Bring Your Thing: Capture Kingston

This September featured the 10th Bring Your Thing of the year themed  “Capture Kingston.”  In the open setting of The Malting Tower room, at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, objects from the community were displayed and several activities were available, speaking to how you Capture Kingston.

The entire evening was heavily influenced by photography and it was a privilege to see numerous photographs and cameras on display. Jennifer McKendry’s collection, in particular, provided an example of the evolution of the photographic medium. ‘Kingston Revealed’, the main talk of the night, struck a chord with the visitors through its poignant descriptions of the advantages and risks of early photography methods. We learned how early photography had its own versions of “photoshop” and of the different photographers which set up in Kingston, including the work of  Henry Henderson.

 

One of the most interesting objects was the sculpture of “The Kingston Potter’s Guild Sale” by Joan Woods. The sculpture is a testament to Woods’ legacy and also captures the heart of a Kingston establishment.

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St. George’s Cathedral provided a mysterious object for consideration. Everyone was captivated by trying to guess what it could be, however, it was revealed that the heavy metal object’s purpose remains unknown. This artifact is another example of the various ways in which Kingston’s history often consists of stories yet to be told.

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Bring Your Thing: Capture Kingston also managed to captivate people through multiple activities. The caption Kingston photographs encouraged creativity but, participants in the playdough challenge were truly thinking outside the box. In the playdough challenge groups had to construct a scene that represents Kingston. Subjects included Fort Frederick, the Time sculpture, along the Kingston waterfront, and the Wolfe Island Ferry. These miniature constructions were colourful depictions, and not just because of the materials being used.

 

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Thanks to the many visitor objects and contributions from the Military Communications and Electronics Museum, W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, St. George’s Cathedral and the RMC Museum the evening represented a large swath of Kingston heritage.

 

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October presents another fantastic opportunity to learn even more at the next Bring Your Thing, “What’s Your Rhythm?”. I am eagerly looking forward to it and hope to see you there on October 21st at the Edith Rankin Memorial United Church. Keep updated about these events on our facebook page or on the website www.bringyourthingkingston.ca

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FALL SEASON LAUNCH AT THE AGNES

FALL EXHIBITIONS LAUNCH

Thursday 14 September 2017

Members’ Preview: 5–6:30 pm

Public Reception: 6:30–8 pm


Celebrate three new exhibitions at the Agnes’s Fall Season Launch on Thursday 14 September: The Golden USB: Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens; A form of formlessness: Teresa Carlesimo and Michael DiRisio; and At Home: The Interior in Canadian Art. The Members’ Preview, with in-gallery introductions to the new exhibitions, runs 5 to 6:30 pm, and remarks take place at the beginning of the Public Reception, from 6:30 to 8 pm. Along with refreshments and great company, you will enjoy new art and interpretations in these new exhibitions. Artists, curators and contributors to these projects will be present. These shows run 26 August–3 December 2017. Alfred Bader Collects continues through the fall and Stories to Tell remains on view through the fall and winter.

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Image: George Reid, Andante, 1893, oil on canvas. Gift of Leanora McCarney in memory of her parents Mr and Mrs Frank De Rice, 1996 (39-016). From the exhibition At Home: The Interior in Canadian Art.

In a new feature this fall, we are encouraging families to attend the Season Launch by inaugurating a Free Family Care Drop-In, 6:30 to 8 pm, in the Studio. Little ones can make creative projects under the care of a childhood educator while their parents enjoy the galleries.


 

Agnes Etherington Art Centre


36 University Avenue, Queen’s University

Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

 

www.agnes.queensu.ca

Facebook: aeartcentre

Twitter: @aeartcentre

Instagram: @aeartcentre

 

Bring Your Thing: Homegrown

On Sunday, August 20th Bring Your Thing hosted our most popular event to date, with over one hundred individuals coming to check out our booth at the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market. For those who missed out on this great opportunity, the theme was Homegrown. We encouraged everyone in the community, and all the vendors at the farmer’s market, to bring objects that they thought related to the theme. I’ll say it proudly, the people did not disappoint! A lot of the items brought in fit perfectly with our theme and allowed us to display several artifacts that highlight Kingston’s agricultural and manufacturing history.

