August 2nd, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 31
Doors open to history, culture and nature
Doors Open and Heritage Festival kicks off on August 3 for its 12th iteration
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Over the past 12 years since its inception, the Doors Open and Heritage Festival has evolved from honouring and highlighting the historical buildings of Crowsnest Pass to a celebration of local cultural, nature and community.

Working with the Doors Open Heritage Festival Committee, various businesses and institutions in the Pass have planned a diverse range of events that celebrate the historical and cultural identity of Crowsnest Pass that will be taking place all over town from August 3 to 7.

Tying in with last year’s theme of outlaws, the lawmen of Prohibition will be celebrated this year, complementing the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Alberta Provincial Police (APP) Barracks.

It all kicks off with the Crowsnest Community Market with a theme of Old Country Fair. Fresh produce, handcrafted items, art pieces, and business demonstrations, all local, will be on display and on sale.

The Crowsnest Museum has an exhibition from the Provincial Archives of Alberta titled “Let Justice Be Done: The Alberta Provincial Police” with curator of the archives Michael Gourlie as the guest speaker.
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“That’s an excellent place for people who are interested about the historical background and who want to have an informed speaker talk about the APP,” says Fred Bradley, chair of the Crowsnest Heritage Initiative Society.

The launch event takes place on Friday, August 4 on the Crowsnest Museum Grounds, an evening of music, food, drink and a guided tour of the recently opened APP Barracks. A dramatic vignette of the tragic shooting of Constable Stephen Lawson will be performed by the Heritage Youth Theatre Company for a visual interpretation of those events based on the story of the shootout.

The Booze and Bars Historic Hotel Pub Tour of Coleman is back this year for those hoping to savour some stories of Prohibition and bootlegging on a stroll from one historic pub to the next.

Drawing attention to the natural history of the Pass, the Crowsnest Conservation Society will lead a bird walk, while United Riders of Crowsnest will guide a mountain bike ride to the historic town of Lille for those looking for a bit of a challenge. Alberta Environment and Parks have several presentations and interactive displays to give you plenty of nifty information about the area’s flora and fauna.

Various self-guided and guided tours offer the opportunity to learn a bit more about the local culture. The self-guided Artist Studio Tour showcases art, the Miner’s Path tour highlights the natural landscape, and the walking tours of the Pass’ five communities bring the historic aspect.
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The Bellecrest Community Association has organized a cops vs. kids street hockey patch, fingerprinting kits and mug shots, and the Movie by Starlight playing at the Bellevue Arena Memorial Park.

The Wheel Nuts are hosting their 13th annual Show & Shine with a nostalgic array of antique vehicles on display at the MDM Community Centre.

Food Fest

New this year is also the Food Fest event that launched in mid-June during Bellecrest Days.

It only takes one meal at one of the Pass’s restaurants to be entered into a draw to win a $25 gift certificate to all 19 participating restaurants. Only one person will win the grand prize, a value of $475.

“The restaurants have taken either a lawmaker or a lawbreaker of our history and they’ve named one of their existing menu items after that character,” says Krissy Ames, who is on the board of the Doors Open Heritage Festival Committee. “Every time somebody goes out and orders that dish, they can enter their name into a draw to win gift certificates to every restaurant in the Pass that is participating.”

Side Trax Diner, for example, has done Little Pearly Lawson’s O Canada Sundae for the lawman side in recognition of Stephen Lawson’s daughter, and the lawbreaker dish is Mrs. Pic’s Italian Bruschetta Burger.
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The draw for the winner will take place at the end of the Heritage Day weekend.

“This is a great way to inspire people to eat locally and try some of the new cuisine that’s out there. We have an amazing community that is very diverse in the food that they offer. There’s a lot of good food out there and we should be celebrating that aspect of the Pass as well,” says Ames.

Doors Open

The Doors Open and Heritage Festival is the ideal opportunity for both locals and tourists alike to learn about and enjoy the diverse historical, cultural and natural landscape of the Crowsnest Pass.

Bradley applauds each of the partners that worked hard to make the programming during the Doors Open as full and varied as it is.

“This event would not have been possible without our partner organizations: the Frank Slide Interpretive Center and its partners, Cathy Pisony and her staff, Community Futures of Crowsnest Pass, the Crowsnest Historical Society and Museum, Crowsnest Conservation, the Bellevue Underground Mine and the other partners that are participating,”says Bradley.

While most activities have free admission, a few require a small fee and others pre-registration. For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit
August 2nd, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 31
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