Travel Alberta

Alberta community group to star in lead role at Governor General's History Awards

There was Gabriel Dumont - Louis Riel’s Lieutenant, Irene Parlby – a champion of rural women, cabinet minister and one of the Famous Five, and James Gadsby – American Civil War veteran and sharp shooter. While these legendary Alberta residents lived in the early 1800s and 1900s, their memory is still alive thanks to an innovative project at the Boomtown Trail Community Initiatives Society.

The Community Initiative Society’s ‘Bringing History and Culture to Life’ project immerses their audience in the past by first-person presentations of Alberta’s once colourful residents. Adorned in turn-of-the-century authentic costumes, local volunteers share their characters’ experiences and legacy. Their stories are the collaborative effort of area residents and members from museums, historical societies and the university. These characters have appeared at events like Dessert Theatre and Walk Among Us and this model is now being adopted by other communities in Canada.

For fostering community pride and enhancing civic memory, the Boomtown Trail Community Initiatives Society’s ‘Bringing History and Culture to Life’ project is this year’s English recipient of the 2013 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.

The French recipient is Corporation Spect-Arts in Trois-Rivieres, QC for Neighbourhood Histories-The St-Francois Tour.

Honourable mentions include:
  • Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre for ‘Sedal: the Japanese Canadian Legacy.
  • Saskatchewan Archaeological Society for ‘ArchaeoCaravan-Museum Program’.
  • Societe historique de Saint-Henri pour Exposition for ‘Histoire d’Enfance’.

Created by Canada’s History Society, the Governor General’s History Awards for Excellence in Community Programming celebrate programming developed by volunteer led heritage, community and cultural organizations at the grassroots level. 

Members of the Boomtown Trail Community Initiatives Society and Corporation Spect-Arts will receive this prestigious award from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada on Tuesday, November 19th in Ottawa at 10:30 a.m. at Rideau Hall. In addition to the trip to Ottawa and the medal they receive, each recipient organization will also receive a cash prize of $2,500 thanks to the generous support of Spectra Energy.

“Spectra Energy values our century-long legacy of service within Canada, and we are proud to partner with Canada’s History Society in support of the prestigious Governor General’s History Awards,” said Greg Ebel, president and chief executive officer, Spectra Energy Corp. “We applaud the volunteer efforts of this year’s recipients to keep Canada’s rich history alive.”

Announcements continue throughout the coming week and profiles of all the recipients will be available at:

The Governor General’s History Awards bring together community and museum organizations, students, teachers, historians, writers and media producers to celebrate as well as learn from each other. The day prior to the award ceremonies, recipients will participate in a public history forum at the Canadian War Museum. This year’s forum, “Is Technology Altering Our History?” is open to the public to attend onsite or online by registering at

About Spectra Energy
Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE: SE), a FORTUNE 500 company, is one of North America's premier natural gas infrastructure companies serving three key links in the natural gas value chain: gathering and processing, transmission and storage, and distribution. For more than a century, Spectra Energy and its predecessor companies have developed critically important pipelines and related infrastructure connecting natural gas supply sources to premium markets.

Based in Houston, Texas, the company’s operations in the United States and Canada include more than 19,000 miles of transmission pipeline, approximately 305 billion cubic feet of storage, as well as natural gas gathering and processing, natural gas liquids and local distribution operations. The company also has a 50 percent ownership in DCP Midstream, one of the largest natural gas gatherers and processors in the United States. Spectra Energy is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes and the Carbon Disclosure Project's Global 500 and S&P 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Indexes. For more information, visit

About Canada’s History Society
Canada’s History Society is a Winnipeg-based charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to publishing Canada’s History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, and Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces the Governor General’s History Awards to celebrate excellence in the field and encourage more discovery, celebrations and understanding about our rich history and culture. More details can be found at

Boomtown Trail