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One item in particular that I enjoyed was the various bee keeping items brought in by Walter of Bee Happy Honey, who had a booth close to ours. Not only did they bring in a functional bee keeping suit,  with the proper head gear, they also brought in a bee smoker. The smoker came with an interesting lesson about how it works. Contrary to what many of us are taught, the smoke does not calm the bees down. The smoke makes the bees think their hive is on fire, causing the bees to stock up on honey so that they can set up a new home as needed. When the bees are full on honey they become tired and sluggish, much like any of us after a big turkey dinner. We have Bee Happy Honey to thank for this lovely information, as well as some great objects.

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There were many other items that were worth of our attention. You can see some of them pictured above. We had an old fashioned meat grinder, whose name gives away its purpose. We also had an old fashioned post hole digger, who’s name like the meat grinder, is all the explanation it needs. Along with these interesting tools brought by vendors and members of the community, the Marine Museum, The Museum of Health Care, and The Frontenac County Schools Museum had some great artifacts on display.

 

The artifacts were and are of the utmost importance to the Bring Your Thing event(s), however at this particular one it may have been upstaged by the two activities available. One activity was a game where participants were asked to match up pictures of root vegetables to pictures of their corresponding leaves.

The second activity, was a vegetable town. One of our talented volunteers drew a map of the area surrounding the memorial centre. The map was placed on a table where children and adults were free to decorate with various vegetable critters. Some designs we had were cars, dogs, people, unicorns and my favourite, a dragon!

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Overall this event was a huge success and we hope to carry this over to our next event “Capture Kingston” which will be held at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning on September 14th,, Learn More Here. We hope to see everyone there!

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The Kingston Trolley Tour Experience

Listen to the tales of Kingston’s historic past as you discover Canada’s first capital by Trolley. Kingston Trolley Tours depart outside of the Visitor Information Centre across from Kingston City Hall in the heart of downtown Kingston.

The combined narration between the GPS-triggered narration system and your experienced tour guide gives you the best local knowledge of the area with a detailed description of local landmarks. This narration explains Kingston’s more than three hundred years of history in an informative yet entertaining way. From Kingston’s historic old town and downtown shopping district, to the east of Fort Henry and to the west at Kingston Penitentiary, the Kingston Trolley Tour embraces the entire city.

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With 9 trolley stops you are able to Hop on, Hop off. Well what does this mean? When purchasing a trolley ticket, you are able to purchase a 24 hr, 48 hr, or 72 hr pass that allows you access to get on and depart the Trolley at any of the Trolley stops during that time period. During your trip, you are able to hop off to take in a museum, do some shopping, grab a meal or experience an attraction, with the flexibility of being able to hop on the next trolley and continue your journey throughout the city.

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Several trolley stops highlight some of the more than 30 museums, art galleries and historic sites that Kingston has to offer. Starting at the historic Kingston City Hall, a recognizable landmark on Kingston’s waterfront since 1844, take a guided tour and discover that the building has been home to a bank, church groups, theatre productions, a courtroom, a jail, a women’s medical school and even a saloon! Then visit the Royal Military College Museum of Canada to learn about the history of RMC and the locations naval history as the Royal Navy Dockyard once occupied Point Fredrick. Next you will come across Fort Henry NHS. Did you know that Fort Henry is a National Historic Site? Be sure to take a tour of the Fort and learn about the life of the Fort Henry Guard! Tickets can be found here.

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A stop at Market Square is next. Market Square is home to the oldest continuously run public market in Canada, conveniently located right outside Kingston City Hall! Just a short walk away is St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. Built in 1825 by Thomas Rogers and enlarged in 1891 by Joseph Power, the traditional cathedral dome and clock tower still stand.

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Take in the The next stop will take you to the Pump House Steam Museum, where you can stop by and learn about history in motion. The museum itself is located in one of our country’s oldest water works that provided Kingston residents with running water by steam-powered pumps. Bellevue House National Historic Site, the home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, is the next stop on your Trolley Tour.

The Trolley will then bring you to Canada’s Penitentiary Museum. The Museum is located in the former Warden’s residence, across the Street from the former Kingston Pen. Portsmouth Olympic Harbour is located just down the hill, home to sailing events in the 1976 Olympics and currently, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston.

