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Heroes and Rascals
Unforgettable Characters from Alberta's Past

Brian Brennan
Brian Brennan Photo

With a wealth of Alberta's rich history to draw on, journalist and popular historian Brian Brennan introduces a host of larger-than-life individuals who have inspired, entertained, promoted, exasperated, and scandalized their fellow Albertans down through the years.

Meet John Brownlee, the premier toppled by a 1930s' sex scandal the likes of which the province had never seen before or since. Or Long Lance, the impostor from North Carolina who successfully masqueraded as a Blackfoot chief and worked as a reporter for the Calgary Herald before heading off to Hollywood to become a movie star. Or Julia Kiniski, the Edmonton aldermanic firebrand who swept through city hall like an invading army leaving accusations about uncontrolled spending and graft strewn in her wake.

On the positive side of the ledger, meet Ernest C. Manning, Alberta's longest-serving premier, who brought in the oil and gas regulations that made it possible for all citizens of the province to benefit from Alberta's most valuable natural resource, and leave Alberta as the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax. Or Betty Mitchell, the popular high school drama teacher who sowed the seeds for Calgary to acquire one of Canada's first professional regional theatres. Or "Smiling" Jack Gallagher, the "can-do" entrepreneur who spent a lifetime convincing people with money to finance his quest for oil in parts of the world where oil had never been found.

The inspiring life stories in Brian's historical collection show that ordinary individuals in this can-do province can achieve greatness through hard work and single-minded determination. The tales of those who have achieved a more dubious honour – infamy – serve as a cautionary reminder that there are many lessons to be learned from the foibles of the past.

Heroes and Rascals, offered as an engaging PowerPoint presentation, is a salute to those who have lived within Alberta's borders but outside the borders of convention.

Contact: Speakers’ Bureau of Alberta© 1.866.420.3338 toll free. email: info@speakersalberta.com

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