Crowsnest Pass prepping for post-pandemic Heritage Festival

·2 min read

The Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival will be hosting its 17th annual event from July 28 – August 1 beginning with the Heritage Youth Theatre Company’s presentation of “Blood at the Barracks – a Courtroom Drama”.

The play will reflect this year’s theme of ‘Moonshine, Music, and Mayhem’ paying tribute by marking the 100-year anniversary of the tragic shooting of Constable Lawson outside the Alberta Provincial Police Barracks in downtown Coleman.

The festival is a major heritage tourism initiative that celebrates the community, architecture and history in our province found within the Crowsnest Pass.

The Crowsnest Doors Open Festival Committee is wanting to feature the heritage and events of Crowsnest Pass by opening the doors to local communities and organizations in the area.

Fred Bradley, chair of the Crowsnest Doors Open Festival Committee, said the event shows the local cultural influence of the community with plenty of activities to learn and participate in.

“The committee has been working on a project to restore the Roxy Theatre in downtown Coleman (as a) community Performing Arts Center. There’s a video that’s produced by Ralph Thurn, a former CBC producer who also owned the Roxy Theatre, which he produced for the History Channel, which has never been seen before. This is going to be featured on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, with the proceeds from that going to support the restoration of the Roxy Theatre.”

Other events include country markets, tours of the area, and open houses for community historic buildings. A full list is available at with over 20 different groups putting together over 30 events, which will be jam packed with may opportunities to enjoy the area.

This year the event will be able to return to a traditional format, pulling off virtual events in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic while utilizing community support to help achieve this event.

“We’re very appreciative of the support we get and the involvement in the community has many groups that put-on events,” said Bradley. “We’ve also received some sponsorship from various organizations, including the Government of Canada, through their Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program ensures a big part of our ability to put this festival on.”

The event looks to highlight the area of Crowsnest Pass and showcase the community and experiences found within the region.

Some events require pre-registration with more details online.

Bradley says the event always looks to combine built heritage with cultural and natural heritage, with plenty of places and people to celebrate the area and learn about the history in our province.

Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald

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