“Women in War,” Development of a New Education Program for Albertans,

The Cause

Developing a new educational program, “Women in War,” to honour the contributions of serving women is the focus of a new project by The Military Museums Foundation.

Since the turn of the 20th century, women’s rights and responsibilities have expanded far beyond the historically marginalized roles in the home, thanks to the passionate efforts of suffragettes and civil rights activists. The Foundation seeks to reflect this powerful change by honouring the stories of women in the Canadian Armed Forces to a new generation.

The Calgary-based Foundation is a non-profit charity which brings Canadian military heritage to life for thousands of Alberta students each year. By providing curriculum-based education programs, the Foundation supports The Military Museums’ mission to Remember, Preserve and Educate.

Each year, the Foundation delivers 30 interactive presentations, tours and art activities to over 10,000 students each year. All programming takes place in the museums where students can meet serving soldiers and veterans with a lived military experience.

Annually, educators in the Foundation develop new programs to illuminate our military heritage. Recently they designed the “Passages of Vimy” and “Break the Cipher” programs among others to commemorate the Great War Centennial.

In “Women in War”, Educators will guide students through an interactive program. They will experience the heroics and hardships faced by serving women for the last 130 years. This program will pair a theatrical presentation with a hands-on artifact tour through the museums’ regimental galleries. This program has the potential to become a tool kit which schools outside the Calgary region can deliver in their classrooms.

“Women in War” will offer unique and fresh perspectives on women’s history, specifically the roles that local Albertan women undertook in responding to Canada’s call to duty. The support of a Field Law Community Fund will enable Alberta’s students to Remember.

Who Will it Benefit?

The new program, “Women in War,” will be delivered to students at all grades as well as university students.

The Foundation delivers programs to students from kindergarten to grade 12. The majority of its interactive presentations, tours and art activities are tailored to hit specific curriculum points in relation to specific grade levels.

This program will be primarily designed for students in grades four to 12. It will also be delivered for many of the cadets, girl guides and brownies, boy scouts and cubs who specifically request programming for their evening visits to the museum. As well, it will appeal to students in girls academies and private schools. Its impact will be enormous as many students and Albertans know little about women's contributions to the Canadian Armed Forces.

With its proximity to nine schools and one university within walking distance of The Military Museums, the programs offered by the Foundation make field trips a cost-effective option.

It will also be adapted to be presented to college or university student groups, as well as specific groups of adults, such as regimental associations, women’s organizations, etc. Often specific groups have travelled to Calgary from outside the province and have included Foundation programming in their travel itineraries.

“Women in War” will also be introduced during the Museum’s evening lecture series which attracts a loyal group of history buffs.

During the Remembrance Day period, the Foundation receives many requests to organize tours and programs for select groups. In November 2015, The Foundation and Museum received over 14,000 people who were interested in its programs, tours and exhibits. It will be offered as well during our Family Day programming.

“Women in War” will reach across many target audiences, and will become an enduring program in the Foundation’s suite of military education programs.