A passenger aircraft hangs from the ceiling. A WWII fighter jet crouches silently next to a WWI triplane and a vintage helicopter. At the Aero Space Museum of Calgary, visitors peruse an expansive collection of propeller- and jet-powered vintage aircraft inside a renovated hangar that was built in 1941 to serve as the drill hall for a flight-training school. Museum staffers care for and maintain a range of North American and European aviation artifacts, such as military and civilian planes built by Barkley-Grow, de Havilland, and Waco; a replica Sopwith triplane; and Sikorsky and Bell helicopters. Guides also lead educational tours through hangar exhibits, during which young visitors learn about the physics of flight and the inner workings of airplanes.
TELUS World or Science is Calgary's premier destination for truly interactive science and arts learning. As we prepare to move to a new location in fall 2011, we are presentingthe world renowned exhibitions, Einstein & Darwin. This is the 2nd of 3 major exhibitions experiences we are hosting before we move.
In 1988, the top of the Calgary Tower was on fire. Nobody panicked, though, and no one tried to put out the flames. If they had, and succeeded, it would have been to the disappointment of athletes and spectators the world over, because that flame burned in honour of Canada’s first Winter Olympic Games. At 191 metres above the city, the light that fire produced—flickering from a gas-fired cauldron—served to unite the city around the games, to honour the spirit of sportsmanship, and to safeguard the event from Mothra attacks.
Today, visitors can see the city from just below where that torch burned. After a 63-second elevator ride to the top, guests can explore the observation deck, take a complimentary tour, and peer from high-powered binoculars at the Rocky Mountains, foothills, and prairies. Then they can step out onto the glass floor and stare down at the Olympic Plaza, the Glenbow Museum, and the bald spots on park monuments.
Yet the tower’s height isn’t its only draw. From the ground up, it strives to showcase the best of the city. At the base, the visitor information centre furnishes newcomers with city guides that point to popular attractions, and at 155 metres, the elegant Sky 360 restaurant fans romantic sparks as it completes its 360-degree rotation every hour.
In 1982, Calgary's Chinatown district almost disappeared due to a proposed land redesignation. Luckily, citizens banded together to keep the district a vital hub of culture and history, eventually establishing the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre to continue the neighborhood's mission. And the centre fits right in. Inside the Dr. Henry Fok Cultural Hall, an ornate dome that takes its design cues from Bejing's Temple of Heaven inspires oohs, aahs, and visits to the chiropractor due to neck strain from looking up at the 40 phoenixes and 561 dragons painted above.
Elsewhere in the centre, the Chinese Artifacts Museum dazzles with terracotta soldiers and luxurious handmade tapestries. The Chinese Library corrals more than 70,000 books and videos about Chinese culture, and the Chinese Learning Academy instills language skills and cultural appreciation in nursery-age toddlers up to students in grade 12.
Run by designer Jenna Herbut and her brother Chandler, also a designer, the fairs showcase the work of more than 140 Canadian artisans and designers at events Merge magazine has described as "the craft sale for the next generation." The laid-back emporium?that has received tons of positive press?thrums with the energy of desingers such as Eve and Enoch, adhesif clothing, and MMS Brittles as they enthusiastically promote their wares. Music serenades ears wandering between booths, and homemade creations from vendors such as Monkey Butter sate hunger with snacks that are as sweet and savoury as a love poem written in worcestershire sauce.
As an extension of her mission to improve designers' livelihoods, Jenna channels her background in marketing into a parallel venture Make It! University, which helps artisans hone their business models.
Sundance Balloons' vibrant hot-air balloons float adventurous passengers over scenic landscapes. Each one-hour journey commences as sojourners greet their flight crew at a pre-determined location, receive a briefing on what to expect during the excursion, and observe their balloon as it swells to more than 10 stories in height.
The woven gondolas glide 1,000 feet above the ground but can sometimes gently skim treetops or cornfields when wandering over the countryside. Since balloons drift with prevailing winds, there is no wind chill and travellers feel only a slight sensation of movement. As is tradition for ballooning, explorers of the appropriate age end their flight with a champagne toast to tranquility, beauty, and neighbourhoods that appear as giant smiley faces only visible from the air.