The Kingston Trolley Tour then takes you to Queens University. Home to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Miller Museum of Geology, Union Gallery, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, Queens University Archives and nearby Murney Tower. There is a lot to discover on the vibrant historic university campus. Murney Tower is one of four Martello Towers located in Kingston. The tower was designed as a fortification along Kingston’s waterfront and is now part of the Rideau Canal UNSECO World Heritage Site.

Hop On or Hop Off any of the nine convenient stops:

  1. Visitor Information Centre, City Hall
    2. The Royal Military College of Canada
    3. Fort Henry
    4. Market Square
    5. Pump House Steam Museum
    6. Bellevue House
    7. Canada’s Penitentiary Museum
    8. Queen’s University
    9. Princess st. Entertainment and Shopping District

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The Trolley will finish at the shopping and entertainment district. Be sure to end your Kingston Trolley Tour with a night on the town, take in a show at the Grand Theatre and a grab a meal at one of the many award winning restaurants that call Kingston home.

With the trolley windows rolled up and the fresh air on your skin, you feel connected to the city’s deep heritage, while you take in the vibrant, energetic city. Some people say that age is only a state of mind, does that apply to a city too? Come discover that Kingston is truly where history and innovation thrive.

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You can purchase tickets at the Ticket Booth at 1 Brock Street, Kingston ON or purchase tickets online. The K-Pass, a city-wide attraction pass, is also available so that you can save on a Thousand Islands Cruise, Trolley Ticket, and museum admission by purchasing a K-Pass.

Be a tourist for the day and experience all that Kingston has to offer. Our City awaits you!

 

63 Years of Comaraderie: The Fort Henry Guard and the United States Marine Corps

Excitement is brewing this weekend as Fort Henry NHS will be performing along side the United States Marine Corp (USMC) in what is always a capturing performance. What many may not realise, is that Kingston’s  Fort Henry Guard and the USMC have a very unique and long standing relationship.

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The first joint performance at Fort Henry NHS in 1954

It all began in 1954 with celebrations commemorating the signing of the Ogdensburg Agreement. The Ogdensburg Agreement was a document signed in 1940 by President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, binding Canada and the United States to the joint defense of North America. As commemoration, The USMC and representatives of the Fort Henry Guard were invited to Ivy Lea Bridge, a symbol of a partnership, and posed together shaking hands.

The USMC were then invited to perform for the first time on the parade square of Fort Henry NHS, in what was a grand spectacle of joint military performance. The restorer of Fort Henry and the founder of the Fort Henry Guard, Ronald L. Way, successfully presented the Guard as an outstanding example of what living history could look like. Commander General Lemuel C. Shepherd was extremely impressed with the performance standards of the Guard, which to this day was made up of young adults without formal military training. Ronald Way and General Lemuel, quickly garnered respect for each other and struck a mutual friendship which would cement the comradery between FHG and USMC.

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The Marines at Fort Henry in 1954

The following year, General Lemuel invited Ronald Way and the Fort Henry Guard to the Marines Barracks in Washington D.C, the only non-military unit to ever be extended the privilege. The Guard and the USMC performed together for the second time as they marched past the Iwo Jima Memorial. The two groups began a tradition of exchanging commemorative gifts that year, including a brass cannon to the USMC and an USMC drum to the guard.  In 1955, no greater honour was presented then to General Lemuel C. Shepherd, who became the Honourary commander of the Fort Henry Guard, which he served with pride until his death in 1990.

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This year marks the 63rd anniversary of friendship between these two unlikely comrades. For years, both groups have travelled to- and-fro to perform together, with bi-annual performances at Fort Henry NHS. The Fort Henry Guard is one of five units in the world, and the only Canadian unit, honoured with the presentation of the Marine Corps Drums. Fort Henry has a whole collection of objects and images that show off their friendship with the USMC, some of which can be seen in the exhibits of the fort, and The Marine Barracks has a whole room dedicated to the Fort Henry Guard, where they hang the FHG colours.

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David the goat,  FHG Mascot, stands with the USMC unofficial mascot, Chesty the bulldog.

