Saturday, May 16, 2009

May Is Museum Month


Toronto, May 1, 2009 – This year, the ONTARIO MUSEUM ASSOCIATION (OMA)’s 10th May is Museum Month campaign celebrates the role of museums in creating and sustaining vibrant communities all across Ontario. Beginning with a Museums’ Day launch at Queen’s Park on May 5th, the annual awareness campaign will continue throughout the month with special exhibits and events at museums in every corner of the province.

“Ontario museums are at the heart of our communities,” comments Marie Lalonde, Executive Director of the Ontario Museum Association, the advocacy voice for over 650 Ontario community museums. “We attract tourists, we educate, we improve quality of life – and we contribute considerably to the economic health of the province.

“There is also a desire for cultural enrichment in our modern communities,” Lalonde continues, “and museums and galleries are uniquely positioned to provide it.” She cites the tremendous success of the recently introduced SunLife Museums + Arts Pass program in Toronto, in which a museum pass may be borrowed at all 99 Toronto Public libraries. “People line up every Monday morning for a chance to borrow the museum passes!” she reports. A similar museum pass program has been an overwhelming success in Ottawa for several years. Another successful initiative offers new Canadians a Cultural Access Pass as soon as they become citizens. The pass gives them free access to museums of all types, to help them connect to, and learn about Canadian culture.

In fact, the modern community museum does more than offer culture – it reaches out to groups in the community and helps give them a cultural voice. For example, Scarborough Museum offers mentoring programs in art and drama to youth at risk, and then hires these same young people for summer work. A new program piloted in Waterloo uses the artefacts and photographs in local museums to help create “memory connections” for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. MuséoParc Vanier brings on volunteers with special needs and helps builds their confidence to enter the work-place; and involved a local First Nations group in creating a documentary about a Métis woman’s experiences, which will be shown at Expo2010 in Shanghai.

The Markham Museum partners with cultural groups to develop permanent exhibits of the many “settlers” who moved to Markham over the years –Italian, Slovak, Southeast Asian and Chinese. By framing their experience as settlers in a new environment, the museum hopes to develop a deeper level of understanding amongst the groups. The museum is even working on building a community garden which will be co-managed by dozens of cultural groups. “The response has been overwhelming,” says Cathy Molloy, Curator of the Markham Museum. “Everyone wants to be a part of this.”

May is Museum Month continues throughout May all around the province with special events and exhibits open to the public (see list below).

Building on International Museum Day which is celebrated globally on Monday, May 18th, 2009, May is Museum Month celebrates and brings awareness to the 650-plus museums, historic sites and art galleries all across Ontario. These sites are a rich educational resource for a fascinating range of subjects, including agriculture, medicine, broadcasting, mining, sports, science – even cheese & shoes. Each site also tells the stories of the people who built and are building this province – heroes, inventors, First Nations leaders. They also celebrate and preserve our diverse cultural heritage, and help foster mutual understanding, cooperation and peace amongst the peoples of this province.

For ongoing updates about May is Museum Month activities and discounts, visit the website at or call 1-800-ONTARIO.

The ONTARIO MUSEUM ASSOCIATION is a non-profit association of Ontario museums, historic sites and art galleries and their employees and volunteers, as well as companies and individuals serving the heritage industry. For over 35 years, the Association has promoted museums and advanced the standards of professionalism for museum workers throughout Ontario.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:Marie G. LalondeExecutive DirectorONTARIO MUSEUM ASSOCIATIONTel: 416-348-8672Toll-free in ON:

National Gallery of Canada
Canadian War Museum
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC)
Royal Ontario Museum
Ontario Heritage Trust
Canadian Museum of Nature
The Bata Shoe Museum
Art Gallery of Ontario
Tourism Hamilton
Region of Waterloo Museums
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Textile Museum of Canada
Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA)

At the heart of Ontario’s communities

Celebrating Architecture!
May 1- 31
London Regional Children's Museum, London

Free Fridays!
May 1- 29
Museum on the Boyne, New Tecumseth

What's New in Old Stuff: Recent Donations
May 1- 31
Museums of Mississauga, Mississauga

Through Their Eyes
Opens May 1, 2009
Niagara Museum, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Annual Poppy Push Plant Sale
May 2, 2009
McCrae House, Guelph

Backus-Page House Museum
2009 Season Opening Celebration
May 3, 2009
Tyrconnell Heritage Society, Wallacetown

