - Jeremy Klaszus
Lecture: Preserving Family History: Jeremy will share stories from his boyhood and of his grandfather, Ernst, who grew up in Germany under the Nazis. His grandfathers recollections led Jeremy to write a book based on his stories. The book, "Mr. Tree" is the award winning account of that journey.
27 Jan 2011: Canadian Forces Artists Program - Dick Averns
Lecture: Canadian Forces Artists Program: New artwork by Dick Averns inspired from his deployment to the Middle East with Canadian Peacekeeping troops. War Art Now presents new artwork by Dick Averns from his deployment to the Middle East with Canadian peacekeeping troops. See photographs, sculpture, video and text portrayals of Averns' experiences in the 2008-2009 Canadian Forces Artists Program. See images from Sinai, Egypt, Palestinian West Bank and Israel present challenging visions and portrayals of daily life.
24 Nov 2010: Under Vimy Ridge - Dr. Jean Hutchinson
Lecture: Under Vimy Ridge: A geological exploration of First World War Excavation Stability (Note: Wednesday lecture)
The Vimy Ridge site, north of Arras, France, commemorates the tremendous achievement of Canadian and Allied troops during the offensive of April, 1917. The site is one of the few places left in France where the terrain has been largely unchanged since the end of the First World War, with the result that the configuration of trenches, military mining craters and other war-time excavations can be observed, in situ. The beautiful and moving monument was successfully restored and rededicated in 2007, with no appreciable influence of the ground conditions on the site activities.
18 Nov 2010: Courage under Canvas: Mary Hays
Lecture: Courage under Canvas: Story of Nursing Sister Margaret Brown.
Storyteller, Mary Hays will share the human story of World War II told from the perspective of Nursing Sister, Margaret Brown. Lieutenant Brown served as a surgical nurse with No. 5 Canadian Casualty Station in Sicily and Italy. Her story will take you back in time when she cared for two of our ‘boys’ who were injured serving with the Calgary Tanks.
4 Nov 2010: Walking with Heroes - Karen Koonar
Lecture: Walking with Heroes, personal journeys through the battlefields of the Italian Campaign.
Each year, accompanied by Italian friends, a group of historians and veterans walk the battlefields of Ortona, The Gustav Line, The Hitler Line and the approach to Rome, the Gothic Line, and the Rivers. Since 2006, Karen Koonar has accompanied Canadian veterans, many of whom participated in the Italian campaign during the Second World War. Take a walk though the villages, battlefields and cemetaries and share the depth of emotion that she felt while tracing the footsteps of Canadian soldiers.
Wednesday 27 Oct 2010: Norman Leach
Lecture: Passchendaele (Note: Wednesday lecture)
During The First World War, the battle for the tiny Belgium town Passchendaele was one of the most significant tests of Canadian courage and expertise. The Canadians seized Passchendaele, succeeding where all others had failed, and displaying high standards of leadership, staff work and training. The Corps had suffered 16,000 casualties; nine Victoria Crosses were awarded to acknowledge the extraordinary heroism. Though the actual value of the campaign is debated to this day, one thing is certain: Canadians had been tested against the worst horrors of the Great War, and they had proven their valour.
14 Oct 2010: Film night
Passchendaele, a film by Paul Gross.
23 Sept 2010: Dr. Patrick Brennan and Mr. Geoff Jackson
Lecture: In Flanders Fields: Tour of Canada’s Great War Battlefields
Accompany teacher and student as they walk through Flanders Fields and explore the Great War battlefields of Canada and the British Empire. In May 2010 Dr. Patrick Brennan and doctoral candidate Geoff Jackson of the University of Calgary followed the trails of two First World War divisions.
Operating from leper (Ypres) in Belgium and Arras and Cambrai in northern France, they spent eight days exploring and researching the battlefields. The trip became a pilgrimage over hallowed ground - so peaceful now, so tortured then. They came to feel that they were walking with men long dead. It's a sensation that utterly overwhelms, according to Dr. Brennan. Mr. Jackson's doctoral dissertation will compare the British 62nd and Canadian 4th divisions, while Dr. Brennan is writing a book about the King's Own Calgary Regiment which, as the 50th Battalion, served with the 4th.
