Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Well 9 months feels just as long when it is the length of time spent planning an event, but I finally got to "hold my babe" this past Sunday, when the event day came, and went, and with much success from all the feedback I have received.
This event was the Galt babies party and Centennial celebration event of our building - we also invited the whole community because it was a centennial celebration and because we had a new exhibit - this saved our community programmer and curator from planning programs around the new exhibit opening since I was already going to be doing an event, and they could thus focus their energies on other matters.
We sent out about 1100 invitations to Galt Babies, all over the world! We also sent out invitations to our members, volunteers, and those involved with the exhibit. We put posters up and advertised in the Leisure Guide and other public places so the public would know they were welcome, too.
Over 9 months I had a wonderful committee who met very frequently, weekly at least for the last few months and bi-weekly before that. This committee helped shape the event, spending the first few months brainstorming and looking into what was possible and what was not. Once we had a HUGE list of ideas of things we wanted, I first met with the curator to see how this could all fit in with her having a few speakers at the exhibit opening, and the community programmer to see how much of this we could do with her supplies on hand. Then I took it to the staff and got some feedback from them.
We started with what felt like 100 ideas and in the end only used a small number of them because, well, with only one staff and a crew of volunteers, we could only manage so much planning, but also because many of our activities would have been outside and Lethbridge has had the rainiest, coldest summer I have ever seen and it seemed too risky to put so many eggs into that basket.
But we did it - we managed - we pulled it off! And though, of course, there were things that could have been better, ie I'd have loved to have a stage but we had no place to store it on Friday and Saturday, so our performers were on the floor level with the seated guests); we could have emphasized to the public that they were welcome - as it was, almost everyone there was a Galt Baby and/or a guest of a Galt Baby; etc.....we still heard so much excitement about the rides in the streetcar that the Lethbridge Exhibition sponsored that day, and everyone loved the reenactment of the 1910 opening with 2 actors (Charlie Christensen played Mr Naismith, ViceChair of the Board of the Hospital; Duane Petluk played Prime Minister Laurier) and the found key (found by Ray Waddle) story. I have to thank Kevin Poupart, former Katimavik volunteer with the Galt, for the key idea!
And one of the most wonderful parts of the day took place a few days after the event.....Haraga Jewelry made a beautiful silver bracelet and engraved in it "Galt Centennial 2010" and gave it to us as a donation to giveaway. I got to call the winner of the bracelet and she was so excited she almost started to cry on the phone. She couldn't believe she had won. She told me how much fun she had had on Sunday and how much she loves the Galt and how special and treasured this bracelet would be. I was so glad it was going to be cherished by her as it was by me, when I first saw this wonderful donation.
Today our community programmer pulled me aside during the senior's program and said to me "the bracelet winner is here" and pointed her out. She had come to pick up her bracelet and stayed for the senior's program that we run on Wednesday afternoons. I went to introduce myself to her as the person who called her and she almost started to cry again, and apparently she had cried at the front desk when she came to claim her prize.
To be a part of an event that allows me to talk to one person who shares, through her stories and her passion and her emotion how much we mean to her, is fantastic. To hear this woman thank me for the work that I did, along with my volunteer committee, over the last 9 months, makes the long LONG wait of starting the planning to seeing my event/babe be born, makes every stressful meeting/email/phone call and all the sleepless nights and countless hours of working odd hours....things to appreciate! Like seeing your babe for the first time, I can smile now after meeting this women today and nod my head and think "yes, it was worth it" as I forgot all the "pain" associated with the last 9 months.
Thank you to my wonderful volunteer committee and to all of those who attended the event - I hope many of you feel the same way that this woman does and I look forward to hosting another Galt Babies event in the near future (hoping for summer 2011!)
Friday, 24 September 2010
For the exhibit I'm curating on Lethbridge 1906-1913, we think we'll recreate part of the zoo and would like to have a black bear to go with it. We actually have a few leads on where to borrow one but if you have ideas, let us know. The zoo really gives a sense of how people of that time thought and gives an idea of how they saw Henderson Park.
The zoo and other visuals and objects we have also create a connection to the Dry Farming Conference of 1912 which was one of Lethbridge's great successes from that time period. Now if only I can find a Rumely Tractor. [The first prize given at the conference (and won by a southern Alberta farmer) was a Rumely Tractor.] And figure out a way to get it into the building. (I haven't given up on it yet.)
We also want to have a really immersive part of the exhibit so are creating what we are calling an Interactive Parlour. We're working with the Lethbridge Community Band to find and get music from the time period. We have books (textbooks and others) from the time period that people can look through. We have Christmas cards from the time period. But we're still looking for more items. If you were to walk into an area on an exhibit 1906-1913 called an Interactive Parlour, what would you expect and want to find there?
We're also hoping to create an area in the exhibit on historic buildings with information on those still remaining and an area of ruins of buildings we've lost. Think of ruins from Greece and Italy -- but how to recreate that in a small space and with our lost buildings? So many ideas. So few months to create it all. So back to work I go.
Friday, 17 September 2010
So as I was thinking about how to "layer" things for my exhibit (provide information in various ways for those who like in-depth material but not bore those who just want a little bit of catchy information), I was lucky enough to visit the Lewis and Clarke Interpretive Centre in Great Falls and got from them a very cool idea. On the Saturday we visited they had in the centre two Newfoundland dogs. This allowed them to talk about the Newfoundland Dog (Seaman) who was on the expedition. With the dogs were a bunch of handouts and information -- on the breed, on Seaman's adventures, and more, there was also colouring pages of Newfoundland dogs.
Eureka! I had an idea (and, yes, I do have them on occasion). Why not create colouring pages of events that happened in Lethbridge between 1906 and 1913? Especially on things that kids will find interesting and relevant to them. Anyone who knows me, knows drawing is not one of my strong suits (I NEVER win at games like Pictionary) but we have incredible, awesome, amazing volunteers (I just can't say enough about them)!
