"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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The War of 1812 at the Nova Scotia Archives

The War of 1812 began in June 1812, when the United States of America declared war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland — only three decades after the rebellious Thirteen Colonies had achieved their independence from Great Britain in the War of the American Revolution.

The declaration of war in 1812 meant that regardless of their proximity to or relationships with their neighbour to the south, all the remaining British North American colonies — Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island (then separate from Nova Scotia), New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario) were automatically at war with the United States.

The impact of the war in British North America was experienced mostly in Upper Canada and on the Great Lakes but the other colonies, including Nova Scotia, also had a role to play, primarily at sea. This activity was led by the Royal Navy from its North Atlantic Squadron base at Halifax, joined by privateer vessels from home ports along the Atlantic coast and Bay of Fundy.

The War of 1812 was part of a much larger European struggle which ended with the Treaty of Ghent, signed on 24 December 1814 and ratified by the United Kingdom six days later. News travelled slowly in those days, however, and it took a long time for sailing vessels carrying mail and newspapers to cross the North Atlantic in winter. As a result, the United States did not sign the treaty until February 1815 — and in the meantime unknowingly continued the hostilities, with a significant victory at the Battle of New Orleans in January.

Explore these resources on their website to learn more about Nova Scotia’s involvement in the War of 1812:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Canadian War Museum mourns the passing of Alex Colville

OTTAWA, July 17, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian War Museum joins all Canadians in mourning the passing of Alex Colville, one of the country's most accomplished and celebrated artists. Mr. Colville's exceptional work as an official war artist during the Second World War is especially prized at the War Museum, where it continues to enhance public understanding of human conflict in general and Canada's wartime experience in particular. The Museum is currently planning a special exhibition of his works to honour his memory.

The Museum's Beaverbrook War Art collection includes over 340 of Mr. Colville's oil paintings, watercolours and sketches from that era. The holdings include iconic works such as Infantry, near Nijmegen, currently on loan to the Winnipeg Art Gallery; and Bodies in a Grave, Belsen, which Mr. Colville painted after visiting the Nazi concentration camp soon after its liberation in 1945.

"Alex Colville's genius as a war artist stemmed from his ability to capture the human dimension of armed conflict through his creative interpretation of what he saw and experienced," said Laura Brandon, an art historian and Acting Director of Research at the Canadian War Museum. "His work will forevermore enhance our understanding of war in general, and the service and sacrifice of Canadians who served overseas during Second World War."

Mr. Colville's work was featured prominently in the 2005 War Museum exhibition Art and War - Australia, Britain, and Canada in the Second World War, an international production marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In 2000, he was well represented in the travelling exhibition Canvas of War, Masterpieces from the Canadian War Museum. That year, the War Museum also displayed a selection of his paintings in Colville at War: Watercolours, 1944-1945.

Alex Colville enlisted in the Canadian Infantry in 1942. In 1944 he was appointed an official war artist and painted in England, France, Holland and Germany. The bleak existentialist view of the world reflected in his later paintings has been attributed to his wartime experience.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada's national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada's military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Opening of Anne Frank - A History for Today Exhibition at Régiment de la Chaudière Museum

LÉVIS, Quebec, July 4, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Member of Parliament for Lévis, Bellechasse and Les Etchemins, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, today took part in the opening of the Anne Frank - A History for Today exhibition. He joined representatives of the Régiment de la Chaudière to open the exhibition, which will be on display at the Régiment de la Chaudière Museum from July to September.

"It gives me great pleasure to be here for the opening of this exhibition which not only portrays a young girl who has touched hearts around the world, but will enhance Lévis residents' awareness about the role played by Canadian soldiers in the Second World War," said Minister Blaney. "The Régiment de la Chaudière played an important role in this conflict, for example when it contributed to liberate the Netherlands. We must never forget the sacrifices made by these men from our area."

The exhibition, which presents the life of Anne Frank, highlights the values of democracy, tolerance, mutual respect and human rights, and their significance in society. It also touches on the duty of remembrance.

This travelling exhibition was developed by Anne Frank House in the Netherlands and has been shown in more than 60 countries, on five continents, since the early 1990s. It is presented an average of 300 times a year in 60 different languages. Canada is one of the 18 countries that will host the exhibition in 2013.

2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran. Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. To learn more about the Korean War, please visit veterans.gc.ca.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

INSIGHTS’ at Wellington County Museum and Archives

ABOYNE, Ontario - July 3, 2013 – Celebrate local art at Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) this summer!

One of the longest running juried art exhibitions in Ontario, Insights returns to the Museum providing new experiences for all art lovers. Presented by the Elora Arts Council and the Museum, the display runs until September 1st.

“This exhibit provides artists with an opportunity to showcase their creativity in an outstanding venue alongside 50 others from the area,” Susan Dunlop, Curator said. “With over 200 people attending the opening reception last Wednesday, it proves to be one of the Museum’s most popular exhibitions.”

From over 300 submissions, 97 pieces were chosen by jurors Sara Angelucci, Yael Brotman and Barry McCarthy.

Local prize winners include:

Julia Vandepolder, Hillsburgh
Stitch and Weave #2 (medium oil on panel)

Gail Root, Rockwood
Early Morning, Banderos Bay (chalk pastel)

Melanie Morel, West Garafraxa Twp
Winter in the Forest (weaving)

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