July Newsletter
News from Hangar Flight Museum

Updated Operational Hours

Now Open Thursdays

We are continuing our slow reopening process as we keep the health and safety of our visitors and staff at the top of mind. We have now added Thursdays back to our hours of operation! You can come check out the planes on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday weekly. 

We do continue to recommend that you book your tickets online, but we are also taking walk-in visitors. There is hand sanitizer available throughout the museum and we recommend that you wear a mask during your visit for increased protection. 

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Heritage Day Long Weekend

July 30 to August 3

We will be open on a few additional days coming up for Heritage Day. Thank you to everyone who came out for the Canada Day weekend, it was encouraging to see Calgarians exploring their city in a safe way. We will be open from 10am-4pm on July 30 and 31 as well as August 1, 2, and 3. We do recommend that you book your tickets in advance to guarantee your admission time, though we will also be taking walk-up admissions. 


Message from the Executive Director

Brian Desjardins

In June, we were pleased to be able to have our first in-person meeting of the Board of Directors since the start of COVID-19. In order to follow social distancing guidelines, tables were setup in the main hangar at a 6 foot distance between each director. While board business has continued with monthly ‘virtual’ meetings, it was wonderful to see everyone at The Hangar. I can say that the Board has been making great progress on committee work, including the building committee, collections advisory group, and new advancement (fund development) committee. More to come.

We continue to move forward on important projects including the installation of a much-needed humidity system in the main hangar, as well patching repair of the tent hangar. I'd like to thank the City of Calgary for their financial assistance through the capital infrastructure program to support the new humidity system. As we are stewards to protect and preserve many City assets (aircraft and engines), they understand how important it is to take care of our historical building that was built in 1941 as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Program.  

Three new directors were recently added to our Board - moving to a total of 13 directors. Our directors come to the table with an ideal mixture of experience and expertise to help lead the association forward including work on a new strategic plan – to be released later this year. I believe the renewed interest in participating on the Board is a sign that we have been making progress with many exciting initiatives at The Hangar. There is much work to do and I have every confidence that we will continue to get things done. See our full list of our Board of Directors: 

Brian with Richard Gotfried 

I am pleased to tell you that in recent weeks I was able to meet MLA Richard Gotfried. I met with Richard taking him for a tour of our facilities and talked about some exciting initiatives as we continue to "reach higher altitude!" I was able to congratulate Richard in the passing of his Private Member’s Bill 201: Strategic Aviation Advisory Council Act. We have been asked to be involved with the Councils future work and bring a historical perspective on aviation in Alberta.

Challenging times brings together even more so the community of Calgary. Sol Zia, Executive Director, Calgary Hotel Association, visited me at the Museum to say hi, take a tour, and chat about working together to boost tourism and staycations. We discussed what the Museum can do to offer first-rate visits exclusive to hoteliers in Calgary. Staff is working hard to offer a ‘familiarization’ tour to hotel managers in the coming weeks. As well, I recently met with Luke Azevedo, Film & Creative Industries Commissioner for Calgary. Our museum is filled with many civilian and military aircraft, with thousands of artifacts that can 'play a role' in local film industry productions.

As we continue to make progress on our reopening process, and ensure we are protecting Canadian aviation history, it is so important to have community engagement. It is our desire to move forward from being one of Calgary's hidden gems to being a "must-visit" attraction in YYC. 

Brian with Sol Zia.

New Virtual Reality Exhibit

Ace Academy

We are proud to host the travelling exhibition Ace Academy: Flight Experience, produced by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, starting the August long weekend!

Ace Academy is a digital interactive exhibition space where players enter an immersive environment and activate the intuitive experience by simply moving their bodies. Authentic aircraft imagery takes centre stage as players fly a realistic rendering of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum’s Sopwith Ship Camel biplane. Moving their arms up and down, and tilting their bodies, players manoeuver an airplane on screen – dodging enemy aircraft and aligning themselves to fire. 

The flight experience is based on Ace Academy, an educational game produced by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in partnership with SEED Interactive. The game features other aircraft from the Museum’s extensive First World War collection as it guides players through levels that explain how aircraft fly. Ace Academy, and its sequel Ace Academy: Black Flight, are available for free on the App Store and Google Play. These games complement the exhibit, extending players’ engagement and learning beyond the flight experience. 

“Much like aviation technology affected the development of this field over a century ago, today’s digital technology is affecting the way museums engage with their audience. We are taking a number of strategic steps at our museums to broaden our national and international reach by leveraging exciting new technologies, and expanding their use to include travelling exhibitions.” 

  • Christina Tessier, President and CEO of Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation 

This travelling exhibit is on loan from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The experience will be incorporated into our new one-way directional path throughout the museum, and is motion activated with no touch points. 



Just in time for the 101st anniversary of Freddie McCall's amazing emergency landing on top of the Calgary Exhibition merry-go-round, we've been talking about barnstorming on our social media accounts! 

Coming up later this month we'll be playing a Jeopardy-style trivia game with the category Famous Aviators and some potential upcoming #fastfacts segments include: British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, Avro, and North American Aviation. 
We've added a much more challenging puzzle to our puzzle account. There are more pieces (252), and the pieces start out rotated, so you'll also have to figure out which way is up! This would be a great long weekend game to play. 
New puzzle
It's fun to see our members and visitors engage with our games, and learn new things about aviation history! We're really treating our social media pages as an extension of a visit to the museum. 

Exhibit Update

Treasures from the Vault

As you come to visit us here at the Museum you may have noticed the small exhibit case when you first enter. This exhibit has contained a series of rotating artifacts from our collection which are not normally on display and give a glimpse into more of what we have in storage.

Going forward, we will be expanding this rotation to include artifacts chosen by our community including volunteers, staff, board members and our community at large, highlighting more of our collection, and even some personal aviation-related collections!

Read on to find out more about the first exhibit, curated by collections summer student, Jessica:


When first approached with the idea of creating my own mini exhibit I was really excited to have the opportunity to build something that had my own personal touch to it and would resonate with our visitors. In trying to do so, I created some key objectives that I want this exhibit to accomplish. I want it to be an opportunity to build something that is both engaging and eye catching, but that also has a sense of familiarity to anyone coming to visit us. The difficult part was choosing specific items for display since we have so many interesting artifacts, while also seeking not to bombard visitors with a case full of items with no consistency or relevancy to each other. It was while working through the collection that I came across the perfect object that I felt not only achieved what I wanted but would help set the tone for the exhibit.

Aircraft Marshaling Bats

Not only are they meant to be bright and eye catching, but they are also unique and something that would work as a focal point from which I could build an exhibit around. From here I decided to have an overarching theme for the exhibit and decided on the idea of aircraft safety and the onboard objects that allow us to fly with a piece of mind. I think that this is a very interesting topic because it brings to light that like with anything there’s always this sense of risk but at the same time invokes the idea of adventure. I know personally I’m not always mindful of all the objects around me that keep us safe, but given the uncertainty of life I am happy they are there.

Starting late July stop by to take a peek at what else has changed in this exhibit case!

Global News reported on how museums are strategizing to reopen in May 2020 after being closed for approximately two months. Executive Director, Brian Desjardins, discussed our plans for a soft reopening. Read more. 

CBC reported on the CFIB relaunch grant. It is welcomed funding for small businesses and non-profits but is not enough. Executive Director, Brian Desjardins, spoke to the museum's lost revenue and increased expenses during this time. Read more.

Calgary Journal reported on how virtual reality is making museums more interactive. Read more.

403-250-3752 - 4629 McCall Way NE Calgary, AB T2E 8A5