Calgary’s Lougheed House once belonged to one of the province’s most wealthy and politically influential families, but has since become a perfect metaphor for the changing times in Alberta.
The mansion, located in the Beltline district of Calgary, was built in 1891 as the home of James Alexander Lougheed, an early advocate for the oil industry.
Lougheed’s grandson, Peter Lougheed, served as Alberta’s Progressive Conservative premier for 14 years.
But despite its ties to conservative politics and the energy sector, the home has constantly reinvented itself to survive the times.
Alexander Lougheed and his family were forced to move out in part due to the Great Depression. Ever since, the home has been used as a barracks, a blood donor clinic and a training centre for young women.
Now it’s a national historic site, a museum and cultural hub – and its latest exhibit is “Roar: Exploring Queer History and Gender Identity.”
“Roar” runs for 11 weeks ending on June 9 with scheduled events that include a drag queen tea party, a fashion show for frugal divas, a history of drag in Canada and a look at influential Canadian women, to name a few.
"It’s so important we hear multitude of stories and get away the idea that Alberta just has this single story that is around of boom and bust and around oil," Caroline Loewen, the curator of Lougheed House, told CTV National News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme.
Loewen hopes exhibits like “Roar” can dismantle some of the stereotypes Albertans face.
"People come into Lougheed House -- people come to Calgary or Alberta -- expecting to hear a certain narrative, expecting to hear what they think Alberta or what they Calgary is and I think the best thing we can do is suprise them," she said.