Glenbow, Lougheed House & Us!

It’s official. We’re everywhere! As most of you know, we’ve partnered with Lougheed House in the exhibit Pomp & Circumstance: Celebrations of the Fire Department Kind – opening in just one week! (It runs from October 26, 2016 to January 29, 2017). Our Museum Assistant Catherine has assumed the role of lead preparator for the project and has done an amazing job!


Museum Assistant Catherine prepping foam core for the display cases!

We’ve also just been given the keys to our new location in partnership with the Glenbow Museum! THAT’S RIGHT! We’ll be installing a pop-up exhibit in the old Manny’s Cafe! Pop by for a visit starting November 4 and running until the end of April! Stay tuned for progress reports. Rumour has it there will be cake.

We are thrilled to be connected with these two cultural institutions and hope that our partnerships allow us all to make more connections within the community. We’re stronger together!



Museum Board Director & CFD Firefighter Lieutenant Stephen J. measures the space to make sure all his good ideas are going to fit! You’re going to have to come and check it out!

And of course, we’re working on our new space to open in Summer 2017. In the interim, please stop by any of our satellite locations (Lougheed House and Glenbow Museum) to say hello, check out our exhibits – who knows there might even be a firefighter or two hanging around!



A view of the creative chaos in our office! How my brain feels sometimes.


Volunteers Needed

We’re working on a pop-up exhibit and information centre to tentatively open on November 1, 2016 in the downtown core! We’ve got lots of great ideas, cool artefacts, and amazing photographs and now we just need volunteers to activate the space!

We have shifts available throughout the week  (except for Mondays) and we think it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to meet people, and let them know about our museum!

Please contact if you’re interested and we’ll send you more  details!




Exhibition think tank session in process.

Captain Rob Tomlinson

On Friday, June 10, at 5 am,  retired Captain Rob Tomlinson, Calgary Fire Department, lost his battle with cancer.
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Captains Rob Tomlinson and Brian Freney (both CFD retired) during the Lives, Legacies & Legends tour, 2015.

At first I  hesitated in writing this post. This one hurt. The loss was private. I didn’t want to share it with anyone. Then I realized how important it was to tell others about the amazing impact this man had on me and the museum in the last five years.


Right from the first time I met this man, I knew he was some kind of wonderful. A strong supporter and friend to the museum without hesitation. Without question. Unconditionally.
He attended the Museum’s First Tuesdays or Coffee at the Museums when they first started and encouraged others when they hesitated to try something new. Robbie and I sipped tea while the others drank their coffee.
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A collection of fave friends at First Tuesdays (Coffee at the Museum), 2012

Knowing that the Museum needed more attendance, he invited the Pioneer Auto Club, to hold a mini-rally at the museum. Our staff and antique fire trucks certainly appreciated the company!
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Pioneer Auto Club Meet 2012

He served up delicious CFD bits of information during impromptu tours whenever he visited and could tell a story like no other.
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Robbie the Museum Guy, 2012

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Rob & Brian  – best friends for more than 40 years. And still laughing!


Robbie connected with everyone he met. He would always ask  how you were doing and was genuinely interested in the answer. He epitomized kindness – just ask someone who knows him!
Whenever he thought I needed back up or show of support, he’d round up the 3 Musketeers (Art and Brian) and they’d be there –  from the Museum’s AGM to Night at the Museum.
“Rebecca needs our support.” he’d say.
He was right. I did and still do.
His contagious smile and laughter lit up the museum and filled our hearts. I never dreamt I would have my heart broken by a firefighter – and not this way.
Robbie – my friend – the kettle is always on and the museum doors forever open – should you decide to visit.

Preparing for the inevitable…

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Cold War Ephemera from the Archives

“There is room for YOU in Calgary Civil Defence – where you can learn to be of use to yourself; your loved ones; your neighbours; your city and your country”

Civil Defence in Action, City of Calgary (1960s)

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Would you be  prepared for a nuclear fallout resulting from a Cold War? Check out these recommendations from our archives:

  1. Before the fallout comes, take some farm and garden produce into the house.
  2. Wash your hands well after handling animals that were exposed to fallout.
  3. You could pile earth against buildings, if you have a bulldozer.
  4. You may have to bury animals that die of radiation sickness.
  5. Stay in some form of protected accommodation until the radiation intensity has dropped to the point where it is safe for us to resume a more normal pattern of living.
  6. During a blast – seek protection in the basement lying down near a wall, under a table, or close to some exit in case of fire. The fallout shelter is for after the explosion.
  7. Last person into shelter places toilet and garbage cans in passageway (For the first 48 hours, you will not be allowed to go outside, so blocking the passageway will not matter).
  8. Bring coveralls, rubber boots, rubber gloves for adults. To be used in venturing outside even after instructions have been given that this is safe for short periods.
  9. ALSO – 1 pair of wool socks (per person) are an essential item for your emergency pack

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In retrospect, things we thought were great ideas don’t always turn out that way!  But during the time period people believe these ideas are cutting edge and useful. Nothing exemplifies this phenomenon better than the Cold War documents we have in our collection here at the Firefighters Museum of Calgary. In a time of paranoia and fear, people will turn to any information that might make them feel more prepared and safe. 


Museum’s AGM


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an Annual General Meeting of the Firefighters Museum Society Calgary will be held at Room 220, Multi Agency Training Centre located at 5075, 23rd Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 3H2 on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. for the following purposes:

  1. To present and review the Annual Report 2015
  2. To nominate and elect a Board of Directors
  3. To review and approve proposed FMSC By Law changes   (section 2.2, FMSC Policy Manual)
  4. To nominate and elect Committee Members as applicable
  5. To discuss the Museum’s direction 2016-2021


Russell Stratton

President, Firefighters Museum Society Calgary

Please RSVP to Rebecca Melenka

Executive Director, Firefighters Museum Society Calgary

The Firefighters Museum Society, Calgary adheres to the City of Calgary’s Code of Conduct and Respectful Workplace Policy, and manages its meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order.