Van Rooijen, longtime volunteer and project manager, adds experience to Glenbow redesign


In 2007, I wrote that Lori Van Rooijen was one of those people who always seem perfect for the job they’re doing. A highly respected project manager, engagement specialist and strategic planner, the CEO of Larkspur Consulting, her family business for over 30 years, she has also contributed much through her volunteer work.

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The list of organizations where she has served as a board member or an active committee participant is long, including chair of the YW Calgary board, president of the Alberta Association of Museums, Kelowna Art Gallery , Wordfest, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum and the recapitalization of the two Alberta Jubilee Auditoriums.

A well-structured person, Van Rooijen restricts her volunteering to one organization at a time. Glenbow is currently reaping the rewards of her experience with various arts organizations, helping with a complete renovation of the building.

As chair of the board, Van Rooijen’s development management experience, as well as her dedication to the arts, serve Glenbow well.

Throughout her career, she has been involved in projects totaling more than $950 million, guiding organizations through the entire process of each project, including developing and refining institutional vision plans, developing of support cases and the execution of capital campaigns. As project manager, that also meant managing planning, design, and construction.

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Those public projects include the YW Hub facility in Inglewood, the initial West Campus development, the University of Calgary Taylor Family Digital Library, and Telus Spark.

Larkspur is currently working to redevelop the Sheriff King site at Women’s and Children’s Shelters, Rundle College, the Calgary Drop-In Center and Vecova’s Center for All Abilities.

Much of Van Rooijen’s involvement has been with the Blood reservation, where Kanai elders honored her with the indigenous name of Pii’Takii (Eagle Woman) for her contribution and work on the reservation.

One major project currently is the 101,000-square-foot Red Crow Community College in Standoff, designed by Kasian Architecture and currently under construction by Clark Builders.

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Van Rooijen helped raise $48 million for the facility which, when it opens in September, will be the first indigenous university to offer two degrees in arts and sciences, with two years at the university followed by a transition to any post-secondary education in Alberta to complete. to them.

Larkspur has also worked with the Kanai Board of Education’s Aahsaopi School and the Blood Tribe 50 Year Community Plan.

A Glenbow board member since 2016, Van Rooijen is pleased that its current board includes four Indigenous Governors and, earlier this year, the hiring of Amber Shilling in the newly created position of Director of Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation. Shilling is an Anishinaabe from the Mnjikaning First Nation in Ontario on her father’s side, but she was born and raised in the Treaty 7 territory of southern Alberta.

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Van Rooijen says she is excited about the new Glenbow’s ability to change the fundamental purpose and future of museums across the country and beyond. “Many see museums as colonial institutions, often telling stories of only one part of our society. Our communities are so much more than this, and I think with Glenbow Reimagined we’ll be able to create new connections with our audiences.”

Your visitor audience is guaranteed to grow thanks to the Shaw Family Foundation’s generous $35 million donation that will offer free general admission to the facility forever.

It will also include a $10 million endowment to create the JR Shaw Institute for Canadian Art. The Glenbow already houses the second largest art collection in Canada, and the redesign will allow more art and artifacts to be displayed.

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Van Rooijen and his board of directors look forward to the opening of Glenbow Reimagined in 2024 with more spaces for active dialogue and exhibition.


Many local businesses were delighted with the benefits they received from the return of the Calgary Stampede. Calgary artist Paul Van Ginkel is one of those who enjoyed a successful 19the Stampede exhibition of his paintings. In addition to his local fans, his art is shipped to buyers as far away as Halifax, Arizona, and Australia.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read online at He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or via email at [email protected].

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