• Museum historical women farming

In The Community: Public Programs and Lectures

… We come to you!


Book a Culture & Heritage specialist to deliver a program in the comfort of your own facility. Programs range from an hour to an hour and a half in length and cover a variety of topics. Presentations include an informative slideshow lecture and discussion on the subject chosen. When appropriate, Museum artifacts are made available for examination and further discussion.


*Please note that due to current COVID-19 safety measures, all programs are available to be delivered virtually.*


Duration: 1 – 1.5hrs

Cost: $50+GST

Travel fee (for organizations outside of Okotoks town limits): $0.56/ km

These programs are made possible by the generous support of the Okotoks & District Historical Society.

Programs Available:
School Days

Nothing quite evokes memories of school days past like reminiscing about long treks to school on horseback or the sight of that imposing leather strap! We delve into the history of schools in Okotoks and district, sharing historical photographs and anecdotes from oral histories in this revealing and entertaining presentation.

Toys Over Time

From porcelain dolls to stereoscopes and domino sets, toys throughout history tell stories of the lives lead by those who cherished them. In this whimsical and nostalgia-inducing presentation we look at the toys and games of children and adults alike through history, with special attention given to the handmade toys of the pioneer children of the prairies.

Pioneer Christmas

Using photos, anecdotes and historic displays, this seasonal program looks at holiday traditions that came to Okotoks nearly 150 years ago. Learn the origins of some popular Christmas traditions, from glass tree baubles to Christmas stockings and shoes! Local history and traditions will also be explored, revealing everything from the Grand Central Hotel’s Christmas dinner menu to amusing anecdotes involving local personalities.

A Field of Dreams: The History of Farming in Okotoks

The indelible spirit and unwavering determination of early farmers and homesteaders is celebrated in this presentation which will focus on the early farming history of the Okotoks area. From crop yields so great Town officials were afraid too many people would be attracted to the district to hail the size of hen’s eggs destroying an 800 acre crop – we discuss the highs and lows over the years in the district.

Halloween Hijinks: History of Halloween in Okotoks

Through historical photographs and anecdotes from oral histories we share the pranks of the day going back a hundred years as we discuss where the traditions of Halloween originated. This program is offered in October.

Animals of Okotoks

This presentation will focus on the history of animals in Okotoks – from their significance in agriculture and farming, to some more bizarre anecdotes involving local personalities and encounters with wild animals.

Okotoks: A Prairie Community

Archival photographs and anecdotal stories are shared as we explore the development of Okotoks. From significant landmarks such as the Sheep River and Big Rock, to entrepreneurs and memorable personalities, the fascinating history of our Town is uncovered in this engaging presentation. At the end of the presentation time will be made to examine a number of artifacts and share one’s own thoughts and stories.

Okotoks: People & Personalities

The history of a place is often best understood by the many people and personalities that have called it home. In this presentation we discuss some of Okotoks’ best known personalities and the contributions they made. Some lesser known tales and amusing anecdotes just might be shared as well…

Multiculturalism in Early Okotoks

This presentation discusses pioneers who came to this area from overseas with the promise of free land. From the hardships endured to the integral ways these newcomers helped build our community, stories and anecdotes are shared revealing the foundations upon which Okotoks was built.  

Pioneer Women

The lives of women in pioneer times are explored in this unique program. Only single women could work outside the home in the mid-1800s and early 1900s and jobs were few. Once married – as was the expectation – a woman’s duties shifted to the household. And the duties were plentiful! This presentation reveals how, with remarkable determination and strength of character, these women helped their families and the town grow and thrive leaving an indelible impression.

"Just Wait 5 minutes": The Weather and Alberta

From droughts to floods to blizzards, the environment’s impact on the changing landscape and lives of Okotoks residents will be explored. Oftentimes amusing, and sometimes heart-wrenching, we will explore the fascinating ways weather has shaped the land and lives of those living in Alberta through use of historical photographs and oral histories.

Lost Okotoks

Okotoks has, historically, been home to some unique businesses. Millineries, creameries, flour mills and liveries were among the specialized stores that served the Okotoks community in the early 1900s.  However, these businesses have since been lost from our landscape. Some were destroyed by fire and others simply became obsolete or victims of change. Using maps, photos, newspaper advertisements, anecdotes and stories this presentation explores the ‘lost’ history of Okotoks.

Boom and Bust: The History of Oil in Alberta

The history of oil in Alberta is woven into the very fabric of our province. A rich topic filled with highs and lows, complex characters and quirky stories, this presentation explores this fascinating history, revealing the role this industry has had in how Albertans define and value their province.


Public Art & Alberta

A look at the history and support for the arts in Alberta, with particular attention given to Okotoks and district. This will include discussion centered on the communities’ role in establishing the Okotoks Art Gallery, public art in Okotoks and the Foothills District, as well as Calgary and Edmonton. Local artists will be highlighted.

Interesting Artifacts

Featuring interesting and illuminating artifacts from the Okotoks Museum & Archives collection. This presentation will discuss what these artifacts reveal about our local history as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum and our practices.

Okotoks & WWI

                  In this presentation we discuss key events of the war as they unfolded on the battlefield and on the home front. Okotoks’ role in the war, from the men sent overseas to the local horses sought out by British Remount and more, will be explored in detail.

Pysanka: Egg Decorating Workshop

Learn about the Ukrainian tradition of decorating eggs while creating your own using a combination of wax, pysanky dye and live flame - just in time for Easter!

Rural Alberta Historical Museum Farming