Historic Lineham House 1906 Owned by Founding Family of Canada’s Oil and
Gas Industry Turned Art Gallery 110 Years Later:
Two local Okotoks AB women artists risking new commercial enterprise in
troubled Alberta economy
On Saturday, Sept 23rd Lineham House Galleries, located in a 110 year old home built on the natural resources that have contributed significantly to the identity of our nation, will hold its Grand Opening from 11:00 – 4:00pm at 33 Elma St. (Downtown) Okotoks AB in the heart of The Cowboy Trail and at the centre of Canada’s energy sector.
This marks a significant turning point for this house, and by extension an important Western Canadian founding family in Alberta’s history. This “change of use” represents a shift from our shared industrial/resource based history as a province and nation to a new commercial direction which is, in the case of Lineham House Galleries, defined by small business, women in business, emergent and sharing economies, Arts and Culture.
In attendance to assist Co-Owners and Co-Proprietors Janifer Calvez and Cheryl Taylor during a ribbon and cake cutting are the following special guests:
- Mayor Bill Robertson, Town of Okotoks
- Mr. John Barlow, MP Foothills
- Mr. Wayne Anderson, MLA Highwood
- Ms. Sandi Kennedy Okotoks/Canada 150 Citizen
- Ms. Tanya Thorn, Okotoks Town Council
- Mr. Ed Sands, Okotoks Town Council
- Mr. Ray Watrin, Okotoks Town Council
With more to be announced along with members of the Lineham family and local artists doing art demos and talks.
We learn more every day of how widespread the Linehams and their influence is, and are looking forward to wherever this research may take us.
The Lineham Family, and in particular John and WD Lineham (WD owned 33 Elma Street), were very industrious and grew to encompass significant western cattle ranching lands and lumber resourcing. The Lineham Lumber Company and Mill established the settlement of Okotoks. Unfortunately this important historic resource burned entirely only two years ago.
Okotoks is well known globally for its solar residential community of Drake Landing and, ironically, there is anticipation of a community facility encompassing the Arts replacing the lost Lineham Lumber barn at the site. Our new municipal brand is “Join the Innovation” and Okotoks can lay legitimate claim to it.
This Grand Opening is a day of celebration of the pioneering spirit that makes Alberta what it is, all things Art and Culture and a positive, creative and innovative direction for our Southern Alberta catchment area. We will also be launching our Lineham House History Brochure, kicking off two local Arts fundraisers and showcasing our Fresh Picked Southern Alberta Art Show showcasing:
- artists who work for the Canadian Mint and have featured on Calgary Stampede as is the case with artist Michelle Grant.
- artists who “pioneer” in new areas of contemporary Alberta Art in artists such as Rosanna Marmont (NZ/CDN) who is the producer of and important contemporary art exhibit, the I Am Western art show in Southern Alberta.
- award winning photographer Debra Garside of Sable Island fame, Calgary artist, successful Arts entrepreneur and mentor Doug Swinton and Erica Neumann who is featured in major art galleries throughout Western Canada
Of note is the very first Artist’s Talk on Canada’s first Industrial/Residential school that we held here in the main gallery mid June by one of our Associate Artists Laurie Sommerville (Calgary). It was standing room only much to our surprise. This school was located a mere 15 minute drive from Okotoks and Laurie has spent years researching its very difficult history and producing a documentary short called “Little Moccassins” that has reached schools throughout national Canada. Laurie learns more buried secrets every day and we look forward to seeing where this project, and possibly a feature film, goes with this very important history and developing story.
Janifer Calvez and Cheryl Taylor opened Lineham House Galleries on June 3rd and are quickly demonstrating that we are an accessible and quality art gallery that is also very committed to our local artists, public education (weekly talks, demos and workshops) and the historical and cultural heritage of this house and Elma Street. This street was once mostly owned by the Lineham family where they were based, and was the centre of some of the most significant commercial activity in both Western Canada and the US in the first half of the 2oth Century.