The Military Museums
Current Exhibits

A Uniform Coat of Many Colours: Military Immigrants in Alberta Exhibition

Uniform Coat

University of Calgary Founders' Gallery

June 11 - Sept 11, 2022
Opens June 11, 2022

A Uniform Coat of Many Colours: Military Immigrants in Alberta explores diverse stories of immigrants to Alberta, who undertook military service for their countries of origin, whether through free agency, conscription, or urgent political need. The exhibition is an international celebration of veterans from all six inhabited continents, and the coming together of diverse communities to learn about our rich collective history, from the American Civil War (1861-65) to the present.

Migrants from all over the world have come to Alberta seeking new opportunities, economic stability or fleeing political instability. In many cases, the military experiences of the veterans among them shaped their later contributions to Alberta, for which the artefacts and stories in this exhibit are both revealing and compelling.

Some veterans brought their expertise with livestock from the cavalry and artillery and became critical parts of Alberta’s early ranching and farming industries. Others made use of their strong organizational skills to manage operations in major companies, or shared their medical skills to enhance healthcare in the province. All of the military immigrants in the exhibit have contributed to the growth of the province in meaningful ways.

Our exhibition also conveys sentiments and reflections of military experiences created by artists who have worked with veterans, or are themselves veteran artists. Fredy Rivas interprets his army service in Colombia through paintings on military vehicle doors, while artist Aaron Sidorenko delivers a moving portrait of thirty-year US Navy veteran Greg Bell.

Global conflict is inevitably hard to reconcile. Thus, a key intention with A Uniform Coat of Many Colours is to foster conversations about the diversity of cultures that make up our world. We hope that visitors appreciate the contributions of the military immigrants featured here, and likewise value the strength that comes from the varied demographic fabric of Alberta.


Dick Averns, Curatorial Coordinator - Founders' Gallery, Military Museums
Rory Cory, Senior Curator/Director of Collections, Military Museums

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