Return to Calgary Exhibit Captures the Spirit of Alberta

Image credit: Charles M. Russell, The Jerkline, 1912, oil on canvas, 24.25 x 36 inches (C.M. Russell Museum, Gift of Fred Birch)

In 1919, after four long years of global conflict and great loss, the world was finally at peace. Calgary joined the global celebration by hosting a Victory Stampede in Victoria Park. This space, now known as the Calgary Exhibition Grounds, was used through the war as a training space for local regiments and was a fitting place to celebrate the troops’ return to Calgary.

As a part of this celebration, Guy Weadick, the founder of the Calgary Stampede, secured a fine arts show called Return to Calgary that included 24 paintings and eight bronze sculptures by the renowned American artist Charles M. Russell. As a cowboy, writer, advocate for the Indigenous people of the Northern Plains, environmentalist and artist, his work encompasses the lives of the people who called Alberta and the Western United States home.

100 years later, we remember this special moment in our province’s history with a recreation of this special exhibit. Thanks to the organizers of the Calgary Stampede, canvas reproductions of some of Russell’s greatest masterpieces are on display at McDougall Centre through September 2019.

This exhibit is open to the public and free to visit. For more information on the exhibit and hours, visit the McDougall Centre events page.