Saturday, April 10, 2010

Over a Century of Popular Science on Line

Popular Science Magazine has partnered with Google to offer their entire 137-year archive for free browsing. The site states that each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements. Visit the Archives and take a step back in time to see how far we've come into the future!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Creating 1812: Commemoration, National Identity and Role of The Arts

The Niagara 1812 Legacy Council presents
April 23 & 24, 2010, Hamilton, ON

Symposium registration available for $49 or $99
Symposium Highlights

RH Thomson - Canadian actor and commemorative artist

World Premiere of “Warships Down” featuring War of 1812 shipwrecks
the Hamilton and the Scourge

Representatives from Toronto, Niagara and Hamilton discussing
commissioning opportunities for the War of 1812 Bicentennial

Living history - the acting in reenacting

Workshops on the War of 1812 Bicentennial and Music, Visual Arts,
Special Events, Documentaries, Theatre, Landscape, Monuments, Material
Heritage and more!!

The Full program is as follows:

Schedule for Friday April 23, 2010
Venue: Lincoln Alexander Centre in the Crowne Plaza Hotel,
150 King St E, Hamilton
Program begins at 7:00pm
Keynote Speaker R.H. Thomson
Canadian actor and commemorative artist Thomson will address issues
related to commemoration and the arts through discussion of his Vigil 1914-1918 project which
paid homage to the 68,000 Canadians killed in the First World War through the projection of each name on war memorials.
World Premiere of “Warships Down” War of 1812 shipwrecks the Hamilton and the Scourge are featured in the “Warships Down” episode of History Television’s Dive Detectives Series produced by yap films.
Speaker Schedule for Saturday April 24, 2010*
Venue: Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King St W, Hamilton
Program runs from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Workshop#1 - Whose war is it anyway? Creating and recreating history through art Visual imagery plays a significant role in the creation of our historical understanding of war. But whose visual imagery gets to tell the story? And which story does it tell? This workshop will begin to unravel the difficult questions posed by visual documents of the Wart of 1812 and other
historical events.
Location: Art Gallery of Hamilton
Moderator: Shirley Madill, Rodman Hall Arts Centre, Brock University
● Todd Tremeer, Visual Artist
Topic: Painting History/ History Painting. My “history paintings” fall short of the grand narrative tradition. Rather they are little narratives; they play with history and recall war’s
representation in film, illustration and toys.
● Jim Burant, Manager, Art and Photography Archives, Library and Archives Canada

Workshop #2 - Pageants, Picnics and Parades
The War of 1812 Bicentennial will be marked with many special events.
Will the passing of 200 years of peace be a celebration or a commemoration? Are the two mutually exclusive? In this session we will look back at some of the Centennial events of 1912-1914. How did they reflect aspects of regionalism or nationalism? What was the legacy of these Centennial events? As planning begins for the Bicentennial what can we learn from the commemorative activities of the past?
Location: Art Gallery of Hamilton
Moderator and Presenter: Lisa Barty, Administrator of Research and Facilities, McMaster University

Topic: The "Other" Battle of Stoney Creek - the formation of the Women's Wentworth Historical Association and the building of the Stoney Creek Monument.
● John G. Johnston, Project Coordinator, Fort Erie 1812 Bicentennial Committee
Topic: How Canadians should see the War of 1812 and how we should celebrate it.
● Keith Jamieson
Topic: History of Lacrosse

Workshop #3 - The Documentary and Shorts
Workshop will examine American and Canadian documentaries of the War of
1812, preview the new WNEDTV documentary entitled “The War of 1812” and “Rural Raids and Divided Loyalties” a film commemorating the lesser known stories from Ontario. Discussion will also include the importance of preserving the Six Nations involvement, events, projects and views regarding the last 200 years.
Location: Art Gallery of Hamilton
Moderator: Brian Purdy, Grimsby 1812 Committee
● David Rotterman, VP Television Production, WNED-TV
Topic: Documentaries on the War of 1812
● Zachary Melnick, Director - Ontario Visual Heritage
Project, Owner - Lock3 Media
Topic: Zach will discuss his current project "Rural Raids and Divided Loyalties - Southwestern Ontario and the War of 1812", why it's important to commemorate the small stories along the the big ones, and how low-cost documentary production can be used as a community building and tourism tool.
● David Moses, The DAM Studio

Workshop#4 - Drama: “the play’s the thing”
Location: Art Gallery of Hamilton
Moderator: Ronald Weihs, Artistic Director, Artwood Theatre
● Judith Sandiford, Managing Director, Artword Theatre
Topic: The Play's The Thing
● Wendy Elliott, writer, and Steve Pratt, composer, of “Manifest Destiny” an 1812 Musical
Topic: Manifest Destiny: A musical about drive, ambition, honour and duty, war and peace, love and death, and the beginning of a nation
● Eva Nicklas, Artistic Director, and Timothy P. Henderson, Author,
Lewiston Council on the Arts
Topic: The Marble Orchard 1812. Through extensive research, the Henderson/Nicklas team has collaborated to bring Lewiston’s history to life in popular historical walking tours, plays and musical programs in the “Marble Orchard”.
Workshop #5 - Monuments and Statuary
Over the last two centuries, a significant number of monuments to the War of 1812 have been erected on battlefields, town squares and parks. What did the monuments mean to those who struggled to put the project together? What would a similar project produce today? Is there a future for monuments and statues to the events and figures of the War of 1812?
Moderator: Ian Kerr-Wilson, M.A. M.M.St., Manager of Museums and Heritage Presentation, City of Hamilton
● Ron Dale, War of 1812 Project Manager, Parks Canada
● Lee Simonson, Volunteer, Historical Association of Lewiston, Inc.
Topic: Tuscarora Heroes Monument
● Lisa Gilbert
● Keith Jamieson
Topic: Six Nations Concepts of Commemoration
● Richard D. Merritt, Niagara on the Lake War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee

