Calgary’s Rig Art: History of Oil

By Cheryl Lawrence

The vibrant glowing mural entitled History of Oil is a large 5x 9canvas situated in the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame at the Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre.

With the sun rising over the industry, the canvas depicts the industry from its early years in the Turner Valley area with wooden derricks, pumpjacks, and tanks. The focal point in the center of the mural is a modern jack-knife derrick flying a Canadian flag. This is a reminder that Canada proudly supports its oil and gas industry and that this resource played an integral part in the development of Canada as an industrialized nation that enjoys a standard of living that is the envy of the world.

Furthering the oil story are intricate scenes from refineries and pipelines, including one of the planes that flies overhead to ensure all is well along the lines. An off-shore drilling platform and tanker from the east coast are shown in detail and highlight their importance to the Canadian resource industry.

The focal point in the centre of the piece are men who are hard at work; men who built this vital industry and this great nation. Through the generations, they are the reason that our industry is a world leader in innovation, environmental stewardship, and safety.

The History of Oil mural was commissioned for the Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre in 1997 just after the Centre opened to the public and was painted by Sonya Burak-Bernard, an Edmonton-based artist and illustrator. It’s well worth a visit to the Centre to see this work of art along with many others that are on display in the facility. The Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre is located two kilometres south of Devon on Hwy 60.

Cheryl Lawrence is the Executive Director of the Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre. She can be reached at [email protected]