Quarterly Newsletter

March Newsletter

Notice of Annual General Meeting 
of the Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary

Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 7:00pm

To be held at
The Hangar Flight Museum
(4629 McCall Way NW, Calgary AB T2E 8A5)


  1. Adoption of the agenda
  2. Adoption of the Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting
  3. Chair's Report
  4. Executive Director's Report
  5. Review of the Audited Financial Statements
  6. Appointment of the Auditors for the ensuing year
  7. Election of Members of the Board
  8. Adjournment 

It is important that as many members as possible attend the Annual General Meeting. This notice is being mailed to all members of record along with a proxy form.

The completed proxy form is to be returned on or before April 18, 2017.

Only voting members with a current valid membership can vote. Please check your membership card prior to the meeting. Renewals can be made through the Museum.

Mark Eberl
Chair, Board of Directors
Dated: March 29, 2017

Message From the Executive Director

Building capacity is a fine balancing act. It could also be described using the old adage 'what comes first, the chicken or the egg?'

In museums, building capacity is often defined as the ability to handle core functions with its own resources. I would add to that definition the words 'effectively and efficiently'. Of course, building capacity is also about increasing knowledge and abilities through training in all its many forms. It is also about building a support network to assist us in our work. After all, who really wants to reinvent the wheel when you can just call on a local expert? As the Executive Director of a growing museum, I would describe building capacity as juggling a dozen eggs with one hand while holding the chicken in the other. We want the Museum to expand and be successful with one of our chief goals being to raise sufficient revenue for continued growth - without burning out staff and volunteers, keeping budgets in the black and all the while addressing the increasing needs of a growing and diverse clientele.

Our support network comes various sources, including the aviation and museum communities and most importantly our volunteers, without whom we could not provide essential services such as education programs and collections management and access. In 2016, our 100+ volunteers provided over 7,000 hours of expertise and assistance to the Museum in areas such as governance, facility rentals, events, collections, guest services and education!

When it comes to the care and preservation of our historical collections, volunteers play a significant role. Recently our restoration team, aided by Eagle Copters, restored a Trans-Canada tug and Second World War beacon. I have been fortunate to work with volunteers and staff in collection storage, making great strides in providing good storage to the library, archives and artifact collections. You'll find photographs of our progress within this newsletter. 'New to us' shelving from various donors has been installed in the library, and is being slowly populated with books and magazines. The archives is 80% complete, but still requires sorting, filing and cataloguing so that it is accessible by researchers. The artifact storage is being reorganized and stored correctly. It is a sometimes long and tedious process, but in the end all the collections will be preserved, accessible and available for exhibition development.

As we become more successful at marketing, providing programs and making folks aware of what we can provide, expectations and demand will build. In fact, we are already seeing the results of our work! Our audiences, stakeholders and partners expect a higher standard of professionalism, transparency and prouct - as they should. The challenge we face (like many museums) is to build our internal capacity. The issue is best illustrated by the need to provide curriculum related, relevant, hands-on programming to school children. For years the Hangar Flight Museum has relied on volunteers to provide our Theory of Flight program. In 2015, we were fortunate to be able to hire an education/volunteer manager. As a result of the creation of this new position, our activities to provide new programming, refresh our old offerings and deliver programs 4 and 5 days a week grew very quickly - in fact, it was exciting to hear of teachers returning after years away from the Museum! This year, we were able to hire a part-time interpreter to assist with program development and delivery. Emilia Arone joined the team in February, and brought with her experience as an intern with the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.

Our goal is to have a full complement of staff, aided by passionate and dedicated volunteers. We're not there yet, but one day we will be. As we build our capacity, our abilities to offer better and new experiences to our visitors, volunteers and membership will grow. It will become a continual spiral of upward growth, where we are supported in our efforts by a large network of passionate experts, volunteers, members and staff - and there won't be a chicken or an egg in sight!


We're pleased to have the first six Honour Wall Plaques on display on the Mezzanine level of the Museum! If you were waiting to see what they look like in person, now is the time to stop by! Each plaque is only $250 and is the perfect way to honour a loved one. Corporate plaques are available. The majority of the funds go toward supporting the operations of the Museum. If you would like your contribution to be targeted toward a specific project please contact the Executive Director at execdir@thehangarmuseum.ca

Museum Geeks Unite!
by Anne Lindsay-MacLeod

For the past year, volunteers and staff have been hard at work reorganizing the collections area. We haven't done an official count, but estimate over 20,000 artifacts, books, magazines and artifacts of all shapes and sizes need to be sorted, placed in a proper permanent storage location, cataloged and in some instances carefully conserved. The project began with the renovation of the library and archives storage rooms and, as with all tasks like this, it ran over into the artifact storage room, fondly referred to by staff and volunteers as the 'Birdcage'.

