Glenbow Town & Quarry and Chinese Restaurants

Café Galt Topics for January 2013

This January, discover from archaeologist Brian Vivian how a ghost town and quarry were brought to life, and how Chinese restaurants influenced prairie life from the Royal Alberta Museum’s Linda Tzang at the adult lecture series Café Galt — part of the Galt Museum & Archives’ line-up of Thursday evening programs. Each begins at 7:00 pm, and admission includes Discovery Hall access.

Thu JAN 10 The Glenbow Town and Quarry A Hundred Years On with Brian Vivian Located within the recently created Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park west of Calgary, the Glenbow Quarry is a well know historical sandstone quarry dating to circa 1909–1912. Subsequently, through connections with Eric Harvie, the Glenbow name has become one of the most recognizable in Alberta whilst the village became a ghost town. In 2009 the Archaeological Society’s Calgary Centre initiated a multi-year project to map what remains of the town and quarry, document the site and further understanding of this early historical settlement. Brian Vivian reports on the success this project has had in archaeologically mapping the ghost town and finding photos of the inhabitants to bring the Glenbow village historically back to life.

Brian C. Vivian is a Principal and Senior Project Archaeologist for Lifeways of Canada Limited, a company specializing in archaeological and heritage consulting, and is currently President of the Archaeological Society of Alberta’s Calgary Centre. His educational background in archaeology includes a Bachelors Degree from Simon Fraser University, a MA from the University of Calgary, and completing PhD Candidacy requirements at SUNY Binghamton. Having worked as professional archaeologist for more than thirty years, Brian has carried out extensive field work in the foothills and mountain regions of southern Alberta, British Columbia and Montana, as well as in the American Southwest, the Canadian High Arctic, and in Ghana, West Africa.

Thu JAN 24 Chop Suey on the Prairies with Linda Tzang There are more Chinese restaurants in North America than there are fast food outlets combined. They range in size and grandeur from upscale banquet halls serving over 500 people to family-run hole-in-the-wall cafés where the parents cook and serve while the children do homework or clean vegetables in the corner. Chinese restaurants have become so much a part of our landscape that it is hard to imagine a time when they were considered exotic. All across the prairies, Chinese restaurants can be found in almost every town and hamlet. While the families that have run these restaurants may have changed over the years, the restaurants remain and have become indispensable centres of small town life. Chop Suey on the Prairies will open at the Royal Alberta Museum in April of 2013.

In January 2005, K. Linda Tzang was appointed to oversee the Cultural Communities Program at Royal Alberta Museum. She earned her BA from the University of British Columbia, an MA in History from McMaster University in Ontario, and an MA in Museum Studies from Leicester University in the UK. Tzang has worked at the Transport Museum in Glasgow, the West Vancouver Museum and Archives, the City of White Rock Museum and Archives, and the Vancouver Museum. She was also the Curator of Local History at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum & Archives in Vancouver, B.C., and has presented a regular column for CBC Radio in Vancouver. She was a Board Member of the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop and editor for the e-journal, Cultural Policy, Criticism and Management. She is currently an Executive Board Member of the Material Culture Institute at the University of Alberta. Tzang has a background in cultural history and Western Canadian immigration history, with a particular interest in cross-cultural issues. She is working on a research projects involving the Ukrainian and Chinese Canadian communities in Alberta.

Admission fees apply for each program and include exhibit access; adults pay $6, seniors $5, and students $3; Annual Pass holders receive free admission. Registration is not required. The Archives, Discovery Hall and Museum Store are open Thursdays from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. The current special exhibit “Uncovering Secrets: Archaeology in southern Alberta” closes Sunday, January 13.

For details on these and other programs and exhibits visit, call 403.320-3954, or email

Anine VonkemanComment