Coutts Centre hosting Open House

The Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage is opening its doors to the University community this weekend.

Located near Nanton, Alta., the Coutts Centre will be open to members of the University community on Sunday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for drop-in style, self-guided tours of the property.

Dr. Jim Coutts (LL.D. '12), a southern Alberta-based art collector, political advisor and philanthropist, formally turned over his family homestead property and a significant portion of his art collection to the University of Lethbridge last summer.

Since then, the Coutts Centre has played host to numerous horticultural groups, community members and organizations with an interest in prairie art, history or land preservation.

The more than 100-year-old property once belonged to Coutts's grandfather and is comprised of a quarter section of land, the original (now restored) homestead, extensive gardens and restored outbuildings.

"Gardens really don't belong to you," Coutts said of his decision to donate the property to the University. "You may as well make it a public place where people can come, freely wander around and experience it. It's your garden, but in fact, nobody really owns their garden. You create a garden, but it is there for everybody."

To experience the Coutts Centre for yourself, follow these simple directions:

Travelling on Highway #2, heading northbound (to Calgary):

1. Turn east off Hwy 2 on to Provincial Road 533. This intersection is across from the Ranchland Motel at the north end of Nanton.

2. Follow Provincial Road 533 east, past the Nanton Golf Club to Range Road 280

3. Turn left (north) on Range Road 280 (gravel road)

4. Travel North on Range Road 280 approximately 4 km (cross Township road 164)

5. The property is located on the left (west) side of the road. Look for a number of rustic outbuildings.

For more on the Coutts gift, follow this link.