"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hank and Oscar do the Dog River Census

Forty kilometres from nowhere and way beyond normal is Corner Gas, an ensemble comedy series about a bunch of nobodies who get up to a whole lot of nothing in the fictional prairie town of Dog River. Starring Saskatchewan native and Gemini winner Brent Butt, Corner Gas is a roadside service station and is also the first original narrative comedy series in Canada. The series, which ran for six seasons and 107 episodes, has been honoured with the numerous awards and nominations.

CTV sitcom Corner Gas has it's very own Census Takers in Hank and Oscar. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Guelph's own Edward Johnson sings "Her bright smile haunts me still"

recorded on November 6, 1919 in Camden, New Jersey by Victor Recording

National Jukebox

If you don't have a Wurlitzer handy, the National Jukebox website is the next best thing. Actually, it's probably the "first-best" thing, as it contains over 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925.

It is a tremendous endeavor, and one that brings the sounds of another era into the life of anyone with an Internet connection.

First-time visitors should click on the "Making the Jukebox" to get started. Here they can view a slide show of Library of Congress staffers at work selecting the items to be digitized and other shots documenting the entire process.

Next, visitors can listen to the "Playlists of Recordings", which feature playlists compiled by Library of Congress curators and project partners. Currently they include "Early Tin Pan Alley", "The Fox Trot", and "Songs by Irving Berlin".

The interactive "Victrola Book of the Opera" from 1919 is quite a pip, and visitors can use it to read stories of great operas while listening to period recordings. Also, it's a good idea to read up in the "How'd They Do That?" section, found toward the bottom of the homepage,
for more behind the scenes information on the project. [KMG]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

More About the National Jukebox

Friday, May 20, 2011

Memorial University of Newfoundland Digital Archives Initiative

1905 St John's Nfld Harbour - Memorial University Archives PF-315.082

Website: http://collections.mun.ca

The history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador are being preserved through digitization by the Digital Archives Initiative at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

As visitors would expect, there are many collections related to marine life, such as "Marine Institute - Ship Drawings", "Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory", and "Among the
Deep Sea Fishers".

Visitors who enjoy boatbuilding will enjoy the dozens of audio interviews conducted by David Taylor with local boat builders and fishermen, which can be found in the "Boatbuilding" collection found under "Audio/Video/Images".

Visitors can view the collections on the homepage by type, sponsor, and alphabetically. The "Showcased Collection" on the left side of the homepage is an ever-changing showcase of eye-catching collections. "Bonfire Night" is one such collection, and it features videos of Bonfire Nights in areas throughout Newfoundland, as well as audios of "Fire, Culture, and Festival: A Public Talk on World Fire Traditions" and locals talking about the history of Guy Fawkes Night. [KMG]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

East Midlands UK Knitting Together Museum

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

Knitting Together Museum website

The East Midlands, UK, knitting industry is the subject of the fantastic virtual and physical museum called Knitting Together.

The knitting industry has been in the East Midlands since the 16th century, and visitors
interested in learning about the ever evolving, sometimes violent history of knitting manufacture will definitely want to check out the "Timeline" located on the right side of any page. The timeline is very thorough, and explains the social consequences of increasingly sophisticated knitting technology.

Along with each segment of the timeline, visitors can view and learn about objects from the collection that relate to the events of the timeline, such as a piece of lace made circa 1769 that may be one of the oldest pieces of machine-made lace.

Clicking on "Virtual Museum" and then "Town Tour" will lead visitors to a tour of Leicester, which offers visitors a chance to take a virtual tour of all the significant sites of the town. Visitors just need to click on the purple circles on the map to see recent, quality photographs of buildings that once housed knitting factories, along with an informational blurb about the building or location. [KMG]

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ontario Heritage Trust Assumes Operation of Two Historic Sites in Perth

PERTH, Ontario, May 16, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Heritage Trust is assuming responsibility for the operation of two historic sites in Perth - McMartin House and Inge-Va. Both sites are owned by the Trust, and were previously operated by the Town of Perth under an agreement with the agency.

