"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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Boarding House Gallery Brings Art to Downtown Guelph

6 Dublin St the former Guelph Civic Museum building

GUELPH Ontario - February 27, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - Art in Guelph has a new home with the opening of the inaugural Boarding House Gallery exhibition in downtown Guelph.

The exhibition “1,” which has its opening reception Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Boarding House for the Arts at 6 Dublin St. S., marks the launch of a new public art gallery. The gallery is an artistic partnership between the University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM) and the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (MSAC). The two organizations say this helps fulfill their mandate of presenting contemporary art exhibitions in a space which is accessible and free to the public.

“I am thrilled that SOFAM is spearheading this important collaboration with MSAC,” says John Kissick, SOFAM director. “The Boarding House Gallery is a venue for the exhibition of work by practicing professional artists and for bringing the work and ideas of our best and brightest students to the downtown core. We hope to make a meaningful contribution to the downtown community's active cultural sector.”

The premiere exhibition “1” features 13 contemporary Canadian art works by SOFAM faculty artists Diane Borsato, James Carl, Susan Dobson, FASTWÜRMS, Christian Giroux, Will Gorlitz, John Kissick, Nestor Kruger, Jean Maddison, Martin Pearce, Sandra Rechico, Monica Tap, and Laurel Woodcock.

The show also features a number of works selected from the MSAC’s permanent collection, as well as works that are on special loan for the Boarding House Gallery premiere exhibition.

“The Boarding House Gallery is the result of a fruitful partnership,” says Judith Nasby, MSAC director and curator. “The gallery enables us to extend our programming to engage the public and to reach out to the community in new and interesting ways.”

The gallery plans to host a number of exhibitions. After “1” concludes its run on March 24, the gallery plans to feature works by nationally and internationally recognized artists who will showcase contemporary art practice both in Guelph and beyond its borders.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Canadian Government Announces First Partnership with the Canadian Museum of History

Sir John A. MacDonald

VICTORIA, British Columbia, February 21, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced the signing of a partnership agreement between the future Canadian Museum of History and the Royal BC Museum. This is the first in a series of partnership agreements that will allow the new Canadian Museum of History to fulfill its mandate.

"I am delighted to see the efforts being made to create links between museums across the country," said Minister Moore. "Canada has many great museums that showcase particular aspects of our country's history, and these collections are of interest for people across the country. On the road to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, let us celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, strong, and free country we are today."

These partnership agreements will increase collaboration in producing and presenting exhibitions and programs across Canada. They will give Canadians from coast to coast to coast the chance to benefit from the collections safeguarded by museums across the country, and will help enhance Canadians' knowledge and understanding of our shared history. As a partner, the Royal BC Museum will have access to important pieces from the Canadian Museum of History's collection, which includes some three and a half million items. The new museum will also have the benefit of regional perspectives from partners like the Royal BC Museum.

"The Royal BC Museum is an outstanding museum, and I am both pleased and honoured that they have accepted to join this newly created network of history museums," said Mark O'Neill, President and CEO, Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. "Our two museums have a history of great collaborations, and I look forward to many more fruitful endeavours together."

"We are pleased to be forging a strategic partnership with the Canadian Museum of History," said Professor Jack Lohman, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal BC Museum. "Working with a network of the country's top history museums allows us to increase our audiences, develop innovative new programs, share expertise, grow our staff, and maximize resources and impact."

The Government of Canada is an occasional funding partner of the Royal BC Museum, through programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage.


On October 16, 2012, Minister Moore announced the Government of Canada's intention to create the Canadian Museum of History.

The new Museum will highlight the national achievements and accomplishments that have shaped our country, including the "Last Spike" from the construction of the Canada Pacific Railway, Maurice "Rocket" Richard's hockey jersey and items from Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. Through existing resources and new partnerships with museums across Canada, the Canadian Museum of History will renovate over 50,000 square feet of public space. This renovation, to be completed before Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, will provide the public with the opportunity to appreciate how Canada's identity has been shaped over the course of our history.

The future Canadian Museum of History is seeking input from Canadians on the major themes, events, and accomplishments that have shaped our country. So far, approximately 20,000 people have shared their ideas by participating in an online forum (www.civilization.ca/myhistorymuseum/) and in public engagement sessions in nine Canadian cities.

The Museum is leading the establishment of a nation-wide museum network that will greatly enhance the production and reach of exhibitions focusing on Canadian history.

