$1 Million Legacy Gift Encourages Citizens to Make & Share Calgary’s History

Calgary, AB—The history of Calgary is made up of the individual and family stories of millions of Calgarians and grows more vibrant and diverse as Calgary grows. To honour the past and celebrate the future, the Harris’ legacy gift of $1 million to Calgary Public Library ensures that those stories are told, collected, and shared.

“Deirdre and Ian Harris’ gift will have a profound impact on the lives of the next generation of Calgarians, and will help preserve the voices of today for tomorrow,” said Paul McIntyre Royston, President & CEO of the Calgary Public Library Foundation. “I can think of no better way to honour two people who are passionate about our city’s history than with the naming of the Williams & Harris Shared History Centre.”

When the New Central Library opens in fall 2018, the Williams & Harris Shared History Centre will invite Calgarians and visitors to contribute to our city’s shared history, complete with technology to capture and share stories, an old-media lab, and programing to facilitate and enhance these contributions.

Today, the Williams & Harris Shared History Centre features several special collections of images and maps of Calgary and Southern Alberta’s history located at www.librarysharedhistory.ca, which Calgarians and members of First Nations can access with a free Library card.

”Deirdre and I wanted to honour our parents and their stories, because their history is our history—the history of Calgary,” says Ian Harris. “The Williams & Harris Shared History Centre will make it possible for all citizens to record and make their stories accessible and to build on the rich history of Calgary.”

To celebrate this special announcement and begin the sharing of Calgary’s history, the Library is encouraging Calgarians to post photos of themselves—past or present—in their favourite community places with the hashtag #CalgaryStoryNCL.

Deirdre and Ian Harris are Founding Partners of Add In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library, a bold, audacious vision to take a great library system and transform it into the best in the world. With this gift, the Calgary Public Library Foundation has surpassed $304 million of its $350 million goal for Add In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library.

Calgary Public Library Foundation
Add In—
the Campaign for Calgary’s Library is a bold and transformational initiative of the Calgary Public Library Foundation to create the best public library in the world for Calgarians. The $350 million city-wide campaign will build capacity for each and every community library and will include projects with a strong impact for Library patrons.

Calgary Public Library

Calgary Public Library, with 600,000+ members, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for more than 100 years. It is currently the second largest library system in Canada and the sixth largest municipal library system in North America, with Calgarians borrowing more than 15.8 million physical and digital items and with 6.7 million in-person visits last year. Preparations are underway for the awe-inspiring 240,000 sq. ft. New Central Library, to open in late 2018.


Media Contacts:

Katherine Cormack, Senior Manager Marketing & Communications
Calgary Public Library
M: 403.703.6431

Rachael Terner
Manager of Communications
Calgary Public Library Foundation
C: 403.680.0626