We are often asked the question: “Where did the idea for Alberta Medieval come from?”
The answer is a bit of a story.
I was young in the St. Lawrence seaway area. Everywhere one turned, there was the evidence of history. The history of the First Nations, the history of English and French explorers. The history of growing pains as a new nation found its feet and began to define itself. Upper Canada Village was less than an hour away and I can recall many trips and experiences there.
But the real foundation of a dream came during teenage years in Nova Scotia.
Fortress Louisbourg was not far from home for us and we made many visits to this amazing site. I am in my fifties now, but I still remember the impact that the staff and experiences at the Fortress left me.
I still remember the sound of the shuttle on the loom and the feel of the tension of the warp. I remember how it felt when the tools were placed in my hands and, suddenly, I was carding raw wool. I recall the smell (not the most pleasant!!) of the wool being washed and dyed. I felt that I could clearly imagine what it was like to live during that time. It sparked a love, not only of history, but of weaving that remains to this day.
It was not so long ago, it seems, that I learned about Guedelon Castle, in France. Now, as an adult, I could look back upon a lifetime around historical reenactors, historians and hobbyists. All of the skills that I had acquired over the course of a life-time almost seemed to have been a path that lead to this place. Together with other members of a dedicated team, we could bring a love of hands-on learning to a whole new generation. We could bring history to life.
We can do that.
We have Alberta know-how. We are Alberta strong. We are Alberta creative.
It didn’t need to be someone else’s dream. It didn’t need to be something happening in another country.
We could build an adventure.
Let the adventure begin.