Heritage, Arts & Culture

The quality lifestyle in Olds reflects the values and interests of our residents, which translates into a strong sense of community pride. 

Where to Visit

  • Explore historic Uptowne Olds with great shopping, restaurants and public art features
  • The Town of Olds is proud to introduce a vibrant art culture referred to as "Bergen Rocks" along the Highway 27 Sculpture Pathway.  Click on the link above to learn more about each sculpture carved from stone from the artists themselves.
  • Visit the state of the art TransCanada Theatre for music and theatre
  • Go to the Community Learning Campus
  • Stroll into Centennial Park, Cornerstone Arts Common or the Highway 27 Sculpture Pathway to learn about Olds' history and celebrate its arts community.

Heritage

How did Olds get its name?

The year 1890 marks the beginning of the settlement which became the town of Olds. When the rail line reached the sixth siding (Olds) out of Calgary, a section foreman named David Shannon arrived on an open handcar. Mr. Shannon, a native of Ireland, was experienced at railway construction, as he had worked on the building of the Underground in London, England. At the Sixth Siding, Mr. Shannon provided living quarters for his family and established squatter's rights to a quarter section of land. This gained them the distinction of being the earliest residents of Olds.

On 27 July 1891, the first through train made the trip from Calgary to south Edmonton. That same month the CPR took over the operation of the C & E Railway and released its official list of names for the sidings and stations along the route. Sixth Siding had already been designated as a railway station point and work started on the building of the station and water tank.

A committee of CPR officials, charged with selecting names for the points along the line, suggested "Shannon", but this honour was declined by Mr. Shannon and the town site was named for a CPR traffic manager, George Olds. He was born in Gloucestershire, England in 1832. He came to Canada as a young man and worked for a number of railways in Canada and the United States, returning to Canada in 1886 to join Canadian Pacific as a General Traffic Manager. He held this position until his retirement 10 years later. George Olds is buried in the cemetery at Airdrie, Alberta. It appears that even before he retired from employment with the CPR in 1896, he lived for a time in the settlement that was named for him, running a store.

Heritage Resources

Town of Olds Heritage Management Plan

Town of Olds Heritage Inventory

Arts

Public Art

Public art is essential to the healthy growth of a community. It creates a vibrant sense of place and contributes to a community’s reputation and identity for both residents and visitors. Art provides people with the opportunity for the exchange of ideas and expression.

We have a strong arts community in our region, (from Statistics Canada’s 2001 census), Olds was noted as one of the Prairie province’s rural municipalities with high concentrations of artists comprising 1.4% of the local labour force, nearly double the national average.

CALL FOR ARTISTS!

Cornerstone Art Commons Murals

The Town of Olds is currently welcoming Expressions of Interest (EOI) from local artists to create murals this summer for three of the 4 ft. x 8 ft. art frames located at the Cornerstone Art Commons (46 Street and 65 Avenue). Work is to be completed by September 20, 2019.

For details on how to apply by July 19, 2019, please click here.

Carving out a Legacy - Bergen Rocks!

The Town of Olds is proud to introduce a vibrant art culture along Highway 27 Sculpture Pathway. The first two of ten sculptures are now in place. Just to the west of Olds in a small hamlet called Bergen, Alberta, international sculptors are invited to create monumental sculptures. To learn more about each sculpture carved from stone from the artists themselves visit Bergen Rocks Symposium.  

Culture

The Town of Olds holds special events throughout the year that increase our community's connectedness.