16 Sept 2010: James Istvanfy
Lecture Title: The War of 1812
The War of 1812 was one of the most significant events in the formation of the Canadian identity and nationalism. According to lecturer James lstvanffy, Anti-Americanism is the main component of Canadian Nationalism. The causes, course, and consequences of this war will be examined and lstvanffy simulates the conflict with a wargame demonstration. Leadership, Major Battles, Campaigns, economic background and international developments will also be examined.
May 20th, 2010: Michael Palmer - "Dark Side of the Sun"
Book Launch: Michael Palmer, along with military historian Dr. Pat Brennan, explore the journey of Michael's grandfather, George Palmer and his comrades during the battle of Hong Kong where Palmer and other Canadian defenders engaged the Axis in the Second World War.
April 29th, 2010: Mark Zuehlke
Book Launch: "On to Victory: The Canadian Liberation of the Netherlands, March 23—May 5, 1945" Published to coincide with the 65th anniversary of Canada’s dramatic liberation of Holland.
The eighth Canadian Battle Series volume is the little-told story of the tense final days of the Second World War, remembered in the Netherlands as 'the sweetest of springs', which saw the country's liberation from German occupation. The liberation campaign, a series of fierce, desperate battles of the last three months of the war, was bittersweet. A nation's freedom was won and the war concluded, but these last hostilities cost Canada 6,298 casualties, including 1,482 dead.
April 1st, 2010: Donna Coates
Lecture: (Not) About Heroes: Canada and the Theatre of War
March 11th, 2010: Clarence Simonsen
Lecture: Three Corners - BCATP in Alberta, 1940-44
Monday, March 8th, 2010: Dr. Patrick Brennan
Lecture: Women in the Canadian Military
Thursday 10 December 2009: Gail Duffy
Lecture: Albertans and the Great War
When the Alberta Gallery at The Military Museums was redesignated the Army Museum of Alberta, certain historical absences were noted. For instance, the First World War was addressed only minimally even though that conflict had a tremendous impact on Alberta and its population. A photo essay was developed and added to the collection as an effective and economic means of ﬁ lling the gap.
Gail Duffy will share with you some of these truly amazing images that tell the fascinating story of Albertans in the Great War. This lecture will explore how photography changed how we documented and analyzed war, from the formal artists’ concept of warfare to the “instant reality” made possible by the portable, yet bulky, box camera. You will also learn how governments used this new technology as a propaganda tool.
Thursday 26 November 2009: Dr Rob Huebert
Lecture:The New Arctic Security
Military developments in the Arctic continue to attract international attention. The role currently being played by the Circumpolar world’s military forces is the subject of intense debate. Some observers contend that troubling signs are emerging as new forces and policies develop. Others suggest that there is little to worry about; the recent expansion of military capabilities is to be expected as states look after their national interests in the region.
Dr Rob Huebert will discuss the merits of both arguments and he will explore what determinations can be made about the increasingly robust militaries that are now being built for use in and near the Arctic.
12 November 2009: W. T. Garry Drummond
Lecture: Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a relatively new practice in Canada, but one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world. Gain a better understanding of this violation of human rights that can occur across or within borders. Understand the distinction between human trafficking and human smuggling. Learn how an individual or organized group can deprive another human being of their freedom by using force, threats, coercion, deception, or fraud for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking in persons is a global phenomena and is hidden in plain view of the public. Learn what it is and what you can do about it.
Communities will better recognize victims of human trafficking and have a better idea of where they can be found. Victims of human trafficking are not limited to the sex trade industry, but can also be found in agricultural work, domestic servitude, and in child labor situations.
Thursday 29 October 2009: Steven Armstrong
Lecture: Are We Prepared For A Crisis?
Does our response ability match our responsibility? The expected flu pandemic, the aftermath of SARS, the forest fires in BC and California, 9/11, the tsunami in southeast Asia, and Hurricane Katrina have all height-ened public awareness of our vulnerability to disasters and the need for disaster preparedness. But have we done enough?
We tend to emphasize formal systems of emergency and security services, but communities who are not seriously impacted or are on the periphery of a disaster are expected to care for themselves. Studies show that these communities are not sufficiently prepared to meet their basic, self-care needs immediately following a disaster. Steve will discuss examples from around the world and here at home of individuals and communities accepting their responsibility to prepare. And he will address the question: What is your responsibility?
