A Clive family is turning a local building into a cultural-hub.
On May 23 the Morton Historical Multi-Cultural Centre held a fundraiser for the Morton Block Building.
Laurie Hermary is the present owner of the building and hopes to turn it into a centre where cultures can be shared and experienced by the community of Clive and for visitors in the area.
The building, which was built in 1908 has been in the family for five generations. Materials were brought in from Lacombe to Clive by horse and wagon. During construction, a windstorm shifted the two-story (50×60 ft structure) to the north.
Not bothered enough by the architectural change they kept on building until they discovered the roof that was built for the building did not have enough pitch to it. This caused water to pool and a second roof was built.
A little bit of wind didn’t take down the Morton Block and neither did the fires in 1920, 1937 and 1954 that destroyed most of the commercial parts of the village at the time.
In the present day, the block features ‘Grandma’s Kitchen,’ a backroom which will feature tradition arts and crafts from different cultures and areas of the province and world. Upstairs are 17 rooms which Hermary hopes to convert and utilize for group rentals and classes.
“We want a place that will allow others to share their culture because they know their culture the best.”
She said they are currently in what they consider the first phase of generating funds for restoration but will soon open a sweat lodge.
The Morton family has seven generations in the Village of Clive, four generations of Mortons were at the fundraiser.
Kennethe (McLeod) Hermary, proudly known as ‘the oldest living Morton living in the area,’ worked in the old general store growing up and continues helping out with fundraisers working in the old store over 75 years later. During the fundraiser, she spent the day teaching her great-grandchild Laz Smith how to work behind the counter.
The day also featured performances from Chubby Cree drum group, Rosedale Valley Dance Studio, Red Deer Ukraine Dancers, the Cole family, Christina families from Clive, and Leo Reimche. The Mayor of Clive, MLA Ron Orr and Mrs. Canada Globe Lorelei Higgins spoke during the fundraiser as well.
Cubby Cree Grandmother Carol Powder closed the ceremony with a round dance song, inviting the audience to participate.
The centre has been working with Burman University and local volunteers but Hermary said they are still in need helping hands with projects and future fundraising efforts.
“It has been a while, it’s a flower beginning to bloom now though.”
For donation and volunteer information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.