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Eric Harvie, Alberta’s most generous philanthropist

The Story

Perseverance and an unshakable belief in Alberta, along with a little luck and a lot of oil, made Eric Harvie a rich man. Harvie was eager to give back to his adopted province. As described in this CBC Radio excerpt, he was one of the most generous philanthropists in Canada. At the top of his agenda was bringing the arts to Alberta. Some of his major achievements included establishing the Glenbow Museum, overseeing the creation of Heritage Park and the Calgary Zoo, and funding the Banff School of Fine Arts. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Between Ourselves
Broadcast Date: Feb. 27, 1976
Narrator: Denis Ethier
Duration: 7:47
Credit: The image is part of the Glenbow Museum collection.

Did You know?

• Eric Lafferty Harvie was born in Orillia, Ont., on April 2, 1892. His family moved to Calgary when he was 13. Harvie died in Calgary on Jan. 11, 1975.


• Harvie was a Calgary lawyer who struck it rich when huge reserves of oil were discovered in Leduc and Redwater, Alta., in 1947 and 1948.


• Harvie also served overseas in the First World War.

• In 1919, he married Dorothy Jean Southam, of the famous newspaper family. The couple had three children.


• Harvie was a passionate collector of objects representing the history and culture of Western Canada. His impressive collection was donated to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.


• Harvie was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1967.




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