Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004/05 1
The past twelve months have seen Glenbow Museum grow and refine its thematic exhibitions, reach out to
young families, western history aficionados, and the arts community, and significantly revamp its governance
structure. Looking back we have worked hard to share in Calgary's growing prosperity, and to reflect the way
Calgarians view their world and their place in it. Simply put - Glenbow is in synch with Calgary, and expanding
our capacity to tell the stories our visitors want to hear.
Glenbow Museum finished the fiscal year 2004-05 with some strong achievements linked to the six goals of our
2000-2005 Strategic Road Map. Chief of these was the substantive completion of the Goal 1 fundraising
campaign for Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta. This new gallery will dominate Glenbow’s third
floor and open in the spring of 2007. At year’s end we had received $4 million from the Provincial
Government. We are very optimistic that we will receive a further $5 million from the Federal Government.
Our community campaign is going well and we are confident that we will receive a further $2million from
the private sector. This effort represents Glenbow’s largest ever capital campaign, and will enable us to double
our school program capacity when the new gallery opens.
In the quest for increased attendance to our second floor thematic exhibitions, Goal 2 of our Road Map, we drew
a total museum attendance of over 160,000 in 2004-05, an increase of over five thousand the prior year.
Four significant shows contributed to this growth: The Mysterious Bog People, (presented by AIM Trimark)
closed its seven month run on May 24, 2004; Capturing Western Legends: Russell and Remington’s Canadian
Frontier, (presented by Norrep Funds Hesperian Capital Management Ltd.) ran from June 19 to October 11;
Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, (presented by The
American Express Foundation) ran from October 30 to January 30, 2005; and Our River: Journey of the Bow
(presented by Enbridge Inc.) flowed from February 19 to June 5, 2005. Each of these exhibitions continued
building on our vision: to be where the world meets the west. In this way the Bog People and Rodin came
from the outside world to Calgary; conversely, Russell and Remington and the Bow gave the best of southern
Alberta to our visitors. The Glenbow illustrated its cultural bridging function in all four shows, challenging
our visitors to see the history of Alberta in global terms, and the history of the globe through our Alberta lens.
Eric Harvie, our entrepreneurial and eclectic collecting founder, expected exactly this from Glenbow when
he conceptualized the museum’s mission forty years ago. He wanted us to be Calgary’s lay university.
Our Goal 3 is designed to give our staff the incentive to research and publish, and often finds expression
in Glenbow publications. This past year saw the production of The Bow: Living with a River, with essays by
Gerald T. Conaty, Daryl Betenia and Catharine Mastin. The book continues our successful string of collaborations
with Key Porter Books of Toronto, and has performed well in bookstores across the west.
Glenbow’s Collection Goal (no. 4) was well served by the ongoing superb curatorial and conservation
care provided by our Collections staff. A $748,000 Infrastructure Canada-Alberta Program grant allowed
us to undertake a major collections storage upgrade for Cultural History. We also undertook significant
deaccessioning of Grade 4 (not of museum quality or outside of our core mandate) material was successfully
undertaken in Calgary and New York with the Province of Alberta’s authorization.
We exceeded our $2 million operations revenue fundraising goal (no.5), continuing our reputation as one
of Canada’s most entrepreneurial museums. Long-time Glenbow supporters will already know that we receive
just over 30 percent of operating revenues from governments, in a country where the national norm for
institutions of our size is in the range of 50 to 90 percent.
Chair’s and President’s Message
Glenbow Museum is one of Canada’s
most entrepreneurial museums. Through
a variety of dynamic and changing
exhibitions and programs along with
a broad collection of art, artifacts, and
historical documents, Glenbow Museum
builds on a commitment to preserve
western heritage while simultaneously
providing visitors with a glimpse
of the world beyond.
1 Chair’s and President’s Message
8 Highlights from 2004/05
17 Financial Review
32 Board of Governors
iv Current and Upcoming Exhibitions
This annual report reflects Glenbow Museum’s fiscal year April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005.
Background image: Boys fishing the Bow River near Centre Street Bridge, Calgary,
1971 Photographer: The Calgary Herald; Glenbow Archives NA-2864-19152
began when petroleum
entrepreneur and lawyer
Eric Lafferty Harvie
discovered oil in 1947
in Leduc on land to
which he held the mineral
rights. With his newfound
prosperity, he decided
to pursue his favourite
passion — collecting —
and simultaneously return
some of his good fortune
back to the region that
had been so generous
to him. Mr. Harvie's goal was to collect objects
representing the history and culture of Western
Canada as well as from around the world. After
many years of travel and collecting, Mr. Harvie
amassed a huge museum collection which included
an extensive collection of artifacts from North
America including Aboriginal peoples, frontier
exploration, and the development of western life.
He complemented this collection with extraordinary
artifacts and art from Asia, West Africa,
South America, and islands in the Pacific.
In 1966, Eric Harvie and his family donated his
impressive collection of art, artifacts, and historical
documents to the people of Alberta. Today,
Eric Harvie’s vision of Where the World Meets
the West continues, as Glenbow Museum invites
visitors to explore three major special exhibitions
annually, and an eclectic range of permanent
galleries featuring significant Western Canadian
and international collections.
Portrait image: John Gilroy, Untitled [Portrait of Eric Harvie]. Collection of Tim Harvie.
2 Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004/05 Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004 3
Our local, national and international profile has continued to grow (Goal 6) during the year as a result of all
of the above initiatives, augmented by travelling exhibits, op-ed contributions by the C.E.O., and a steady
flow of positive responses for loan requests and the provision of high quality research support services by
Glenbow’s Library and Archives.
Overall we have made a significant contribution to life-long learning during the last 12 months, reaching nearly
40,000 school children, and inspiring repeat visitation by family members and friends alike. We understand
that a positive first visit to a museum can literally chart a career. Stephen Jay Gould, the Harvard professor
who wrote so brilliantly about the geologic record of species evolution and British Columbia’s Burgess Shale
fossil beds kindled his interest at the age of 5 when his father took him to the American Museum of Natural
History. As soon as the little boy saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the lobby he was hooked for life. Whether the
first visit to a museum sparks a career path, or simply develops a life-long interest in the arts and culture, we
at Glenbow consciously work to ensure that our exhibitions and programs evoke these kinds of responses.
Today as we consider Glenbow Museum’s role in Canada’s cultural community, and the founder’s dream for the
museum, we are convinced that our programs and business model are well linked. This past year has seen a Board
initiated revamp of our standing committee structure, adding both a Collections and a Governance committee
to the existing Development and Audit/Investment committees. Executive Committee has been disbanded,
and all Glenbow Governors now have at least one standing committee assignment. From time to time ad hoc
committees are formed to deal with issues such as endowment fund policy, renegotiation of the Provincial
contract for services, or the review and approval of labour collective agreements. A clear distinction has been
maintained between the strategic oversight function of the board and the duties of management. The final
product of the new governance model and the synergies it creates is both sustainability for Glenbow and life-
long learning opportunities for our public. We aim to be the kind of museum that you just cannot stop visiting.
Michael P. Robinson
PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Let the magic of your mind enlighten you.