Okotoks Arts and Learning Campus

The Town, joint-venture partner, Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools and project stakeholders Foothills School Division, Bow Valley College, the Okotoks Public Library and Community Futures Highwood, are pleased to share details about the Okotoks Arts and Learning Campus (OALC) project!

Construction is well-underway and an approximate timeline for the project milestones is as follows:

Winter 2020: exterior completed/interior construction begins
Summer 2021: campus interior complete/ready for opening
Fall 2021: existing library building renovations begin
Winter 2021: renovations complete for new Bow Valley College campus
Spring 2022 – opening Ethel Tucker Park and outdoor plaza

The vision for this project is inclusive of both the Town and stakeholders and guides the future of the project. Click the button below to read project vision.

Project Vision

This exciting and transformational project will increase vitality downtown and enhance the ability to offer post-secondary opportunities in the long-term. It will also create a strong anchor for this area and free-up potential tax generating commercial space along Elizabeth Street. 

By anchoring the downtown, the OALC project aligns with Council’s strategic directions and reflects the foundations established in the Economic Development Strategic Plan and the Roger Brooks Action Plan to achieve a vibrant space that strengthens the downtown. 

To review the updated renderings, site plans and FAQs, please see below or the Related Publications area on the right-hand side of the page.

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More Information
New OALC Renderings

To see new renderings and site plants of the campus project, click the button below.

OALC Renderings

OALC SITE PLANS

Frequently Asked Questions

To learn more about the project, please click the button below.

FAQs

Project Timeline

This following image illustrates the anticipated timeline of the OALC project.  The Town will share information about project milestones at each stage of the project. Click the button below to review the timeline.

Timeline

Ether Tucker's Legacy

The Legacy of Ethel Tucker

The Town of Okotoks remains committed to recognizing and protecting the legacy of Ethel Tucker.  Her volunteer contributions to Okotoks are extensive and helped shape Okotoks into the wonderful community it is today.

Ethel passed away in 1995 and friends offered this tribute: “Ethel stood out as a symbol of all the pioneer women of Western Canada – hard working, courageous, bearing pain without complaint, always ready with a helping hand. Her heart was as big as the outdoors.”

Background

Ethel Tucker was born in Davisburg in 1912, the fourth of eight children of Frank and Beatrice Tucker who came to the Davisburg area, north of Okotoks, in 1905 and established a farm there. The family moved to a farm south of Okotoks in 1926. This farm was originally part of the Lineham Ranch.

She never married, however, she considered the citizens of Okotoks to be her large, extended family.  Ethel devoted her life to the community as a tireless volunteer. She held numerous jobs over the years, beginning as farm help and cook on the family farm. She also worked at the High River Hospital, Willingdon Hotel, Wentworth’s General Store, Berry’s Drug Store and King’s Pharmacy. She then worked full-time at the Sears catalogue office from 1975-1982. An accident on while on the job led to the amputation of part of her leg, but that did not slow her down.


 Ethel Tucker at Sears catalogue office, June 1979

Community Volunteerism

  • Member of the Okotoks Agricultural Society
  • Founding member of the Okotoks and District Historical Society
  • Member of the Order of the Eastern Star
  • Member of the Okotoks United Church, volunteering in numerous capacities including the choir and acting as leader of Canadian Girls in Training program and Young People’s Group
  • Coordinator/canvasser for Canadian Red Cross.
  • President of the Okotoks Branch of the Canadian Red Cross
  • Coordinator/canvasser for Arthritis Society
  • Helped to establish and then volunteered with the Okotoks and District Interfaith Food Bank (1984-1995)
  • Life-long hockey fan; volunteered as ticket-taker for all Okotoks Oilers and Bisons’ home games
  • Volunteer with Okotoks Horse Show Association


Past Honoured Royal Lady Colleen Neish, at right, of Okotoks Royal Purple,
presents $200 cheque to Ethel Tucker of Okotoks Food Bank, Oct. 1990.

Honours and Awards

Ethel became the town’s first Citizen of the Year in 1977.  She was also named a Celebration ‘88 Award Recipient (volunteer recognition program for the Calgary Winter Olympics) and was the recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship in 1992, presented by Lions Club Internal Foundation and the Okotoks Lions Club.


C
elebration '88 medal winners, recognizing sport and  community involvement, include L-R:
Ethel Tucker, Cory Beatt, Dennis Littler, Don Gilbert (in back), Pat Jensen and Harry Morrison.

Ethel Tucker Centennial Park

The park was originally called Okotoks Centennial Park and was officially created as a federal centennial project in 1967. It was renamed in 1995 to honour Ethel Tucker who was considered the town’s greatest supporter. Mayor Sandi Kennedy was assisted by Ethel’s siblings to unveil the bronze sign embedded in a sandstone rock in a ceremony in June 1995.

In April 2020, Okotoks Town Council approved a bylaw to ensure Ethel Tucker Centennial Park remains an important part of the Town’s future.  The bylaw indicates that the park will be maintained at the same size but in a slightly different location.  The bylaw protects the legacy of Ethel Tucker and ensures the name Ethel Tucker Centennial Park is protected moving forward.


Mayor Sandi Kennedy with members of the Tucker family unveiling park sign, June 1995

Plaza

As part of the OALC project design, an outdoor plaza will be incorporated.  The fully accessible plaza will be a central gathering space for the community that will provide areas for a variety of events and activities.  Click the button below to see the plaza renderings.

Plaza Renderings

 

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