Quilting With Love, Quilt Show
Opens May 8
Museum of Northern History, Kirkland Lake

1837 Rise to Rebellion
May 9-10
Georgina Pioneer Village and Archives, Georgina

Gardening for Beginners Workshop
May 9, 2009
Museum on the Boyne, New Tecumseth

Mothers Day Tea May 9, 2009
Dionne Quints Museum, North Bay

Precious Metal: Silver for Our 25th Anniversary
Opens May 10
Grimsby Museum, Grimsby

Schad Gallery of Biodiversity
Opens May 16.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Loyalist Transportation
Opens May 16
Mariners' Park Museum, Milford

Something OLD, Something NEW
Opens May 16, 2009
Welland Historical Museum, Welland

The Loyalist Mosaic
Opens May 16
Rose House Museum, Picton

Welcome Weekend
May 16-18
Ameliasburgh Historical Museum, Ameliasburgh

Victorian Tea
May 17
Moore Museum, Mooretown

International Museum Day Special Events
May 18
Grey Roots Museum & Archives, Owen Sound
Markham Museum, Markham
Penetanguishine Centennial Museum
St. Catharines Museum, St. Catharines
Wellington County Museum & Archives
All Ottawa regional museums
Plus:FREE ADMISSION ON MAY 17th to all of Ottawa’s national museums

Teddy Bear Tea Party
May 18
London Regional Children's Museum, London

Arts Festival May
16 & 17
Sharon Temple Historic Site & Museum

Made to Measure: Lecture with Alison Matthews David
May 20
Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto

Carnival: The Spirit & the Soul
Opens May 21
Varley Art Gallery, Unionville

Relive the Talbot Settlement- Celebrating 200 Years
May 23
Backus Page House, Wallacetown
Tyrconnell Heritage Society

25th Anniversary of the Gardiner Museum
May 23-24
Free public admission all weekend
Gardiner Museum, Toronto

Grimsby Historical Society House Tour and Grimsby Museum Box Lunch
May 23
Grimsby Museum, Grimsby

Lilac Festival/ Tea with “The Queen”
May 23, 24
Macaulay Heritage Park, Picton

Toll free (ON) : 1-866-OMA-8672
Tel: 416-348-8672

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Relive the Talbot Settlement - Celebrating 200 Years

On Saturday May 23rd, 2009, the Tyrconnell Heritage Society welcomes all to step back in time to 1812. Hear the crack of the musket and the roar of the cannon. Come and experience life in the early 19th century. The place is Lake Erie and war is in the air. See the colourful clothing, smell the food prepared over open fires. Let us entertain your family for the day. The residents of the Backus Page House will be surprised by American soldiers and militia as they move through the area leaving a wake of destruction in their path. Muskets and bayonets will be leveled and shots will ring out as visitors are taken on a journey to the past and an uncertain and exciting time in the development of our great nation. The grounds of the Backus Page House will come alive with sutlers, reenactors and live entertainment. Festivities will take place on the picturesque grounds of the Backus Page House.
2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the landing of the founding families (Patterson, Backus, Pearce and Storey) in the Heart of the Talbot Settlement. There will be something for the entire family to enjoy. Visitors can enjoy food, shopping, displays, performers and military reenactments, all steps away from the picturesque John E. Pearce Provincial Park. This is our history, the history of our land and our nation. Experience that history first hand as it comes back to life right before you, explosive and dynamic, a vivid representation of what occurred in this area almost two centuries ago.

11:00 am- Raid on the Talbot Settlement followed by mini militia for children
(The residents of the Backus Page House will be surprised by American soldiers and militia as they move through the area leaving a wake of destruction in their path)
12:30 pm- Hey Canada: A Celebration of Canada's History in song (Starring The Maple Keys, the performance of live music features original songs about Canada, the early explorers, the Vikings, Colonel Talbot, Native Canadians and Diversity).

Butter Making- 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm
Mary Storey (the tale of an original settler in the Talbot Settlement)- 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
Forest, Friend or Foe (a guided tour explaining the dual nature of the relationship between pioneers in the Talbot Settlement and the forest around them)- 10:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm

Other activities and presentations to run over the length of the day.
Gate opens at 10am- Backus Page House, 29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown. Call 519-762-3072 for additional information and admission prices. This event is sponsored in part by the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program and the Service to Others Project provided by the Retired Teachers of Ontario (St. Thomas- Elgin District 41)