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The huge success of Brian Brennan's local bestseller Building a Province left readers clamouring for more. Alberta Originals is Brennan's response to the demand, featuring sixty more significant and influential Albertans.
From philanthropists to local characters, artists to oil-patch executives, Alberta Originals is filled with people who made a unique contribution to the social, economic, cultural, and political foundations of Alberta. Each person was an original who brought his or her energy and vision to the shaping of a province that has a history of embracing the unusual and entrepreneurial.
Brian Brennan provides a fresh look at these province builders, highlighting little-known details from the lives of The Famous Five, "Bible Bill" Aberhart, Frank McMahon, Catharine Robb Whyte & Ernest Manning.
leader 1870–1960 The Chinese have been a part of Calgary life ever since the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) line construction crews first came through in the 1880s. They were not welcome in those days. Although quiet and law-abiding, they were unfairly denounced by white settlers as ha-bitual gamblers and unsanitary transmitters of disease. However, they endured and thrived, mainly because immigrants such as Ho Lem were able to look beyond the racism and the discrimination toward a future of
introduced readers to hundreds of colourful characters from High River’s past, and occasionally unlocked the closet housing the community’s skeletons. In one column, for example, she wrote about a member of her own family, a certain Uncle Willy, who accidentally burned down High River’s only school. When some readers suggested she should exercise more discretion in terms of what should be revealed and what should remain under wraps, she retorted, “These people had weaknesses as well as virtues.
arose from the remnants of the recently disbanded Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The chief organizers were Munro, Winnipeg financier Ben Hatskin, and the general manager of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Bill Hunter. The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association refused to give the new league its official blessing because certain teams from the old SJHL were not included, but this didn’t bother Munro and his colleagues. They signed up seven teams in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and ran the WCJHL as an
1972, but wider recognition was slow in coming. He returned to Calgary and continued working for the cause of his favourite sport. “I still think I can contribute something valuable to the hockey community,” he said. In 1978, at age forty-three, Kryczka was diagnosed with cancer. After a year of treatment, he was philosophical. “I suppose the end result was that I learned to appreciate that nobody is invincible,” he said. “Nobody is indispensable.” Two years later, he was appointed to the
only be fully averted when the province agreed to pay for midwives’ fees. Irma Parhad Medical researcher 1948–1994 The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research was established by the provincial government in 1980 with a three-hundred- million-dollar endowment. Within a few years it had turned both the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary into major centres of medical research, earning international acclaim for their discoveries and attracting some of the top medical