Thursday 15 October 2009: Gary Watson
Lecture: CF-104 - The Wonder Years
In the mid 1960s the Cold War was at its peak. Canada’s Air Force commitment to NATO was the CF-104 Starfighter, one of the fastest and most capable aircraft ever built. In 1964, Canada had 3 fighter Wings: two in Germany equipped as strike aircraft with nuclear weapons and one in France with cameras in a photo reconnaissance role. This presentation includes pictures and personal recollections during the period from 1963 to 1969 when Gary Watson was stationed at #1 Fighter Wing Marville, France and Lahr, West Germany.
Gary Watson arrived in France fresh from a year of intense training on the CF-104. Gary will take you onto the flight line for a unique behind-the-scenes view that even the pilots did not see. Leading the rest of NATO with the highest serviceability status, Canadian airmen also found the time to have fun and create a unique culture while working on the world’s greatest fighter aircraft. Memorable moments include German aircraft with Canadian flags, unorthodox run-ups and squadron exchanges, interspersed with the stress of Tactical Evaluations, Royal Flushes and learning how to ensure the safety of the pilots who borrowed our aircraft to defend Western Europe.
Thursday 1 October 2009: Colleen Sharpe
Lecture: Art in the Service of War
The Founders’ Gallery, the newest addition to The Military Museums, is exhibiting Art in the Service of War: The Emergent Group of Seven. Art Curator Colleen Sharpe explains the background of the exhibition and explores the members of the Group of Seven who painted during the First World War. She explains the ideas behind their artworks and how it relates to later works and themes in the exhibit.
The Group of Seven was formed less than two years after the end of the First World War and their post-war landscapes quickly created an identifiable and distinctly Canadian art style. The iconic features of the Group of Seven’s art — disturbed ground, prominent rocks, muddy colours, and skeletal tree trunks — have not been widely acknowledged as originating in the landscape of the First World War, yet it seems no accident of chronology that these men painted many of their seminal art works directly following the war. We find insight into the emergent Group of Seven in the mud of First World War trenches and among the experiences of fellow Canadians with whom they share the war experience.
Friday 25 September 2009: Colonel Christopher Coates, CD
Lecture: Canada's Air Force in Afghanistan
Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing comprises all Canadian Forces air assets deployed in southwest Asia. Formed at Kandahar Airfield on 6 December 2008, JTF-Afg Air Wing operated with 450 people. The establishment of this Air Wing ushered in a new era in CF air operations; it is the first formation of its size and type that Canada has deployed to an armed conflict since the Second World War. This capability was put in place to ensure that Canada is able to play a leadership role abroad and make a meaningful contribution to international security while also protecting our sovereignty at home.
Commanded by an air force colonel, the JTF-Afg Air Wing includes the Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan, the Canadian Heron UAV Detachment, the Tactical Airlift Unit, and the Theatre Support Element in the Persian Gulf region. The additional in-theatre air capacity will help save both Canadian and Afghan lives by reducing exposure to ambushes, land mines, and improvised explosive devices as a consequence of ground movements. The JTF-Afg Air Wing will contribute to the security and stability required for development and governance initiatives in Kandahar.
Thursday 17 September 2009: Rory M Cory
Lecture: The War Behind the Wire
This lecture supplements For You the War is Over: Second World War Prisoner of War Experiences, the current heritage exhibit in the Founders’ Gallery at The Military Museums. Senior Curator/Director of Collections at The Military Museums Rory Cory will compare and contrast some of the stories and experiences displayed in the exhibit. The lecture will focus on the experiences of German prisoners held in Alberta and compare them to Albertan prisoners held in Germany.
Alberta housed more prisoners than all other provinces combined; this was one of Alberta’s most important contributions to the war effort. Camp life evolved around coping with extreme boredom. Prisoners developed lecture programs, stage and musical productions, sports programs, and a wide variety of arts and crafts. Escape attempts were common as well as subversive efforts to carry on the war effort in their own way. Photos not seen in the exhibit will be made available, along with a selection of photos of some of the artefacts not on display in the Founders’ Gallery.