McMartin House - a National Historic Site - is an 1830 Federal style building originally constructed as a residence for one of the first lawyers in Perth. The Trust assumed operation of the site on April 1, and will continue a license agreement with the Senior Craft Fellowship. The Trust has been completing conservation work and capital repairs at the site, including: re-pointing of the historic masonry, repair of the pressed metal shingle roofing on the cupola, conservation of the front marble staircase, repair of historic windows and installation of new, wood storm windows, and repair and restoration of other exterior elements.

Built in 1824, Inge-Va is the quintessential example of an eastern Ontario stone cottage. The Trust will assume operation of the site on June 1, and will continue to open it during the summer as a seasonal museum. The Trust has also undertaken conservation work and capital repairs at Inge-Va, including: replacement of the garage roof, replacement of gutters and downspouts, foundation repairs, re-pointing of above-grade stone walls and chimneys, as well as repainting of windows, porches and other wood elements.

"We are grateful for the support the Town of Perth has provided for McMartin House and Inge-Va over the years," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "We look forward to creating new partnerships within the community to support the sites and their operation. They are wonderful examples of the unique heritage of eastern Ontario."

The Ontario Heritage Trust received financial assistance for the conservation work and capital repair projects at McMartin House and Inge-Va from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, announced last year.

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.

Quick facts:

...Inge-Va opens for the summer season on June 11.

...On June 18, both McMartin House and Inge-Va will be open for Doors Open Perth.

The Ontario Heritage Trust owns 25 built heritage sites and over 160 natural heritage properties across the province. More than 75 per cent of these properties are operated with partners, including municipalities, land trusts, heritage organizations and tenants.

For more information on the Ontario Heritage Trust, visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Priceless Collection Unveiled at Nisga'a Museum

LAXGALTS'AP, British Columbia, May 11, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga'a, the Nisga'a Museum, opens today in a dedication ceremony for Nisga'a people, dignitaries, and special guests. Opening on the 11th anniversary of the Nisga'a Final Agreement, the museum is the permanent home of the Ancestors' Collection—over 300 Nisga'a artifacts that have been repatriated through British Columbia's first modern treaty.

"Our scattered legacy has come home," explains Mitchell Stevens, president of Nisga'a Lisims Government. "These treasures connect us directly to this place and yet tell stories with universal themes. I invite everyone to come up and have a look for themselves. You will be moved by the power and spirit encountered here."

Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga'a means "The Heart of Nisga'a House Crests," a name that celebrates the importance of Nisga'a tribes and tribal crests in Nisga'a society. With a design inspired by traditional Nisga'a longhouses, feast dishes, and canoes, the 10,000 sq. ft. facility contains exquisitely carved masks, bentwood boxes, headdresses, and soul catchers acquired from the Nass Valley during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At that time of radical change, many Nisga'a possessions were destroyed; others were acquired by outsiders and eventually sold to museums. Now, for the first time, these Nisga'a treasures are displayed together in their place of origin.

"The development of the world-renowned art style that typifies the First Nations of the north coast of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska had its origins at the mouth of the Nass River," explains George MacDonald, Director Emeritus, Canadian Museum of Civilization. "The Nisga'a Museum houses one of the finest collections of Northwest Coast aboriginal art in existence. It will attract international attention and redraw the map of cultural tourism in British Columbia."

Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga'a continues to evolve. Future exhibits will take visitors from the Ancestors' Collection to the recent struggles for Nisga'a territory and self-government, to modern Nisga'a life on the land, river, and sea. The museum will be open to the public on an interim basis to the end of June. During July and August, opening hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Group tours can be arranged in advance. Please check the website for details ( www.nisgaamuseum.ca).

"This is a proud day," declares President Stevens. "Our ancestors' treasures are back where they belong, housed in a place of honour. Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga'a is our gift to each other, our fellow Canadians, and all humanity."


OTTAWA, May 10, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today is Census Day! The 2011 Census will paint a statistical portrait of the nation.

Census information is important for all communities and is vital for planning services, such as schools, daycares, police and fire protection.

