Culture & History

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Culture & History

Rum running during Prohibition, coal mining disasters, a historic rock slide, a train robbery, and a police shoot-out, lend an exciting history celebrated throughout the South Canadian Rockies. World-class heritage sites, historic walking and driving tours, and interpretive kiosks offer a greater perspective on past events that have shaped our community.

Today, South Canadian Rockies is home to a vibrant artisan scene with numerous studios, a public gallery, and a thriving number of talented musicians. You will find exhibits of local art in many cafes and restaurants throughout the community.


Culture & history listing

August 15-18: Pincher Creek Rodeo

The Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo may take place in a small town but it is a BIG PRO rodeo! You are close to the action and sitting with ranchers and cowboys who rodeo every day as part of their lifestyle. It is a summer adventure for the whole family that shouldn’t be missed. Rodeo weekend is the biggest summer event in Pincher Creek, there are lots of great activities to explore throughout this rural community.
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August 1-5: Crowsest Pass Heritage Festival

2024 marks the 19th anniversary of the Crowsnest Pass Doors Open & Heritage Festival in Crowsnest Pass, taking place over the August long weekend. Celebrating their local musicians and artisans, this year brings a plethora of live performances. A celebration of unique culture, history, and heritage, the festival offers up a variety of activities to help you experience the beautiful Crowsnest Pass.
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May 18: Flint Rock Ranch Ramble & Dance

Join us for the first Flint Rock Ramble (n’ dance!) to celebrate the brand new event space, the Kelly Hall! Come up and see us in the Porcupine Hills after 3pm for hiking and activities, and bring a picnic to stay for dinner or enjoy the the food and beverage trucks! A performance by the rock band “I am the Mountain” from 8-11pm
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Hillcrest Mine and Cemetery

The worst coal mining disaster in Canada happened in the community of Hillcrest, on the east end of Crowsnest Pass. On June 19, 1914, a pocket of methane gas in the Millcrest Mine ignited and set off a coal-dust explosion that killed 189 miners. Most of the victims were buried in a mass grave at the Hillcrest Cemetery where a memorial was erected in 2000. Join a tour of the cemetery to learn more about this catastrophic event and its…
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Alberta Provincial Police Barracks – Coleman

The APP Barracks is the location of the murder of Constable Steven Lawson by Emilio Picariello and Florence ‘Filumena’ Losandro. Explore the ‘Scene of the Crime’ where Lawson lived, worked and was killed. Journey through Alberta’s prohibition history, and decide for yourself “who done it” at the scene of Canada’s most infamous rum-running murder.
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The Lebel Mansion

A historic building located in the heart of Pincher Creek dedicated to Cultivating Creativity in Southwest Alberta. Once a single-family home turned hospital, the Mansion is now operated by the Allied Arts Council of Pincher Creek.Features include an Art Gallery and Gift Shop proudly representing local artists and makers from across Alberta and Canada as well as an active Ceramics Guild working in the large basement studio. On the Grounds, you will find a Rose Garden with over 55 rose…
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September Springs Ranch

September Springs Ranch is open by appointment only. This business is the realization of its owner’s enthusiasm for antiques and collectibles and many unique items. They have many items in almost every category from local art and antiques to fashion and jewelry and artifacts from all over the world plus, plus. With three buildings filled with history. Unique Art Antique and Boutique offer hundreds of items different items in every price range including some rare and ancient displays from all…
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The Bellevue Underground Mine

Equipped with a miner’s helmet and lamp, the Bellevue Underground Mine tour will take you 1,000 feet into the mine, where you will be 150 feet below the surface. On a guided tour led by their experienced Heritage Interpreters you will explore the mine’s inner-workings and feel as if you have traveled back in time to explore the Crowsnest Pass’ rich underground mining history. All tours must be pre-booked online in advance.
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Great Canadian Barn Dance

A family-friendly camping resort with roast beef dinner buffets on the weekends and live band dances for all ages. Large sports field canoes and horseshoe pits. Great for family reunions and RV rallies. Close to many tourist attractions. Open April through to September.
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Heritage Acres Farm Museum

Heritage Acres is a working museum, which is operated by the Old Man River Antique Equipment and Threshing Club. The museum consists of a 180-acre site that was established in 1988 after the Oldman River Dam was built. The Club is dedicated to promoting an interest in and preserving the heritage of the agricultural industry in Southern Alberta from 1880-1960. The museum has been collecting, restoring, conserving, and demonstrating artifacts since 1988. A significant number of relocated heritage buildings are…
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Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery

Painting, sculpture, installation, photography and so much more, the Gallery brings you rotational exhibits with works by emerging and well-known artists from across the country. To promote education in the arts, the Gallery offers art programs for adults and children, and special events showcasing the talents of our artistic community. The Gallery is operated by Crowsnest Pass Allied Arts Association, a charitable, not-for-profit organization. Stop by to see the current exhibition or visit the gift shop featuring unique, local gifts.…
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Crowsnest Museum & Archives

The Crowsnest Museum and Archives, in historic downtown Coleman, depicts and preserves the cultural history of the Crowsnest Pass. Learn about life when coal was king and the impacts of the prohibition era. Come experience our local and storied history!
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Leitch Collieries Provincial Historic Site

Discover how the effects of strikes, war, untimely death, and other ill-fortune contributed to the collapse of this ambitious Canadian owned and operated mining venture. Interpretive panels, listening posts, and walking paths through the ruins create a window back in time to the early 1900s. Leitch Collieries was one of the most impressive and sophisticated early coal mines in the Crowsnest Pass. It was the only fully Canadian-owned and operated a coal mine in the past, and features ruins of…
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Frank Slide Interpretive Centre

Learn how a catastrophic 90 seconds forever changed a tight-knit mining community in southwest Alberta. Overlooking the wreckage of Canada’s deadliest rockslide, the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre tells the tragic tale of the night Turtle Mountain crumbled. Learn how lives were destroyed when 110-million metric tonnes of limestone thundered onto miners’ cottages at the edge of town. Wander through exhibits and listen to the stories from survivors. Find out why the Blackfoot and Ktunaxa called Turtle the mountain that moves,…
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Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village

Located along the creek that gives Pincher Creek its name, the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is open year round. Hours vary from summer to winter months. In Pioneer Place, you will find a Visitor Information Centre, an extensive archives and The Country Store which carries local and Canadian products, country and vintage themes items and an impressive local book section. The Museum Village sits on six acres with 30 authentic historical buildings full of over 30,000 artifacts which gives an…
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