“Placing Memory” Project Description


“Placing Memory in High River’s Built Environment” is an oral history research project launched in High River in 2015. It was a partnership between the History program at Ambrose University (Calgary), the Museum of the Highwood (High River), the High River Centennial Library, and local volunteers. It is also funded by a grant ($10,780) from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

The entrance to George Lane Park, an important memory space in High River. [click to enlarge]
Starting in the fall of 2015, Ambrose University students and local volunteers began conducting oral history interviews with various members of the High River community, focusing on life in the town between the 1930s and 1980s. The aim of the project is to discover the relationship between particular places (buildings, parks, streets, etc.) and the memories of High River residents. We want to document the places that were important in the history and–perhaps more importantly–the identity of High River and the life of the local community.

During the formal course of the project, from 2015-2018, we collected over thirty interviews! But we are still ready and willing to conduct interviews with members of the High River community and are always happy when someone new wants to tell their story of life in High River.

Interviews are relaxed, and there’s no pressure to remember specific details about times, places, or events. Rather, we want to hear your stories about what life in High River used to be like (1930s to 1980s). Did you grow up enjoying the freedom of small-town life? Did you work in a downtown business? Go on a first date at the Wales Theatre? Sing in a church choir? Ride your bike around town after school? March in a parade? Participate in a club at the Scout Hall? The possibilities are endless!

What are your favourite places in High River? What makes them special? Please tell us about it.

Find Out More

For more on the project, check out our story in the Ambrose University Fall 2015 Anthem magazine or read this September 2015 High River Times story or this March 2016 update.

Talk to Us

Do you have a special memory of a favourite place in High River? Any pictures you think we should have? Any comments about our website? Interested in being interviewed for the Placing Memory project?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, we’d love to hear from you! Just fill out the contact form below.

Thank you for your interest in “Placing Memory in High River’s Built Environment.”

With best wishes,

Kyle Jantzen