Albertans celebrate legislature building's centennial birthday
Published Sunday, September 2, 2012 5:21PM MDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 2, 2012 6:21PM MDT
Rainy weather didn’t stop a massive celebration from taking place at the Alberta Legislature grounds Sunday.
Hundreds came out for the celebration - despite the wet and windy forecast - to take part in the 100th anniversary party for the legislature building.
“We have gone out of our way to replicate the exact conditions of 1912,” joked Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, making reference to the wet and windy weather conditions 100 years ago when the legislature building first opened.
“Alberta turns 100 years old this year and I think it looks particularly fantastic when you consider its age. I can only hope that we all look this good when we turn 100.”
Officials estimate between 2,500 to 3,000 people attended the “Party under the Dome” – which featured a 1912-inspired family fair throughout the day, followed by a free Centennial Concert and fireworks in the evening.
Magicians, stilt walkers, antique cars and people dressed in vintage attire littered the Legislature grounds and tours of the building were given throughout the afternoon.
Premier Alison Redford addressed the crowds, talking about the importance of family and community and how important those ideals will still be in the next 100 years.
“When this building was built, there were log cabins out there. You could see land as far as the eye could see. I don’t think at that time the people quite had a sense of what Alberta was going to become," Redford said.
"What I think is so exciting about where we are today and the changes that we’ve seen in the last 100 years while this building has stood, and the changes that we’ve experienced in our communities and lives, is that I’m not sure we all know just exactly how great Alberta’s future will be, but what I do know is that my experience being privileged enough to be an elected member of the Legislative Assembly, to sit in this building and honour the traditions of democracy and debate, will ensure that we talk about the ideas that matter to the people who live in our province and we think about our future and what we want for our families and what we want for our communities and we will set those priorities that will ensure that 100 years from now, maybe on a sunny day, people will be standing here thinking about what we contemplated for the future of our province."
There was also a cake cutting and one of the big highlight of the party came during the opening of century-old time capsule.
The capsule was unearthed from the cornerstone of the legislature earlier this summer and put on display in the building.
It was finally opened as part of the legislature’s 100th birthday after a word-for-word re-enactment of when the building first opened back in 1912.
Items reflecting Alberta 100 years ago were pulled out one-by-one.
Some items from the time capsule included historical newspapers, a bible, old coins and photographs.
“The first item out is a bible,” Zwozdesky announced to the crowds.
The items will now be preserved in the provincial archives.
The legislature itself along with a part of the grounds officially became a provincial historic resource on Sunday.
“This means that the legislature building and the south grounds will be protected and preserved for the future,” said Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk.
The day marked a momentous milestone celebrating the past, the present and looking towards the future.
“I could pass this moment on to my children and my grandchildren as long as I live,” said Margaret Timms.
“I think it was just great, despite the weather,” said Ken Berg.
Plans are already underway for what should fill the next time capsule.
Votes are being tallied on the province’s website – on what items should be included in the 2012 time capsule – which will be buried beneath the cornerstone sometime next year – for the next 100 years.
With files from Julia Parrish