Respondents can fill in the census questionnaire online by using a secure access code. It's easy and secure. Or, they can complete a paper questionnaire.

Information on how to complete the census, including the secure access code, can be found in the yellow census package received by each household or by calling the Census Help Line at 1-877-777-2011. TTY users may call 1-866-753-7083.

The 2011 Census consists of ten questions covering basic demographic characteristics, including age, sex, marital and common-law status, household relationships and language. There is also a question asking for the consent of respondents to release their personal census information to Library and Archives Canada after 92 years.

Information provided on census questionnaires is kept strictly confidential.

Statistics Canada thanks everyone who has already completed the census.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum Marks the Dawn of the 'Modern Woman'

TORONTO, May 5, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Bata Shoe Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its newest exhibition, The Roaring Twenties: Heels, Hemlines and High Spirits, a glamourous display of 1920s footwear. Illustrating the electrifying synergy between fashion and design with a focus on the wardrobe and widening horizons of the "New Woman", the exhibition takes a look at how the myriad influences of the period such as cinema, jazz clubs and world travel influenced the shape of fashionable footwear.

Bracketed by the First World War and Great Depression, the glittering decade of the Roaring 20s marked the dawn of the modern era. Post-war exuberance infused society and fashion with an energetic modernity.

"For women especially, fundamental cultural shifts such as women's suffrage were reflected in fashion signaling a clear break with the past" said Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator, Bata Shoe Museum. Added Semmelhack, "and many of the decade's exceptional shoes illustrate this electrifying synergy between culture and fashion. "

Fashionable footwear in the 1920s reflected the new freedoms opening up for women; from the invention of the T-strap shoe designed to keep women's shoes on their feet while doing the Charleston to the menswear influenced shoes worn by women stepping out of the domestic sphere into the public realm. Many of the changes to women's dress introduced in the 1920s such as shorter hemlines, higher heels and the use of makeup continue to have relevance today and continue to reflect the freedoms and challenges open to women

An exciting lecture and movie series has also been developed to accompany the exhibition. For more information, please visit the Museum's website at www.batashoemuseum.ca.

The Roaring Twenties: Heels, Hemlines and High Spirits will be on view until June 2012.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Into Action and Discover "Genuine Plastic" and "From the Old Country" at Wellington County Museum & Archives

ABOYNE, Ontario - Wellington County Museum & Archives May 3, 2011 – Have you ever wondered how everyday objects are made and what the history is behind the material? This spring, discover “plastic” in an all new light in Genuine Plastic at Wellington County Museum & Archives, opening on May 7, 2011.

Through the objects on display – clothing, jewellery, toys and tools – you are able to see the enormous changes that have evolved from early natural plastics to the introduction of synthetics.

Explore the history behind the material and their indispensible place in modern life.

Opening on May 14, learn what it means to emigrate to and settle in Wellington County in the exhibit, From the Old Country. From across the globe survivors and adventurers have uprooted their pasts to settle and create a better future.

What do people bring with them that speaks to them of their past? How do objects remind them of their past and define their identity? This exhibit features these poignant reminders that bear witness to the strength of our cultural roots.

The Wellington County Museum and Archives is located on Wellington Road #18 between
Fergus and Elora, and the galleries are open weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on weekends and holidays.

For more information, please contact:

Amy Dunlop, Curatorial Assistant
519-846-0916 ext. 5232

2011 Census gets underway today

OTTAWA, May 3, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Statistics Canada announced that the 2011 Census gets underway today with more than 15 million dwellings receiving yellow census packages.

For the first time, 60% of households will receive a letter replacing the traditional paper questionnaire. This letter will provide information to allow respondents to complete the questionnaire online. It will also contain a toll-free number respondents can call to request a paper questionnaire if preferred.

The remaining dwellings will receive paper questionnaires in both official languages.

The 2011 Census consists of questions on age, sex, marital and common-law status, family relationships, language and consent to release personal information after 92 years.

Census information is important for all communities and is vital for planning services, such as schools, daycare, police and fire. Statistics Canada encourages all household to complete the census.