The Military Museums of Calgary

Experience the richness of Canadian military history through the eyes of a veteran revisiting his past. Discover the notable Military Museums of Calgary and its vast collection of artifacts, and learn about the significance of regiments like Lord Strathcona's Horse and PPCLI. This article offers a personal and poignant journey into the past, coupled with an educational overview of one of Canada's most significant military heritage sites

A Military Veteran's Journey Through The Military Museums of Calgary

A Heartwarming Reunion: Stuart's Visit to Calgary

In the spring of 2023, Stuart, a military veteran, ventured to Calgary, Alberta, for a heartwarming reunion with his family. A chance to reconnect with his two grown-up sons, meet his grandchildren for the first time, and catch up with some old clients. This trip was marked by the joy of family reunions and an opportunity for Stuart to journey back to a significant part of his past - his illustrious military career.

The Military Museums: A Glimpse into History

Situated in Southwest Calgary, The Military Museums (TMM) is an institution that resonates with the echoes of past military valor. It's the largest tri-service museum in Western Canada and the second-largest military museum in the country. This museum houses an extensive collection of historical military artifacts and is a testament to the bravery and resilience of the countless men and women who served the nation.

Key Features of the Military Museums:

  • Home to eight distinct museums.
  • An extensive collection of historical military artifacts.
  • An M109 155mm self-propelled howitzer.
  • Vintage Canadian fighter jets, including the CF-18.

For Stuart, these artifacts were not just historical relics but a reflection of a time when he served the nation.

Exhibits: Connecting with Calgary’s Military Past

The Military Museums is home to exhibits from military units with a rich history in Calgary. Stuart got to walk through the memories of Lord Strathcona's Horse (LdSH), Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), and several other reserve units based in Stampede City.

Military Unit History
Lord Strathcona's Horse (LdSH) An armoured regiment of the Canadian Army
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) One of the three Western Canadian Regular Force infantry regiments of the Canadian Army
Reserve Units Various regiments based in Calgary

Each exhibit in the museum evoked a unique story from Stuart's past, making his visit a truly personal and emotional journey.

The Museum's Evolution: From MOR to TMM

The Military Museums began as The Museum of the Regiments (MOR) but underwent a significant transformation in the early 2000s. The Calgary Military Museums Society (CMMS) joined forces with several entities, raising $26 million to convert the MOR into a comprehensive tri-service museum and military history education center.

The result was an impressive 50% increase in visitor attendance within two years of its completion in 2009.

An Inauguration to Remember

The expanded TMM was officially inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, on June 6, 2009. This auspicious occasion, commemorating the 65th anniversary of D-Day, saw the addition of several new features, including the Naval Museum of Alberta, the Air Force Museum of Alberta, and the Founders' Gallery.

Today: A Hub for Education and Community Events

Today, The Military Museums is more than just a collection of artifacts. It is a bustling hub of learning and community activity. Each year, the museum hosts more than 50,000 visitors from across the globe. It also offers a variety of educational programs to over 10,000 schoolchildren and hosts numerous cultural, historical, and community events throughout the year.

For Stuart, however, The Military Museums offered more than exhibits and events. It provided him with a personal connection to his past - a past that remains an essential part of Canada's military history. As he strolled through the museum, every artifact and every exhibit he encountered brought him closer to a time filled with honor and sacrifice. It was a celebration of his service, a service that shaped his life and contributed to the rich tapestry of Canada's military heritage.

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