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Galt Museum ready to re-open June 2 with new safety procedures in place

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The Galt Museum has held over their previous exhibits as they prepare to  re-open, June 2.
 Of course there are changes.

Graham Ruttan and new CEO Darrin Martens with “ A Painters paradise.” Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s not a grand re-opening. It’s a reopening. We’re being very careful. We’re following  Alberta Health guidelines,” said new CEO and Executive Director Darrin Martens, who moved here from the Peel Museum in Brampton in Southern Ontario to take over the position on April 9 just as Covid was starting to take off.
“We’re taking a very careful approach to reopening. The safety of our staff and visitors is paramount,” he continued.

The museum’s closure during this Covid 19 outbreak has meant a lot of work for Galt Museum communications co-ordinator Graham Ruttan, who has been busy revitalizing Galt Museum exhibits on the North West Mounted Police and the Nikkei Tapestry exhibits online which are now available on a multitude of social media platforms including Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and instagram. The Galt Museum also offers online access to over one hundred thousand records of objects from our collection of over a million items, including 85,589 photographs and 13,500 artifacts.

The museum is implementing several changes for the reopening.
 Visitors must go online to and buy tickets for a specific time and day, plus agree to a code of  conduct.
“We’ve brought back QR codes,” said Ruttan, adding visitors can  download an app so they can hear the audio portion of the exhibits on their own personal devices. They have also modified the permanent exhibits to remove  any tactile features and staff will be keeping a close eye on visitors to enforce the no touching rule.

Martens said the code of conduct follows Alberta Health  guidelines including proper social distancing,  hand washing and sanitization stations and limiting the number of visitors.
 The gift shop also has new procedures in place. If you touch an item and decide not to buy it, you put it in a box where it will be taken away and sterilized for 24 hours before being returned to the shelves. Masks are not mandatory for the Galt Museum.
“We had an opportunity to test things with a mock opening with staff and volunteers,” Ruttan said, adding staff have also cleaned and sanitized the exhibits.
“We’ve even cleaned the (permanent exhibit in the main room)  buffalo,” he said.
“We’re being very responsible in our approach to the re-opening,” he continued.

 Hours have also been changed.
 Galt Museum members have priority from 10 a.m.-noon, Tuesday through Saturday. The museum will be open from noon to five p.m for the general public, Tuesdays through Saturday. And from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays for everybody.
“ We’re closed Mondays so we’ll do a deep clean of everything every week,” Ruttan enthused.

“Come learn safely,” Martens summarized.
“I’m excited to be here. I’m a storyteller. So I’m excited to be able to tell the stories of Lethbridge,” Martens continued, noting he is originally from Swift Current, Saskatchewan and his sister has operated a veterinary practice in Fort Macleod for many years, so he is very familiar with Southern Alberta.
“I’m extremely excited to take on this position,” he continued.
“I was able to ask a lot of questions about how things are done  here and why we do them,” he added.


Galt Museum lets you enter a world of pure imagination with Worlds Imagined

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Go to the Galt Museum and enter a world of pure imagination, to borrow a song from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie.Aimee Benoit tries out the Game Of Thrones throne in the Worlds Imagined exhibit. Photo by Richard Amery

 The Galt Museum opened a new travelling exhibit “ Worlds Imagined,” Friday, Sept. 27.

 The exhibit , created by the Cushing Memorial Library Texas A & M University , runs at the Galt Museum until Jan. 5.
“One of our volunteers read a blog about it thought it would be fun to bring it to Lethbridge. We’re the only place it is traveling to,” said Galt Museum Creator Aimee Benoit, noting it reminds her of reading the source material to her kids.

 The exhibit features close to 50 maps of worlds explored in a cornucopia of video games like Street Fighter and well known science fiction universes like Star Trek, Star Wars, Battle Star Galactica, classic sci fi from H.G. Wells, and worlds from well know works of fiction like the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter, J.R.R Tolkien’s  Middle Earth, Game of Thrones and Terry Pratchett’s Ankh-Morph from his “Discword” Series, which has two separate maps.
 There is even a map of all the places Ian Fleming’s James Bond has visited.


