The first Europeans to live and work in the Rocky Mountains were hunters and miners. The mountains are rich in minerals of all type and the Canmore region -- just south of Banff -- has especially good coal deposits.
The Canmore Miners’ Union Hall has been part of this community for more than a century and the building is one of the oldest in the town. Completed in 1913, it was built to serve as the union office for local coal miners. The building was one of the first in town to have electric lights. The miners union helped improve working conditions, safety and miners' wages.
Coal mining has ceased in Alberta and obviously the mining jobs have also disappeared, so there is no need for a Miners Union in Canmore anymore. Ownership of the Union Hall was transfered to the town and the building underwent extensive restorations and modernization beginning in the early 1980s. As you might expect, the function of the building has undergone a transformation as well. Now it serves as a community gathering place for weddings, plays, fundraisers, dances, conferences and other social functions. If you're interested, the hall is available for rent.