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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: Connecting with the Past, Present and Future at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, Alberta


When I think of museums, I associate it with dead things - graveyards.

Suspended items, behind glass and access ropes, sadly manage, although barely, to cling to the last remnants of relevance. While no longer able to fulfill their intended purpose, they are relegated to serving merely as lingering remains of different times and places.

The Galt Museum & Archives in Lethbridge is refreshingly different. It is alive with enthusiastic Lethbridgians who are telling stories, creating exhibits and organizing community events that help to bridge the gap with the past by keeping it relevant in the present. They are also laying the foundations for what is to become of the community of Lethbridge.

At the impressive facility, you are educated about the human history of southwestern Alberta and the value of recognizing history for the role it plays in creating future opportunity.

It also has the best view in town.


The number and variety of programs at The Galt (as it is known by locals) are staggering. It includes stories, art, and music. All of it is crafted around the heritage of the community. As it goes in Southern Alberta, there is always a lingering of a little alcohol around, concerning the beer and whiskey heritage of the area.


We checked in early with Dana Inkster to be ahead of the day's busy schedule at the Museum. We were glad we did because the sun rising over the gorge and the wind playing in the long green grass rewarded us with an incredible sight of the famous bridge, from the building's foyer. It is a view that promises to always be amazing, and rarely similar. The seasons change incredibly fast in this part of Alberta and tomorrow it is bound to look different than today.

This turned out to also be a metaphor for our visit.

The museum reminds you that things change and it happens faster than you expect. Yet, there are also things that remain consistent. Lethbridge is the breadbasket of the region and has been for some time. It was the core of its livelihood in the past and that which continues to define the community in future. This heritage creates a sense of comfort and belonging for Lethbridgians as they continue to lead the agricultural industries in Alberta. And the Galt Museum serves to remind us of this responsibility, every day.

Lethbridge continues to intrigue us.

Hendrik van Wyk
Old(er) Cowboy

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The View

The Galt

The Bridge

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