The Fairmont Palliser Celebrates Centennial with Amnesty
Calgary, Alta Tuesday, March 11, 2014
So bring back that fork, or—better yet—the missing gargoyle from The Rimrock’s fireplace!
This year, The Fairmont Palliser will celebrate its centennial on June 1, 2014. To honour the countdown to the 100th anniversary, the hotel is launching an amnesty program to collect hotel memorabilia. The public is encouraged to give up* items ‘borrowed’ over the last 100 years with no questions asked. Starting on June 1, the hotel will host a series of events throughout the year to honour its history, alumni and community while it also invites the world to visit during the milestone anniversary.
“We’re creating a ‘history alley’ display on the boulevard level of the hotel and also pleading for information surrounding the whereabouts of a special ornate detail belonging on top of the mantel on our famous fireplace in our Rimrock restaurant – a bird-like gargoyle,” said Dan McGowan, general manager. “The missing gargoyle was originally a part of a set, and today, we begin the search to have it returned. We also hope to retrieve all sorts of Palliser memorabilia from our community to put together our display.”
The hotel can pinpoint the year the gargoyle was last seen in a photograph taken in 1997. “There are numerous rumors on how, when or why the gargoyle went missing, but we have no true evidence. We value any new fact to help us learn more about it,” said McGowan. The hotel is also extending a special incentive to the public whereby any one** person who seeks to return the missing gargoyle in one piece will be honoured with a weekend stay on the hotel’s exclusive Fairmont Gold Floor.
In basements and closets throughout Calgary, there are countless pieces of Palliser memorabilia that have become personal treasures and wonderful memories for those who have “collected” these items over the last century. From silver and china to historic signs and photographs; as well as postcards, menus and glassware and art, individuals may send items to the hotel for inclusion in the boulevard level display.
“A set of CPR silver dining spoons have already been sent to us with no return address! We simply cannot wait to see what else the public surrenders in the spirit of celebration of our castle by the tracks,” said Jacqueline Tyler, communications manager.
Those with submissions should include their name and contact details, as well as fun stories or anecdotes about the provenance of the piece. Memorabilia may be sent to The Fairmont Palliser, 133 – 9th Ave. S.W. Calgary, Alberta, attention: Communications Manager. For information about the memorabilia search please email email@example.com.
*All items received will not be returned rather donated to the hotel’s archives and be treasured in-house for the next century.
**One certificate available for the return of the gargoyle; must be redeemed on Friday/Saturday night only and be shown as proof upon check-in.
ABOUT THE FAIRMONT PALLISER
Since 1914, The Fairmont Palliser has been the city's premier address, the cornerstone of Calgary's hospitality industry and a landmark building that is rich in history and architecture. For almost a century, The Fairmont Palliser has been the luxury Calgary hotel of choice to celebrate special occasions, and to welcome Royalty, celebrities, and visiting heads of states and nations from all around the world. For reservations or additional information please visit fairmont.com/palliser or call (800) 441-1414. Become a fan of The Fairmont Palliser Join our online communities at everyonesanoriginal.com, facebook.com/TheFairmontPalliser, twitter.com/fairmont_pal, and instagram.com/fairmontpalliser. For career opportunities, visit facebook.com/fairmontcareers.
Historic Images Available.
ABOUT THE RIMROCK FIREPLACE
When the Palliser opened in 1914, the future Rimrock restaurant was divided between the bar room to the north and the café to the south. “The café, it is expected, will be one of the most popular public rooms in the hotel,” wrote Irene Keane in the Western Standard Illustrated Weekly. Keane highlighted the fireplace in her description of the hotel’s interior:
One very notable feature in it is the huge open fireplace, with a carved heraldic design and carved wooden mantel, the iron plate backing the fire is a historic link with the civil war in England, bearing the words “Fairfax Conqueror, 1649,” with an embossed representation of General Fairfax on horseback. This came from Montreal, and is evidently a family heirloom.
The heraldic design features such images as a railway locomotive and a sickle.
The café was later renamed the Grill Room, and in 1938, it became the Palliser Coffee Shop. R.B. Bennett, who lived in the Palliser for many years (including his tenure as prime minister from 1930 to 1935), used to sit at a table next to the fireplace every morning when he was resident in the hotel.
In 1962, the Coffee Shop was renovated to become the Rimrock restaurant. During construction, architect Earle Morrison hoped to remove the massive fireplace, which blocked the way from the dining room to the new kitchen. In a demonstration of how great a landmark the Palliser had become to the city, Calgarians who considered the fireplace a landmark organized a letter-writing campaign; the decision was reversed, and the attractive hearth became an essential feature of the new Rimrock Dining Room.
ABOUT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of more than 65 luxury properties around the globe, inc. The luxury brand's distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging including Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia service and culturally rich experiences. Fairmont balances the company’s economic, environmental and social priorities and provides the framework for responsible hotel operations through the Sustainability Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 105 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residence clubs, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit fairmont.com.