Galt Museum recognizes Richardson Oilseeds for new exhibit on water flow and irrigation

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 The Friends of the Galt Museum are excited to recognize  Richardson Oil Seeds for a generous  donation to help fund a peElisha Rasmussen and Richardson Oilseeds representatives Krista MacNeill and Sharon Wojtowicz enjoy the Galt Museum’s exhibit. Photo by Richard Ameryrmanent interactive installation focusing on the importance of  irrigation to Southern Alberta.

They donated $19,000 to build a permanent outdoor exhibit on the south side of the downtown museum, which illustrates the importance of and route water takes from the Rocky Mountains and points east.
 They exhibit, which features scale models of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and  the geography  out to around Taber, has been operational for about a year.

 It features an interactive pump, so you can pump the water and watch the route it takes. you can also adjust the route by  opening gates to divert the water’s flow.
“ The pump has already been broken a few times, so it certainly has been well used,” said Friends of the Galt Museum‘s Elisha Rasmussen. Museum staff repair the pump as soon as possible.

“So people have really responded the the project,” she said.

 The exhibit also included boxes of grains grown in the area including barley, wheat, oats and canola, though they aren‘t directly connected to the water pump, they just illustrate the types of grain grown in Southern Alberta.

Mary Oordt noted the exhibit helps illustrate the challenges local farmers must face with regards to irrigating the soil.
“ It would end in the Hudson’s Bay,” said Oordt, noting the model doesn’t reflect the route that far away.
 The exhibit was designed by local artist Brad Brown.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Galt Museum explores Lethbridge neighbourhoods in Places and Traces

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The Galt Museum and Lethbridge Historical Society combine their knowledge and resources  to explore Lethbridge neighbourhoods in their new exhibit “Places and Traces.”Aimee Benoit examines a roller skate and wagon in Places and Traces. Photo by Richard Amery
The exhibit opens today, May 23 and runs until Sept. 8. It includes suites of old photographs of what the city used to look like plus items including street signs, toys and clothing. There is also a video component featuring familiar faces like Mark Campbell talking about their  neighbourhoods.
“It’s about how neighbours change and how the people living in them change them,” summarized Belinda Crowson putting on her Lethbridge Historical Society hat.

 Crowson, who has written several books about Lethbridge history, even learned a lot while helping put together this exhibit.
“The people living in the neighbourhoods  changed the neighbourhoods,” Crowson observed, noting community organizations worked to plant trees and even rename neighbourhoods and streets.

“Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t she said.
“In the ’60s, students living in Hardieville being renamed,” she said.
“And people living in Parkdale were able to prevent the construction of a  grain elevator,” she said.
“You can tell people who moved here and people who grew up here from the way they speak about the neighbourhoods like the coulee bottoms. People  who were born here call the the coulee bottom  River Bottom. People who moved here call it the River Bottom,” she observed.


Galt Museum examines memories of home in Recollecting Home

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Home is more than a building, it’s where the heart is and where your own personal memories lie.Aimee Benoit is excited to present  the new exhibit Recollecting Home at The Galt Museum beginning Feb. 1. photo by Richard Amery
 That’s the idea behind the Galt Museum’s new exhibit “Recollecting home, running at the Galt Museum Feb. 1-May 5.
“ The idea is to explore different ideas of home from people in the community, ” summarized curator Aimee Benoit.
 So last year, the Galt Museum put out a call on social media for people  to select items from the Galt Museum’s archives and write a story about their personal memories of the items.

“ We got close to 60  participants. It’s similar to the Treasuries and Curiosities exhibit,”’ said  Benoit.
It is an opportunity for us to connect to the community as well as  for the community to get a behind the scenes experience,” she said.

There are several different of  similarly themed items, including  music, chores, kitchen and several other categories.

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