I have personally had the pleasure to work at Fort Henry when the Marines last visited in 2015, and can say that the USMC enjoys visiting as much as we enjoy having them, as many voiced that Kingston and Fort Henry was their favourite place to perform.

Soldiers, Sailors & Jailors Trivia

Bring Your Thing’s Soldiers, Sailors, and Jailors was an amazing opportunity for members of the community to showcase their artifacts and their life stories. The event was also an opportune moment for those same people to show off their Soldiers, Sailors, and Jailors knowledge with a night of trivia. After the artifacts were put away, everyone was invited to stay for 3 rounds of trivia. The theme of the first round was soldiers, with the questions ranging anywhere from local Kingston to national military history. The second round was a combo of Sailors & Jailors, which included questions about Kingston and Canada’s rich corrections and marine history. The final round had the theme of Kingston, these were general questions about local history. Each round had 15 questions with one bonus question, and the winning team of each round was given a prize.

The trivia started at 8:30, with some initial technical difficulties, and quickly became a competition of the curators, with representatives of Murney Tower, the RMC Museum, the Marine Museum, and Canada’s Penitentiary museum all hoping to be the champions. In the end, we had an extremely close match, after three rounds there was only a half point difference between first and second place. Our winning team was “The Team,” creativity was not their strong suit, and in second was “Team Lock Up.” While there were winners and losers, I can honestly say that it was fun to see everyone engaged and interested in historical trivia.

Soldiers, Sailors, and Jailors was the first night of trivia Bring Your Thing had ever attempted. While we may have struggled in certain areas, what we can say looking back is that we managed to get people thinking and appreciating local and national history. To spread this information to as many as possible we challenge you to a game of trivia with some questions from our event.

In the Canadian army which rank is represented by a single St. Edward’s Crown?

The designer of our current Canadian flag George Stanley used the template of this institution’s flag as the basis for his design?

Which local Kingston prison was originally called “The preferred class penitentiary” and was designed to house younger, more physically fit white collar criminals?

Often before the name of a naval ship the acronym HMCS will appear, what does this stand for?

Multiple fires throughout Kingston’s history eventually caused legislation to be passed preventing the use of what material for construction?

The name Kingston comes from the original name of the city, Kings Town, which was created in 1787 to honour this ruling monarch. What is their full name?

Name the Canadian Prime minister who served in the Army Medical Corps and the Royal Air force during WWI. Hint, he also has won a Nobel Peace Prize.

During the American Revolution, Kingston became a refugee centre for people, what were they called?

What company opened its plant in Kingston in 1940 with the purpose of manufacturing aluminum productions to support the war effort?

Legendary Kingston band “The Tragically Hip,” wrote this song about the escape of 14 inmates from the Millhaven penitentiary in 1972?

Our next event “Homegrown” will be taking place at the Memorial Centre Farmers Market on Sunday, August 20, at 10 am. Feel free to bring an item that is homemade, some old farming tools, or anything you feel relates to the theme.
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Soldiers, Sailors & Jailors

On July 25, 2017, Bring your Thing had our seventh event of the year with the theme Soldiers, Sailors, and Jailors at the Portsmouth Tavern. We were very excited for this month’s theme as Soldiers, Sailors, and Jailors have all made great contributions to the City of Kingston and have shaped this city’s history. We called the the community to action to share important stories, artifacts, souvenirs etc., and we can honestly say the people did not disappoint. We had many amazing artifacts that represented Canada and Kingston’s rich military, corrections and marine history.

We were fortunate enough to have Mr. Samwell bring in multiple museum worthy items. Among these was a sexton from a lifeboat from 1941, which he made sure to mention still works! He also had morphine syringe designed for battlefield use during the Boer War, from 1901. Mr. Samwell also brought in a Queen Mary cigarette box, which originally had cigarettes, a lighter, and a pencil and was given to soldiers as a Christmas present during WWI. His most interesting item, however, was a military cane made from wood and brass, with what looked like a handle made from antlers.

 

 

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Another item worth mentioning was a map of North America from 1776, which was to be carried by British military officers. The map’s owner pointed out a lot of interesting notes and features, one of them was that the map does not recognize that the Arctic Ocean exists because it had not been officially discovered yet. Another was that it doesn’t show the border between the United States and Canada, which was a common feature in North American maps of the time.

