The Insiders' Calgary


256 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-919493-03-3





Edited by Penny Williams
Reviewed by Les Harding

Les Harding is author of The Voyages of Lesser Men: Thumbnail Sketches
in Canadian Exploration.


Is there life after the Stampede? Do they all wear cowboy hats and light their cigars with twenty dollar bills? Yes to the first question. A deafening no to the second and third. Calgary is neither cow-town nor vulgar parvenu. The city of Calgary has become an interesting and even sophisticated place to live, work and play.

Written by more than a score of native Calgarians, some of whom were even born there, The Insiders’ Calgary contains a lot more than the standard list of hanging plant restaurants or museum hours and phone numbers, though that sort of information is included. The authors are obviously proud of their city and their province, but their comments, for a book of this type, are refreshingly wry and honest. We are given readable little essays, five or ten pages, on the newcomer to Calgary, early Calgary, Calgarians, the Boom, the Oil Patch, the Petroleum Club, the Chinook, the Stampede, the Glenbow Museum, art galleries, art in public places, bookstores, theatre, classical music, popular music, movies, urban walks, parks, organized sports, jogging, skiing, Banff and popular getaways, shopping, restaurants, bars, and the Alberta Liquor Control Board. A list of emergency phone numbers and several amusing cartoons from the Calgary Sun are also included.

Just the thing for the newcomer or tourist to Calgary.


“The Insiders' Calgary,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,