In April 1976, six people had the idea to start a Court in Calgary, Alberta. They got together and organized a committee and started to work. They held meetings to set the ground work on what needed to be done to start a new EMPIRE.
After several of these meetings, an application was made to the Mother Court of Canada, (Vancouver, BC), for a Charter in Calgary. The charter was granted.
It was not an easy task to choose the name of Calgary’s court as our capital city of Edmonton had already chosen the Wild Rose, our provincial flower as part of their court name. Instead, we looked to a weather phenomenon that occurs frequently throughout our winters.
Thus The Imperial Court of the Chinook Arch was born. Chinook is the Cree Indian term for “warm winds or warm breath” from folklore in this region. In the middle of winter the temperature can be as low as -30 degrees Celsius and in a matter of a few hours rise to a balmy +10 degrees Celsius, which is like the coming of spring in the middle of winter.
Until Calgary received its Charter in June of 1976, it operated under the charter of the Scarth Street Society. Once our own Charter was received, plans were put into motion for Calgary’s first Coronation in January 1977.
Coronation was held at the downtown Holiday Inn, in front of a sold out crowd. Calgary saw the election of its first Emperor and Empress, Jack and Veronica Dawn. HMIM the Empress of Canada, Ted Northe presided over the evening’s events.
It was also at this time that Brian Sargent was elevated to be the Empress of Canada’s official representative for the province of Alberta. With the assistance of the first Emperor and Empress, the position of Czar Ultima of Alberta was created.
Many changes have occurred over the years, but we remain the oldest LGBTQ-founded Organization still operating in the City of Calgary. Our Empire runs from Red Deer south to the US border (and as we laughingly say “including the Rockies”).
We have a Board of Directors elected at the Annual General Meeting held annually in June, as well as appointed representation from our Trustees known as the “Head of the Trustees”. The Trustees ensure that the objectives of the Court are maintained. The two Reigning Monarchs also sit on the Board.
The Court has operated as a Social Association raising funds in a not-for-profit manner (we raise money for non-profit organizations), and our aim is to ensure the maximum amount of money raised is given out to local organizations and charities at the Annual Charity Ball
The aptly named “Annual Charity Ball” was tokened during the 16th Reign with Emperor XVI Little John and Empress XVI Syreeta Santana.
Now, well into our fourth decade of fundraising, we look forward to continuing our service to the people of our Realm.
LONG LIVE THE MONARCHY!!!