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Another man we were lucky to have attend the event brought items he himself salvaged from a passenger ship named the Comet that had sunken in Lake Ontario due to a two boat collision in 1861. He had salvaged the items in 1967, more than 100 years after the ship sank. Some of the things he brought were a door latch, an oil can, and a faucet, along with some pictures of other items salvaged from the same ship.

 

 

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The final item we want to mention is the book that is pictured above. It is no ordinary old book, it is actually the ledger from the early years of the Portsmouth Tavern, who graciously hosted our event. This ledger was used as a guest book for the tavern and has the names of the many people who passed through the doors in 1934. The item was brought by Marie Keane Edwards, whose grandfather Mr. Beaupremade the decision that many throughout Kingston’s history seem to make, to open a bar. It was amazing to see how even something as simple as our venue has a rich history we can dive into.

 

 

Overall, there were a lot of interesting items brought by a lot of interesting people. But to us at Bring Your Thing we love hearing where these items came from. Each artifact had its own unique story as to how it ended up at our event. Some were bought at auction, some were family heirlooms, and others were just something that was picked up along the way. 

 

 

Along with the great items brought by people, local museums also had some great artifacts on display. The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, RMC Museum, Canada’s Penitentiary Museum, and Murney Tower NHS brought some of their best soldiers, sailors, and jailors items. Canada’s Penitentiary Museum came prepared with a full display and managed to squeeze hundreds of years of corrections history onto one table. Canada’s Penitentiary Museum had several artifacts and items which detailed the Canadian Government initiative of sending corrections experts to Afghanistan. This sparked a lot of discussion from several people who were not aware that members of Correctional Services Canada were sent to Afghanistan to stabilize the prison systems of war-torn countries. The Marine Museum brought arguably my favourite item of the night, an Olympic Yachting board game created for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The best thing about this board game is that the map you play on is the Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario. It was complete with all the landmarks, like Portsmouth Harbour, City Hall, Fort Henry, and the Rideau Canal. Take a look for yourself in the photos above. Kingston has been referred to as the fresh water sailing capital of the world.  One of my only regrets was not sitting down to play a game!

 

 

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We would like to take time and thank all those who came, those who brought their things and shared their stories with us, and our great hosts Portsmouth Harbour. Celebrating Canada’s 150+ is about celebrating the little things that make our country and communities great, and at Bring Your Thing we are committed to bringing folks together to share our experiences.

If this event is something you are interested, then you’re in luck because we have another one coming right up! Join us at the Memorial Centre Farmers Market on Sunday 20 August 2017 at 10 am, this time the theme will be “Homegrown” so feel free to bring your thing. It could be something home made, some old tools, or anything you feel relates to the theme.

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For more information check out our website at www.bringyourthing.wordpress.com!

Sunsets on Fire: A Night at Fort Henry NHS

 

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As the sun fades, the air fills with the roar of a cannon. No, this is not our city bracing for war. It’s Fort Henry NHS as it tells the tale our nation’s early years of confederation and that of the Fort Henry Guard Drums, Drill Squad and Artillery Detachments. The Fort Henry Sunset Ceremony is just that, an official ceremony to mark the end of the day and the lowering of the Union Jack flag. Upon a recent visit, thanks to Fort Henry NHS, our staff were able to attend the event. It’s a must see event this summer in Kingston!

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The redesigned Fort Henry Sunset Ceremony with the addition of an enhanced narrative, tells a story of life in the Fort Henry Guard from a Sergeant’s widow, while producing moments of comic relief during an interaction with someone who has a different perspective of the Fort Henry Guard. These new acquaintances describe the differences in our country today and that of the time when the Guard was stationed at the Fort. The narrative flows smoothly into the precision military music, drill and artillery focus of the ceremony, captivating the audience as gunfire bellows and the sky lights up with clouds of smoke over the  sunset in view. As the Guard drums and drills are performed you can’t help but embrace the feeling that you have been transported to the 1860’s and are experiencing the Fort Henry Guard performing on command.

