John Ellenberger wipes the morning condensation from a mural he’s working on in the open air at his acreage home. He’s redoing a memorial mural honouring soldiers who fought during the First World War and Second World War that he painted in the early 1990s. The mural will be installed at the Royal Canadian Legion in Iriquois, Ont.  |  Maria Johnson photo

Artist about town: retelling history in murals

This Alberta painter has worked in a variety of mediums, but it’s the larger-than-life murals that keep him the most busy

RED DEER —John Ellenberger of Little John’s Custom Painting is a sign painter by trade, a mural artist by request and a teacher by default. Many of his murals portray history in larger-than-life colour — a lesson in from where and how far we’ve come. “Everyone wants to show the history of their town,” says […] Read more

Canso PBY-5A rolls onto the runway to do pre-flight checks before its first official flight before a crowd of about 1,000, among them Fairview area residents and pilots who flew in for the fly-in breakfast on Father’s Day in Fairview, Alta., June 18. | Barb Glen photo

Farmers restore Canadian war bomber

‘We didn’t know it was impossible, so we did it,’ say Fairview farmers who restored Canso PBY-5A airplane

FAIRVIEW, Alta. — Dreams took flight June 18 for six farmers from Fairview and for a community of volunteers who shared in their vision. The Canso PBY-5A soared that day for the first time in 16 years, the last nine of them spent in restoration. As one of only 13 Canso aircraft still listed as […] Read more

Pilot Mound resident George Gilmour managed to figure out where John Walker’s grave should be using a map and book with plot numbers connected to names.  |  Ed White photo

History book closes on lost sports star

PILOT MOUND, Man. — An international hunt has ended with proof that once-famous Scottish and Liverpool Football Club player John Walker is buried in this Manitoba community on the edge of a rural cemetery, marked only by his name and the dates he lived on a plain gravestone. It helps fill in missing details of the […] Read more


Former farm worker keeps university’s ag history alive

EDMONTON — The big cream-coloured hip roofed barn on the University of Alberta’s south campus has housed pigs, dairy cattle, elk, rabbit, moose and yak. Now it holds the history of agriculture. Along the walls are pictures of winning show cattle and horses, an old X-ray machine for sheep research, horse harness, grain sorters, tack […] Read more

Jason Sailer is president of the Ogilvie Wooden Grain Elevator Society. Its goal is to move this elevator from Wrentham, Alta., to the Galt Historic Railway Park at Stirling, Alta., about 30 kilometres away.  |  Barb Glen photo

Where once were racoons, a museum shall rise

Fundraising is underway to move the Wrentham elevator, still in working order after 90 years

WRENTHAM, Alta. — Ogilvie elevator No. 156 has a kind of settled dignity as it squats along this hamlet’s once proud elevator row. The 90-year-old dowager is showing its age, but if efforts by the Ogilvie Wooden Grain Elevator Society are successful, it may find new life and refurbishment at the Galt Historic Railway Park […] Read more


 Interest in food started early for Amy Jo Ehman, pictured here in the garden with her Grandmother.  |  Ehman family photo

Learning about past through food

It’s not Christmas unless there’s food on the table, and Amy Jo Ehman’s new book has some interesting dishes to include. Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens, Ehman’s second book, pieces together Saskatchewan’s history from the 1870s to 1920s with food from Metis, First Nations and European homesteaders. “To me, it’s a story of Saskatchewan’s early […] Read more

Dominion Exhibition Display Building No. II on the Provincial Exhibition grounds in Brandon is a rare example of halls built for agricultural fairs in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  |  Robert Arnason photo

Historic agricultural fair building refurbished

Dominion Exhibition Display Building No. II | It is one of the few remaining buildings from the Dominion fair era in Canada

Visitors almost needed welding helmets to look directly at the four silver domes and gleaming white walls of Dominion Exhibition Display Building No. II on a brilliant but chilly day in early April. The roof, walls and windows look fully refurbished after years of renovations on the building, which was built in Brandon in 1913 […] Read more

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park has two claims to fame: the largest collection of aboriginal rock art on the North American Great Plains and an unusual and delightful prairie landscape. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Aboriginal rock art offers look into past

Ancient images carved on weathered rock gaze over the meandering river, its green banks lined with a fairytale landscape of eroded cliffs and whimsically sculpted hoodoos. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park has two claims to fame: the largest collection of aboriginal rock art on the North American Great Plains and an unusual and delightful prairie landscape. The […] Read more


Former Alberta premier and  agriculture minister Ed Stelmach and his wife, Marie, stand in front of the house built by his grandparents, Nykola and Theodora Stelmach, who immigrated to Canada from Ukraine in 1898. The log house was built in 1915. On August 1, it was moved 50 kilometres from Stelmach's farm near Andrew to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, east of Edmonton. | Mary MacArthur photo

Stelmach home represents pioneer life

ELK ISLAND, Alta. — Former Alberta premier and agriculture minister Ed Stelmach said it was a “good feeling of remembrance” as he watched his grandparents’ home move from his Andrew farm to its new location at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Stelmach’s grandparents came to Canada with 12 other families from the same village in […] Read more

 Jovan Kvill of New Norway, Alta., drives a 1912 Rumley 15-30 Model F Oilpull tractor at the Reynolds Alberta museum. Kvill has been volunteering at the museum since he was a child. The tractor demonstration is part of the museum’s Dinosaurs of the Field exhibit, which runs until October. | Mary MacArthur photo

Bone-rattling rides never felt so good

WETASKIWIN, Alta. — The 1912 Rumley Oilpull clunked, rattled and shook across the mowed field, but Jovan Kvill said the 100-year-old tractor was not the roughest tractor he’s driven. That honour goes to a small Moline Universal, where the driver’s seat hangs out the back end, tossing and jerking the driver the entire ride. The […] Read more