For a museum geek like me, who started in the 'biz' by conserving a grand piano with a Q-tip (really), reorganizing collections is a bit of a dream. Every dusty box we open reminds me of Christmas morning (what will we find?!) Being allowed to handle historically important material, read a war diary or log book, or gaze upon an original 1919 photograph of a squadron of Bristol aircraft over the Swiss Alps makes my day. We've just touched the tip of the iceberg; there is so much more we need to do. Literally years' worth of work and care lays ahead to make our collections accessible and preserve them for future generations, but we are well on our way! Within weeks of getting the archives into a basic level of sorting, we successfully and quickly responded to a number of research requests.

Library reorganization is in process. The shelves were donated by various organizations. As you can see, the Library is clean, bright and welcoming!

The Archives is now solely for archives storage. While the stacks will be closed to general access to ensure security and integrity of the collections, we'll be happy to pull material for researchers.

For years, museums used basic storage methods that could be easily created and installed using material from the local hardware store. We have returned to these roots, and created an inexpensive, adaptable and very useful hanging textile storage system. Now all the uniforms will be located in one area and protected against dust and dirt. The next step is to have volunteers or summer students create cotton storage bags and padded hangers for each uniform. If you want to join in the fun, and become a museum geek like me, give me a call!

Two of the Most Iconic Aviation Engines
Made in the US
Right Here in The Hangar

by Clark Seaborn

Carrying on from the last issue, I now wish to cover two of the most historic American built engines displayed on the mezzanine - namely the Curtiss OX-5 and the Wright J-5. Both of these early engines played a vital role in Canadian aviation history, including the reinforcement of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic. I will refer to airplanes as aeroplanes in this commentary, as it was the most common spelling in the 1920s when these engines were made.

The Curtiss OX-5

At the dawn of the 20th century, in recognition of his expertise in designing and building light weight motorcycle engines, American Glenn Curtiss was invited to join Alexander Graham Bell's Aerial Experiment Association, based in Baddeck Nova Scotia. Besides Curtiss, Bell's team included two bright young engineers, Douglas McCurdy and Casey Baldwin. The results of their combined talents culminated on February 23, 1909 when their Curtiss powered aeroplane, the Silver Dart, lifted off the frozen surface of Bras d'Or Lake with McCurdy at the controls. It marked the first successful flight of an aeroplane in Canada. A non-operating replica of that historic aircraft and its 60 hp V8 engine can be seen hanging in the Museum. After the Silver Dart crashed the association disbanded, and Curtiss went back to the US.

Please visit our website under Announcements to read the rest of this article.

 6th Annual Wings & Wheels

Save the Date
June 17 & 18, 2017 10am-3pm

Spring means a few things to us, one of which is "planning season" for our much-loved Father's Day weekend event! Now is the perfect time to let us know if you would like to bring your vintage vehicle (car or motorcycle) to our event. Please visit our website and click “upcoming events” to find our registration form.

Don't have a vintage vehicle? Don't worry, there are lots of other ways to enjoy this event. Weather permitting, we will be offering Helicopter City Tours again this year in partnership with LR Helicopters. These have become a hit and last year we had two helicopters running all day to ensure everyone who wanted to experience this thrill could do so. We are all about inspiring dreams of flight, and there's no better way than getting you up in the air! (Helicopter City Tours are an additional cost over the gate admission.)

Event tickets will be available starting May 1st online through our website www.thehangarmuseum.ca

Summer Camps

July and August

We are running three different camps this year that are catered to different age groups!

Kids going into Kindergarten or Grade 1 can join us for Little Aviators from July 17-20 or August 8-11. These camps are half a day, so you can register for the morning session (9am-11am) or the afternoon session (1pm-3:30pm). Our youngest flight enthusiasts explore the wonders of a big, blue sky and the things that fly within it! Campers will explore everything from airplanes to stars with hands on activities and crafts!

Kids going into Grade 2 or Grade 3 will love Up, Up, and Away. This camp is running from July 10-13 and July 31-August 3. This camp is full of hands on activities like building parachutes, kites and other things that go up, up, and away!

If your child is going into Grade 4 or Grade 5, Sky Science is the camp for them and the camp date choices are July 24-27 and August 14-17. Keep your eyes on the sky this week as we learn all about different aspects of the sky above us. Campers will explore the night sky by looking at stars and constellations, experiment with flight by designing gliders, and even discover why the sky is blue!

Registration is now available online through our website.

2017 Summer Camps

Upcoming Movie Nights
April and May

April 13 @ 7pm

On Canadian Wings (115 minutes)

This DVD is the definitive history of military aviation in Canada. This fascinating series features dramatic in-flight footage and some unseen historic footage from Canadian operations around the world. Starting with Canada's first flight, it progresses through the First World War, the birth of the RCAF, the Second World War and ends with a look to the future. First aired in 1999.

May 11 @ 7pm

Black Hawk Down (144 minutes)

Winner of two Oscars, Black Hawk Down tells the story of a near disastrous mission in Somalia on October 3rd 1993 to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord. Dropped into the capital city of Mogadishu, these soldiers find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily armed Somalis resulting in the destruction of two US Black Hawk helicopters.