The creation of a pan-Canadian network of history museums will provide greater access to our heritage and our shared history, allowing Canadians from coast to coast to coast to benefit from the exquisite collections safeguarded by museums across the country. Partnership agreements will allow artifacts and collections, which might otherwise be stored in the museums vaults, to circulate between partnering institutions.

The network will promote collaboration and co-productions, the sharing of artifacts, the development of new online projects and tools, and the exchange of professional expertise. The ultimate goal is to enhance public understanding of Canadian history from both a national and regional perspective, and to foster a common sense of identity throughout the country.

Through the network, museums across the country will have a national showcase in the new Canadian Museum of History, which will devote a permanent space to exhibitions produced by network members.

In addition, the Government of Canada is supporting museums through the Museums Assistance Program and the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program. These programs will also continue to work with museums and galleries across the country to offer maximum opportunities to Canadians to enjoy access to international and Canadian treasures.

The Museums Assistance Program funds projects to provide access to heritage, facilitate the circulation and borrowing of exhibitions, promote and preserve Aboriginal heritage, and help in the professional management of Canada's historical legacy.

Recently, the Government of Canada doubled the financial capacity of the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program in Economic Action Plan 2012 to $3 billion. This program helps Canadian museums and art galleries reduce their insurance costs when hosting major exhibitions. It has two objectives: to increase access for Canadians to Canada's and the world's heritage through the exchange of artifacts and exhibitions in Canada; and to provide Canadian art galleries, museums, archives, and libraries with a competitive advantage when competing for the loan of prestigious international exhibitions.

Elmer Iseler Singers and Nathaniel Dett Chorale join together in AMAZING GRACE tour

OTTAWA, Ontario February 21, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Two of Canada's foremost choirs are combining to present their first joint tour. The Elmer Iseler Singers and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the renowned Toronto-based professional chamber choirs, will be presenting AMAZING GRACE, a celebration of the black and white spiritual traditions of North America, in concerts throughout southern Ontario during Black History Month.

The tour will end in Ottawa on Saturday, March 2nd at 8:00PM with a spectacular concert at Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa, 420 Sparks Street, in celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the establishment of Cathedral Arts, the arts programme of the Cathedral.

AMAZING GRACE is inspired by the world's most beloved folk hymn. Although generally considered to be an African American spiritual, the song was in fact written by an 18th century British slave trader who underwent a profound transformation as a result of surviving a shipwreck. It serves as the cornerstone for the concert, being presented in four different settings.

Other highlights include a wide variety of African American spirituals such as Deep River, Go Down Moses and, Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel in settings by the pre-eminent British composer Sir Michael Tippett, African American composers Adolphus Hailstork and Moses Hogan and, other Canadian and American composers. The most notable Canadian contribution is Sharon Fragments by Toronto composer John Beckwith. This Canadian choral classic was inspired by the hymns of David Willson, founder of the Children of Peace, a breakaway Quaker sect that built the famous Sharon Temple north of Toronto and was prominent in 19th century Upper Canadian political and musical spheres.

The Elmer Iseler Singers was founded in 1979 by Dr. Elmer Iseler, the dean of Canadian choral conductors, who founded Canada's first professional choir, the Festival Singers, in 1954. Dr. Iseler conducted the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for thirty-three seasons. The choir, which tours and broadcasts regularly and has over thirty recordings to its credit, is now under the baton of Lydia Adams, the Glace Bay, NS native, who also conducts the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto.

Dr. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor founded the Nathaniel Dett Chorale in 1997. Named after R. Nathaniel Dett, the Canadian-born composer and educator who became a leading figure in the development of African American music, the Chorale is dedicated to the presentation of black choral music of the classical, jazz, folk, gospel and world music traditions. The choir has sung for such eminent figures as Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu, and participated in the 2009 inaugural celebrations of President Barack Obama.

Come and enjoy a wonderful evening of spiritual traditions of North America.

Tickets from $15 to $45 are available online at www.cathedralarts.ca.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Canadian Government Supports the Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum

Construction site 1961

CARP, Ontario, February 14, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced a new investment from the Government of Canada in the Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum.

"Our Government is proud to invest in the historic Diefenbunker, which preserves Canada's Cold War history and tells the story of our role during the period," said Minister Moore. "By supporting infrastructure projects like this one, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our communities and support our culture and heritage."

The Diefenbunker, originally designed as Canada's main underground military bunker in the 1950s, currently functions as a museum and national historic site. This investment supports the conversion of the vacant Bank of Canada vault, located beneath the museum, into a multi-functional space for presentations, displays, performances, and community use. This unique conversion will enable the museum to increase its audience and accessibility.