We put out a request to volunteers to help with this and got several responses (but if others are also interested, please let us know because we can certainly use a few more). The more we can create for kids, the better. We will draw a set of pictures and at the bottom of each picture will be some historical information for kids and parents. We'll have these pictures available for kids to take home during the exhibit but we'll also have them up on our web-site for people to download and enjoy at home before or after their visit to the museum.
I say I'm doing all of this to make the exhibit more accessible for all age groups. But, really, it's because if we get the pages done, I'll have an excuse to do some colouring. Because, after all, someone is going to have to test to make certain they're good and effective colouring sheets.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Last Friday we celebrated and had fun at our biggest annual fundraiser, our Beer Tasting event! This year we used the theme of medicine as the hospital building that we are in turned 100 this month.
Pacific Wine and Spirits
This was a very fun theme to create from, and easy to do......
- we of course recommended people come dressed in costume - there were doctors, nurses, patients, and even a "blood" costume (which won our grand prize draw, donated by Mark Anthony Group, of a countertop wine bottle fridge)
- we changed all the signage in our building to reflect those you'd see in a hospital
- we added colored tape to the floor from the entrance, to follow to other parts of the event (ie follow the blue tape to the bar)
- the band, a local group called DNR, is a group of doctors and nurses, mainly from the emergency room at the Lethbridge hospital - they played some excellent rock music!
- event bracelets said "Emergency Room" on them and people had to report to triage upon their arrival
- we offered complimentary samples of Panago's Organic Juices in test tubes
Girls Night Out Wines
With some amazing sponsors - Davidson and Williams, Quintus Financial (Terry Mah), LA Liquor, Panago Pizza, Days Inn, http://www.clubandpub.ca/ , http://www.lethbridgevents.com/ , and Pyramid Entertainment
fantastic support from Cremo Cream, Imbibe Magazine, LA Chefs, Lasting Impressions Airbrush Tattoos, Petris Liquor, http://www.fatpacking.com/ , Golden Hour First Aid Services, Stage Right home staging, and the Sandman Inn
the silent auction donors such as Bert and Mac's, Custom Creation Gift Baskets, El Dorado RV, Galko Homes, Gas King, Heidelberg Inn, Honkers Pub, Lethbridge Historical Society, Lethbridge Living magazine, Lethbridge Lodge, Pauline Johnston Antiques and Collectibles, Sandman Inn, Spiralz Creations, Stage Right home staging, and Sweet Ideas
Lasting Impressions Airbrush Tattooing
Thanks to everyone for supporting the Galt Museum & Archives. We hope you had fun and look forward already to next year's event!
Sunday, 12 September 2010
On the drive to Writing-on-Stone our Blackfoot interpreter from the museum, Blanche Bruised Head, talked about Blackfoot history and culture. People on the bus asked lots of insightful questions and I think it really helped prepare people for the next part of the tour: the interpretive walk to see the petroglyphs and pictographs that cover the park's sandstone cliffs.
The hoodoos, seen above, were created by wind and water erosion. First Nations people have lived in this area for at least 3,000 years. Some of the petroglyphs and pictographs they created here recorded important biographical or historical information. Other rock art would have been linked to their spiritual lives, including petroglyphs and pictographs that were created as a part of rituals and vision quests.
While the guests were on the walk in the protected area, my volunteer Tasha and I set up the picnic lunch. This, from a planning perspective, was the most challenging part of the tour! The bookable picnic shelters at Writing-on-Stone book up in January so we relied on getting to one of the first-come, first-serve shelters in the river valley. We booked Country Kitchen Catering to make buffalo (or bison) burgers and then we brought the burgers, pre-cooked in a warmer, out to the picnic shelter. There was salad and dainties for dessert.
After lunch we went up to the interpretive centre for another tour with Bonnie (center in picture below), and for a chance to explore the exhibits and learn more about the history of the area.
Friday, 10 September 2010
Sorry, I couldn't resist. I try not to use the BLOG solely for marketing but I have had so many people ask when Flashlight Cemetery Tour tickets go on sale that I thought it would be easiest to focus this BLOG on the tours. Tickets went on sale on September 7 and are available through the front desk of the Galt.
You can find all details as to dates and times on our web-site: http://www.galtmuseum.com/programs-tours.htm
I know from our front desk that ticket sales are going briskly so (and particularly if you have specific dates and times that you want) buy your tickets right away. This tour sells out annually.
I thought I'd take the opportunity to share one of my favourite memories from past years of the tours.
As most of you know the tours are done in the dark and by flashlight. St. Patrick's Cemetery, where we hold these, is quite isolated and the noise of the city is muffled. At one of our stops, with everyone in the tour facing me, I suddenly saw all of the members of the tour freeze and I heard a collective gasp, as people's eyes got big and focused on something behind me. With great trepidation, I turned and looked at whatever they were seeing behind me. There in the distance were four orbs of light. I started to laugh and turned back towards the group. "It's deer, people." Our flashlights were reflected from the deers' eyes.
I'd love to hear your memories of the tours. If you have any fun stories to share, please pass them along.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Friday, 3 September 2010
For years, Blanche has told students about her limited vision and says that if they see her out and about in the community, they should come up to her and say oki (Blackfoot for “hi) and introduce themselves because she won’t be able to see them. In August this year Blanche was at Wal-Mart shopping with her son and grandson. As she was sitting there, a young girl walked past her, stopped and then walked towards her with her hand-outstretched. When she got in front of Blanche she said “oki” and then “oki, Museum Lady.” She was with her young brother and turned to him and said “this lady works at the Galt Museum. You and me and Mom and Dad should go and visit her there one day.”