Calgary, AB – Local media, Government officials, donors and invited guests were on hand for the opening of the Colonist Rail Car, #1202 at Heritage Park Historical Village.
Colonist Car #1202, built in 1905, is the oldest, and one of only two rail cars of its kind left in all of Canada. The car was donated to Heritage Park in 1964 by Canadian Pacific Rail for preservation and educational purposes. The railway united Canada as a nation and no other rail car was as involved in the settlement of the west than the Colonist Car. During the first half of the 20th
century, millions of immigrants travelled across the country aboard these wooden cars to begin a new life on the prairies in what was the greatest single wave of immigration in Canadian History.
“Heritage Park exists to preserve and share our Western Canadian heritage,” says Alida Visbach, President and CEO of Heritage Park Historical Village. “It is imperative to understand our history so we can have a better appreciation of the world in which we live. This rare exhibit allows us to share this important period in Canada’s history in a tangible way that resonates.”
The car will remain open permanently in the Railway Car Shop and will become the cornerstone of Heritage Park’s education and interpretive programming.
Plans to restore the car have been in development for 2.5 years, with on-site work beginning in September, 2016. Restoration of the car has been made possible with support from BMO Financial Group, the Province of Alberta, the City of Calgary and a generous donation from local philanthropist, Joan Snyder.
About Heritage Park
Heritage Park Historical Village’s mission is connecting people to the settlement of Western Canada. Since 1964, the Park has grown into one of Calgary’s premier tourist attractions and one of North America’s largest and most successful living history museums. As a registered charity, Heritage Park Historical Village relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to make our preservation of the past possible.
For more information, contact:
Heritage Park Historical Village
Ph. (403) 268-8506