For the second year, sites around Calgary are baring all in the name of promoting public interest in heritage and architecture.
The Doors Open concept has been making its way around the globe since the first event in France in 1984 with initial Canadian appearances in Toronto and Montreal. Last year’s event in Calgary saw 16,500 visits with the support of more than 200 volunteers.
“(Doors Open) allows Calgarians to feel a little closer and a little more appreciation for the larger components that help run their city,” said Alyssa Berry, Doors Open Marketing Committee.
This year the initiative has partnered with the City adding 13 municipal sites to the roster including the Traffic Management Centre and the Fire Training Centre.
“You can actually go and see how firefighters are trained to become firefighters and take part in that as well so it basically provides people an opportunity to access those places they wouldn’t normally have access to,” Berry explained.
The City said past events in other cities have been successful in building civic pride, creating enthusiasm for heritage and contemporary architecture and promoting public spaces that build a collective sense of community.
“Doors Open is a truly exciting way for Calgarians to experience their city,” said Tim Mowrey with the City Clerks office. “And for us, it’s a great opportunity to open our doors and demonstrate our transparency, resiliency and innovation.”
Other City sites include the Oliver Bowen Maintenance Facility, Ralph Klein Park, Reader Rock Garden and the Calgary Municipal Complex.
“One of the sites we didn’t get last year but got this year is the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant,” said Corinne Lyall, president, Doors Open Calgary Association. “We think it’s going to be a huge draw.”
The free, entirely volunteer driven event has a little something for everyone. For history buffs there’s Lougheed House and tours of Burnsland and St. Mary’s cemeteries; for the ecological minded there’s a tour of DIRTT headquarters and the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant and for culture buffs there’s the Museum of Contemporary Art and the National Music Centre.
“What’s really important about the weekend too, is it’s all free so anybody, families can access all these places that would normally either charge admission or you wouldn’t be able to access anyway,” Berry said. “You can get in and see what goes on there so it’s a really cool family weekend.
“It just gives people a better sense of being Calgarian, what that means and who the people are, and the places (are) that make Calgary.”
Doors Open runs Sept. 27-29 in conjunction with Alberta Culture Days. Starting in 2008 as Alberta Arts Day, Culture Days has expanded into a three-day province wide celebration which, according to culture.alberta.ca is raising the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural lives of their communities.
Doors Open events and availability are located in all four quadrants of the city, some tours require preregistration due to limited space and availability, visit www.calgary.ca/doorsopen for more information. The event is kicking off with Calgary Revealed, a launch party Sept. 27 at the Theatre Junction Grand.
Pick up a copy of the CREB®now paper for a Doors Open YYC guide.