"We are very grateful for the federal government investment, as it will help us retrofit the iconic gold vault, located 75 feet underground within a former nuclear blast shelter," said Henriette Riegel, Executive Director of the Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum. "Once the conversion is finalized, we will be able to increase partnerships with community groups, schools, artists and musicians, and provide a wonderful new way for the new generations to better understand one of the most critical times in the world's history, and the important role that Canada played in the Cold War."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $25,000 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

Sixth Annual Spotlight on Heritage

GUELPH Ontario – February 16, 2013 - Spotlight On Heritage at the Stone Road Mall

Once again, the heritage organizations of Guelph and Wellington County are gathering at Stone Road Mall in Guelph to highlight the wide range of heritage preservation work taking place in our communities. Eleven organizations will take part this year, including the Guelph/Wellington Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, several historical societies and our finest nationally recognized museums, archives and library. Four Historical Societies will be represented this year; Guelph, Wellington County, Arthur and Mapleton. Start Heritage Week off right with a visit to Stone Road Mall on Saturday February 16!

This local event was established to mark the start of Heritage Week, and to celebrate Heritage Day on February 18 (which happens to also be Family Day here in Ontario). Heritage Day has been celebrated in Ontario since 1985. This year the theme of Heritage Day, as suggested by the Heritage Canada Foundation, is the celebration of “Neighbourhoods”.

Family Day events are taking place at both the Guelph Civic Museum and the Wellington County Museum and Archives, please check guelph.ca/museum/ and www.wellington.ca/en/museum.asp for details.

Plan to drop by the mall on Saturday, February 16, between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm; be inspired and amazed by the significant heritage work taking place in our communities!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Government of Canada honours Canada's Korean War Veterans at Winterlude 2013

OTTAWA, February 7, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Senator Yonah Martin, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Russell Mills, Chair of the National Capital Commission, and Jean-François Trépanier, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission, honoured the service and sacrifice of Canadian Veterans who served during the Korean War by illuminating a special ice sculpture tonight as part of Winterlude 2013. The ice sculpture commemorates 2013 as the Year of the Korean War Veteran, which was announced last month by Minister Blaney.

"The Korean War was one of Canada's most significant military engagements of the 20th century," said Minister Blaney. "Our Government is proud to honour the contributions of the more than 26,000 Canadian men and women who served during the Korean War, by making 2013 the year of the Korean War Veteran. We must never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by 516 Canadians that never returned home"

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. On July 27, 1953, the Korean War Armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.

The 2013 Winterlude ice sculpture includes a replica of the Statue of Brothers, a symbol of the Korean War, at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul. The sculpture depicts a scene where a family's older brother, a Republic of Korea officer, and his younger brother, a North Korean soldier, meet in a battlefield and express reconciliation, love and forgiveness. The crack in the dome stands for the division of Korea and the hope for reunification. The sculpture also includes a Canadian soldier standing nearby to witness the reconciliation.

"We are forever grateful to the men and women who served our country during the Korean War to preserve global peace and protect fundamental human rights," said Senator Yonah Martin. "Today, during Winterlude 2013, we illuminate this sculpture in their honour, so that everyone will remember their service and the sacrifices they made to help those who were in need."

The ice sculpture is located at the Crystal Garden in Confederation Park, downtown Ottawa. For more information on Winterlude 2013, visit winterlude.gc.ca. To find out more about the contributions of Canadian men and women during the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Old Lincoln and Welland Counties Cemeteries to have an online presence

NIAGARA Ontario January 31 2013 - Media Release - The Niagara Peninsula Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and CanadianHeadstones.com have created an affiliation for the old counties of Lincoln/Welland.

Due to the overwhelming demand for genealogical information online, these two groups will work together to ensure the cemeteries of Old Lincoln and Welland Counties will be accessible via the internet.

The Niagara Peninsula Branch has decided to become a leader in this opportunity with CanadianHeadStones.com to better serve the genealogical community.

CanadianHeadstones.com has a great site with multiple search functions to allow those to search with a broader range of parameters. Niagara Peninsula Branch has approximately 10, 000 photos from the region in stock we wish to place on CanadianHeadstones.com and hope to continue doing so in the future.

The Niagara Peninsula Branch will continue to provide research assistance to the genealogy community – See our website for further details at www.ogs.on.ca/niagara

We encourage those who wish to assist with this great project to contact the Branch at: niagara@ogs.on.ca