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Come out and play with the Helen Schuler Nature Centre’s new play program

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It’s okay to play, in fact it is essential.


Coreen Putman is excited about the Nature pod Play at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. Photo by Richard Amery

 So The Helen Schuler Nature Centre has started a new interactive play program “The Nature of Play,” to reach out to all ages.


“ It’s for the very young to grandparents,” said Helen Schuler Nature Centre manager Coreen Putman.


 The program featuring a variety of interactive displays designed to encourage mental, motion and object play.


Putman observed the exhibit opened a week ago and has met with enthusiastic response since opening last week.


“It is designed to prioritize the importance of play and how to prioritize play,” Putnam continued, adding it is  a culmination of work from community organization Lethbridge Play, which includes 20 community organizations which began in 2018.


Galt Museum welcomes powerful travelling exhibition about Japanese displacement in Second World War

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A new  travelling exhibit at the Galt Museum puts a human face on one of the more lamentable moments of Canadian history — the displacement of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.

Tyler Stewart examines  the Broken Promises exhibit at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard Amery


 The travelling exhibit Broken Promises, co-curated by the Nikkei National Museum and the Royal British Columbia Museum in partnership with Landscapes of Injustice, is at the Galt Museum until Sept. 3.

“ It’s been at some of the major museums in Canada over the past three years so it’s very cool we get to have it here,” said curator Tyler Stewart.


 The exhibit complements The Galt Museum’s existing permanent exhibit about the displacement, with artifacts and interactive displays featuring first hand accounts and old correspondence from some of the displaced and their families.

“ It’s a very powerful exhibit. It’s very detailed and well researched so it has allowed a deep dive into  some  of the individual stories of the people involved rather than an abstract concept,” Stewart said, adding Japanese Canadians  made a long standing contributions to the country before the Second World War.


“ Japanese Canadians are an important part of Southern Alberta history,” he continued, noting their property was confiscated  and either sent back to Japan or sent west, where many of them were driving force in agriculture production, particularly on sugar beet farms.

“These interactive exhibits tell the stories and experiences of the Japanese people,” he said.

“ There are a lot of different ways to engage with this exhibit,” he continued.


Galt Museum explore the Politics of sound through art and artifacts

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Sound is all around, but what it means is in the ear of the beholder.


 That is the concept behind the Galt Museum’s new exhibit Politics of Sound, which runs until May 7, 2023.


“Politics of Sound” is a combination of art from artists from Europe and the U.S. to Southern Alberta and artifacts from the Galt Museum.


Marjie Crop Eared Wolf with her contribution to Politics of Sound. Photo by RichardAmery

Galt Museum Curator Tyler Stewart expanded on a previous version of the exhibit focussing on Maskull Lassere’s sculptures blending musical instruments like trumpets and clarinets with bayonets and rifle scopes, to include a couple interactive exhibits by jamilah malika abu-bakare, Adam Basanta, Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, Maskull Lasserre, Benny Nemer and Jessica Thompson, plus  a few pieces from the Galt Museum archives.


 One of the interactive pieces is by local artist Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, who explores the loss of First Nations language because of residential schools. It features videos of Crop Eared Wolf speaking the language and three pictures featuring  Blackfoot words illustrated in red ink.

Marjie Crop Eared Wolf created her part of the exhibit through the experience of learning her traditional language.


“I was inspired by by my mother who is from the Blackfoot (Niitsi’powahsin) Nation, which is our name and my dad who is Secwepemctsín from Kamloops Shuswap area and dictionaries. There are two streams of leaning, oral, which is how First Nations learned their language and  written. There are three Blackfoot dictionaries I used,” she said, noting the red ink is a deliberate choice.


“When I was learning English, that is how my teachers marked wrong words on my tests and I appreciated that,” she said. The video component features Crop Eared Wolf learning traditional language with a close up of her lips forming the words.


Walk a mile in someone else's moccasins with Galt Museum’s new exhibit

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You can symbolically walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins with the Galt Museum’s new exhibit “ Walk A Mile in my Moccasins.”


Camina Weasel Moccasin  with the Walk a Mile in my Moccasins display. Photo by Richard Amery

 The local museum’s new Indigenous curator Camina Weasel Moccasin asked friends, co-workers and family to share their favourite stories about their favourite pair of moccasins.


 The new exhibit opened at the Galt Museum last week and runs until the end of the calendar year. 


“We had each participant  put on their moccasins and had a  a few words of conversation about hiw  they wanted to be represented,” Weasel Moccasin said, noting all of the particiapants are from the Kainai and Piikani nations.


By placing these stories on the floor of the museum, alongside photos of the participants’ moccasins, visitors are invited to take a few moments to walk alongside their Niitsitapi neighbours and listen to their stories.


Galt Museum celebrates the many aspects of urban forests in new exhibit

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Don’t take your trees for granted.

 That’s the gist of  “Rooted: How Trees Give Us Life,” the new exhibit opening at the Galt Museum, May 28 and running until Sept. 4.


Tyler Stewart talks about The Galt Museum’s new Rooted How Trees Give Us Life exhibit. Photo by Richard Amery

 “ There are a lot of different  aspects to trees. There’s more to them than just shade and cleaning the air,” said Tyler Stewart, the Galt Museum’s new curator.


“So we’re giving people a great opportunity to learn about  the scientific, economic and indigenous perspectives of trees,” Stewart said, emphasizing the playfulness of trees.

“There is something for everyone from a five year old kid to a 95 year old scientist,” Stewart said.


 There are informational panels, an original piece of  a wooden water pipe used in the early days of Lethbridge, multi-media interactive displays, an oral component of First Nations Elders discussing traditional Piikani perspectives about their relationships to trees and nature and a video of Lethbridge people talking about trees. There is even a wooden playhouse and  mini-climbing wall.


“We hope the tree house will give people a sense of nostalgia about their childhood and memories of their own tree houses,” he continued.


 All of the pieces of the exhibit are connected by images created by local artist April Matisz, who has been inspired  by nature since she began creating art. 

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