August 2023

100th anniversary

Saturday, September 9, 1:00 - 5:00 pm

Come and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the historic 1920 Bearspaw School. The centenary event of 2020 was delayed due to Covid. We welcome former students and the community to come and celebrate this important anniversary.

Historic Calgary Week 2023 Tour and Presentation, Monday, August 7, 2023

About 30 visitors participating in Calgary History Week events were given a tour of our buildings. A presentation on 100 years of Bearspaw history was given by Society President Roger Pilkington. It was great to welcome the visitors. We appreciate the work of the Chinook Country Historical Society in coordinating Historic Calgary Week each year as it provides a way for people to learn about the Bearspaw school and area.

Presentation on the Glenbow Quarry and Village by Shari Peyerl, May 18, 2023

During a presentation on May 18, 2023, archaeologist and oral historian Shari Peyerl described how she pieced together different lines of research to recreate the history of the Glenbow Quarry and village. Shari is the author of Alberta’s Cornerstone, Archaeological Adventures in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park that was published in 2022. Shari described how the people of Glenbow, from the quarrymen to a Boston millionaire, developed a bold vision for what the village of Glenbow could become. Insights into community life were provided as well as the factors that contributed to its short-lived existence. Thank you very much Shari! The book can be purchased through the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation or various online stores.

October 2019

The results of our oral history and archival research projects were published in the book School Days and Community Life: Memories from the Westminster, Glendale, Bearspaw, and Glenbow School Districts of Alberta. The book was researched and written by Elisa Hart. Much help was provided by our membership, especially those who served on the Book Committee. A book launch was held in June 2019. It was attended primarily by those who participated in the project, and those who provided material like photographs or old school records. Thank you again to all of those who participated!

Copies of the book are no longer available. Please get in touch through our email address if you would like your name added to a list of those wanting books in case more are printed ( If you live in Alberta there may be a copy in your local library, or you can order through the inter-library loan system.

June 24, 2017 – Community Heritage Celebration


Jan 2013 – Awarded Alberta Historic Resources Foundation (AHRF) Grant

We are thrilled to report that the Alberta Historic Resources Foundation (AHRF) has supported our application for funding for the Four Schools Oral History Project. The grant is made possible by the Alberta Lottery Fund. Thank you for your support!

67. ALF COLOUR copy 68. AB-Gov Black

Oct 2012 – Roger Pilkington Honoured

On October 12, Roger Pilkington, Treasurer of the Bearspaw Historical Society was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to the community through his extensive volunteering. Roger was project manager for both the moving of the historic Bearspaw School, and its renovation and adaptive-reuse as community meeting and office space. The Society members are grateful to Roger, and his wife, and former Society President, Carol Pilkington, who showed great leadership in these endeavors. Roger’s award was also given in recognition of his many years of service through the Bearspaw Lions Club. 

42. Roger Pilkington 2009_8_10

Roger Pilkington was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal. (© Elisa J. Hart)

June 2012 – Funding Provided by Rocky View Country

We were delighted to learn that Rocky View County approved funding for the Four Schools Oral History Project on the recommendation of the Bearspaw-Glendale Community Association. The grant can be used to 30% of allowable expenses. We are very grateful to these organizations for their support!


May 2012 – Official Opening of the School Horse Barn

The Society celebrated the completion of the replica barn with an open house on June 9, 2012. It was a wonderful event. Former teacher Sunni Turner rang the school bell to begin the festivities. We were honoured to have with us; Bruce McAllister, MLA for Chestermere-Rocky View, Al Sacuta who is our Councillor for Rocky View County, and Dr. David Chalack, a former student of the historic Bearspaw School and former head of the Calgary Stampede. Al Sacuta presented a plaque to the Society in appreciation of, “…The efforts of the Bearspaw Historical Society for replicating the historical Bearspaw School Barn, providing a lasting legacy for Bearspaw residents and visitors.”

44. teacherage, barn - ejh, BHS

The school horse barn is decked out in a festive ribbon for the official opening. The teacherage is to the left, and the new landscaping looks great. (© Elisa J. Hart)

45. Louise 1 6-9-12 CCShank

BHS President Louise McAuley introduces guest speakers (left to right), Dr. David Chalack, Rocky View Councillor Al Sacuta, and Wild Rose Party MLA Bruce McAllister. (© Chris Shank)

46.  Louise and Bruce cutting bow

Wild Rose MLA Bruce McAllister cuts the ribbon on the barn door with Society President Louise McAuley. (© Chris Shank)

47. barn opening 10, 6-9-12 EJHart copy

People going into the newly completed horse barn. (© Elisa J. Hart)

48. Manuela McKinley, Al Sacuta

Rocky View Councillor, Al Sacuta, presents a plaque to BHS member and barn opening coordinator, Manuela McKinley. (© Chris Shank)

49.Tim Bancroft barn opening

Tim Bancroft, who attended the school in the early 1930s, cuts the cake. (© Chris Shank)

April 2012 – Project Completion Tea Party

The first phase of the 1920 Bearspaw School Oral History Project was brought to a close, and the participants were honoured through an old fashioned tea party at the schoolhouse. 

50. Tea party copy

New Plaque for the 1920 Bearspaw Historic School

The history of the 1920 Bearspaw School and those associated with it was commemorated through the installation of a plaque in front of the school. The Society would like to install plaques at the other former school sites in the area. 

52. plaque text

51. BHS plaque for Stacey 7-25-2012 Chris Shank