Workshop #6 - Briefing and Dialogue
Exploring commissioning opportunities for artists related to 1812 themes
Moderator: Debbie Whitehouse, Chair, Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council
● Canadian Heritage Field Office, Toronto: Relevant Canadian Heritage
funding programs
● Sandra Shaul, Fort York & Toronto Arts Council and Claire
Hopkinson, Executive Director, Toronto Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Foundation
Topic: Funding mechanisms and opportunities for public art in the City of Toronto
● Terri Donia, Project Manager, Niagara Region
Topic: Public art in the Niagara Region
● Ken Coit, B.E.S. B.Arch, Art in Public Spaces Coordinator
Topic: Funding mechanisms and opportunities for public art in the City
of Hamilton
Workshop #7 - Material Heritage: Touching our History
Reading about history is interesting, but interacting with artifacts from the event brings the experience up close and personal. Join our experts as they present pieces of material
heritage surrounding the War of 1812.
Moderator: J. Herbert Bond, Editor, The Upper Canadian Antique
● David Sharron, Head of Special Collection and Archives, James A.
Gibson Library, Brock University and partner
● Tom Russell, Historian
● Rick Hill

Workshop# 8 - The role of landscape in creating and recreating places of pilgrimage
Moderator: Paula Berketo, Landscape Architect, City of St. Catharines
● Mike Ripmeester, Professor of Geography, Brock University
● David O’Hara, Museum Administrator, Fort York
● Patrick Kavanagh, Researcher, Forest Lawn Cemetery
● Arlene White, Binational Tourism Alliance
Topic: Bicentennial Art of Peace Gardens Project
● Virginia Burt, Landscape Architect, Visionscapes Landscape
Architects Inc
Workshop #9 - Striking the Right Note - Interpreting History through Music
Music can be a powerful tool in interpreting our past. It may involve “period” examples from early written sources. It can also take in the popular music of one era that survives to become the traditional folk of another, and even newly composed works created to give a contemporary view of past events. This seminar will examine the potential for the uses of all three strains.
Moderator: Ian Bell, Curator/Director, Port Dover Harbour Museum
● Nick Baxter-Moore, Associate Professor, Brock University.
Topic: (Un)Sung Heroes: Recording Alternative Histories
● Ronald G. Vigue, Executive Director, Orchestra 2001
● Peter Alexander, Historic Music Coordinator, Fort George NHS
Topic: Military and Social Music during The War of 1812

Workshop #10 - Living history: The acting in re-enacting
The goal of the workshop is to examine the reason behind reenactment,
the acting involved, artistry and aesthetics; the notion that blending acting with historical accuracy can create a good story that is correct, potentially provocative and entertaining; what should be emphasized in ones interpretation of the past in order to get ones point across to a modern audience, commemoration of events / personages and the shaping of national identity.
Moderator: Michael McAllister, B.A., M.A., Co-ordinator, Hamilton Military Museum, Hamilton & Scourge National Historic Site of Canada
● Craig Williams
● Zig Misiak
Topic: History & Reenacting, relationship with Six Nations past and present
● Ray Hobbs
Topic: History and Heritage: Partners or Combatants
● Susan Spencer
Topic: Real History vs "History Lite": what's the difference, and why does it matter?
*Speakers, topics and times subject to change

To register contact:

Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council
3550 Schmon Parkway, 2nd Floor, PO Box 1042
Thorold ON L2V 4T7
905-984-3626 ext. 3456

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One Man's Garbage...

There may come a day when future anthropologists shift through the contents of landfills to discover the mysteries of our contemporary era. One might think it strange that our garbage could have some future intrinsic historic value. In all likelihood, it would have seemed just as strange to the long-dead former owner of the ancient pottery sherds, broken tools or cracked pots that were once garbage but now grace prestigious collections in any number of contemporary museums.
Have you ever found a chip of pottery while out for a walk or digging in your garden? It just could be that broken bit of clay is more than a sliver of broken Corelle Dinnerware. If you're lucky, you may have found a clue relating to the history of the area in which you live. The Internet is a great place to go to discover if your pottery sherd has a story to tell. Online resources like those found at Saint Mary's University Archaeology Lab Ceramics Database can help you research your find. This particular site aids in the identification of ceramics found on historic period archaeological sites in Nova Scotia but many common ceramic characteristics are easily traceable to other areas of the country. The site also provides the opportunity to expand your research if you so desire with the site bibliography page which contains a list of Ceramic References.