A Century of Aviation in Alberta

John Chalmers

This talk will highlight some of Alberta’s most fascinating aviation history events and personalities, as well as ongoing efforts in the province to conserve this heritage – all with amazing photos and video footage.

Come learn about the earliest flights in 1909, through to the bush flying years that cemented Edmonton’s status as “Gateway to the North,” to the Second World War and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Also hear about some of Edmonton’s celebrity air visitors (and their adventures), including: Wiley Post, George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Kent, and Richarda Morrow-Tait. Then discover how the Alberta Aviation Museum and other heritage institutions in the province are keeping that history alive through restoration of significant aircraft; historically important re-enactment flights; and commemorative events.

John Chalmers is an accomplished speaker and writer with deep ties to aviation history. In his younger days he spent six years in the RCAF Reserve, and today serves as a director of the Alberta Aviation Museum, and as historian for Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. He is a national member of CAHS and the Ottawa chapter, and has contributed numerous articles to the CAHS Journal and other aviation magazines. His latest book is Navigator Brothers, based on the memoirs and letters of his father, a navigation instruction in the BCATP in Alberta, and his uncle Alfred, who died in Denmark during the Second World War while serving as a Lancaster navigator with RAF 101 Squadron.