 

 

An appearance was made by the beloved David the Goat, the Guard mascot. As he interacted with would be recruits and made his way past the adoring audience. David X is the ninth Saanen goat donated to the Fort by the Saint David Society of Toronto, to commemorate the memory of the mascot of the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers).

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After the beautifully sung sounds of God Save the Queen and O Canada visitors were delighted to see a grand firework display over the fort wall with the St. Lawrence River as its backdrop. The sky lit up as the audience cheered, proving it to be one of the best set of fireworks displays of the year.

 

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Be sure to visit Fort Henry Sunset Ceremony this summer to go back in time and celebrate this uniquely Kingston experience. For more information and tickets visit https://www.forthenry.com/events/sunset-ceremony/

Celebration at Military Communications and Electronics Museum Focused on Music

On Saturday, July 1st, the Military Communications and Electronics Museum hosted a live concert event to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

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The museum staff with their partners at the Seniors Association Kingston Region and the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre (KMFRC) worked for months, planning and organizing this event to celebrate our nation’s special birthday. The organizing committee provided free bus transportation to and from the museum that made stops at the Seniors Centre, Kingston Military Community Sports Centre and the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre.

 

 

The event was a relaxed concert style with multiple acts performing throughout the museum between 2 pm and 4 pm. The guests were encouraged to move around in order to experience the variety of acts. The event began with the singing of the Nation Anthem, O Canada and opening remarks of welcome and thanks.

The performers included the Limestone Trio, a classical strings ensemble, Gentle Wings Puppet Theatre, Mauricio Latin Music, Kingston Drumming Circle, the Euro Café Duo and the PWOR Pipe and Drum Band. There were performances for people of all ages. A cupcake display, provided by Bennett’s Valu-Mart, in the shape of the Canada 150 logo was a delicious mid-afternoon interlude.

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The event was a rousing success with well over 100 people in attendance, ranging in age from infants all the way to seniors. The museum was awash with red and white as guests celebrated Canada 150 through music.

 

That Belongs in a Museum

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That Belongs in a Museum, the latest Bring Your Thing pop-up was hosted at the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston & Area. Fort Henry NHS, Military Communications and Electronics Museum and MacLachlin Woodworking Museum shared interesting items that made us think about why an artifact belongs in a museum!

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Youth displayed items that, not only  had special meaning to them, but they believe belongs in a museum. We showed that anything can belong in a museum, as someone found that even their backpack had value and a story to share.

 

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Alex Mclean, Curator and Program Support Officer at Fort Henry NHS described the process of accessioning an artifact and the importance of an accession numbers. Accession numbers are what museums use to identify artifacts in their collections. It also is a source of information about the object. The accession number is made up of a sequence of numbers or letters which can tell you how old the object is, how long the museums has had the object & more.

 

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Dave McCarey, Education Coordinator from Military Electronics and Communications Museum talked to the youth about the difference between an original artifact and a reproduction.  He showed the participants Canadian Military uniforms, one of which was an original artifact and the other was a reproduction. He also showed the youth a reproduction gas mask, explaining the use of the mask and the conditions soldiers faced after using it.

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MacLachlin Woodworking Museum loaned items from their collection & youth were challenged to draw the artifact from a  written description. This task made participants aware that an accurate yet concise description of an artifact is important in a museum.

Lots of great items were shared! One youth brought her Great Grandfather’s WW1 medals as her artifact, as she believes that they belong in a museum because of the historical significance of her grandfather’s service during the war.

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A youth displays her  great grandfather’s WW1 Medals that have been passed on through generations of her family

One of the youth used his hearing aid as his artifact. When describing why he thought it belonged in a museum he stated that there was an evolution in technology that allowed him to hear.

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A youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston Area showcasing his hearing aid

Overall we enjoyed spending the event discovering what belongs in a museum and how we connect to artifacts! We were able to discover facts about Kingston during a round of jeopardy, illustrated each other’s objects after taking time to ask questions about them, we learned about an artifact’s accession number, the role of a curator and the difference between an artifact and a reproduction.

 

Be Sure to check out the next Bring Your Thing Pop-Event themed Soldiers, Sailors and Jailors, July 25th 2017 at 7 pm located at Portsmouth Tavern! Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the most up-to-date information!