Friday, July 3, 2015

Megan presents her poster on the Musée at the Special Libraries Association conference in Boston

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the SLA Annual Conference in Boston, MA! SLA is a network of information professionals in areas of special libraries, museums, archives, and non-traditional library settings.  I was very involved with the SLA student chapter at my school when I was working towards my MLIS degree, so I decided a while back that I wanted to attend this conference for the second time (last year’s was in Vancouver!).

The theme of the conference this year was, Be Revolutionary! to inspire information professionals to share the current and upcoming trends in the field. This was also the first time that the planning committee decided to host a joint poster session in the exhibition hall.

I approached Shari (the museum director) with a poster proposal about the Musée Héritage Museum and its use of community engagement as a marketing strategy. Once she gave me the go ahead, I started designing my poster. In the few weeks prior to the conference, I sent my poster draft to all of the Musée Héritage Museum staff, and everyone in the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert (AHFSA) administration office for feedback. I felt that the process of this poster project really embodied the museum’s philosophy of community involvement and collaboration. So, just like everything else that we do at the museum, everyone had a hand in the creation of my poster!

It was my first time participating in a conference this large, but while I was nervous, I was even more excited to talk about this amazing place that I love to work at! The poster provided great exposure for the museum, which is exactly what I was hoping for. AHFSA and Musée Héritage Museum kept me stocked with exhibition catalogues, brochures, and business cards to give out. Both surprising and unsurprising, visitors to my poster were incredibly interested in the museum, and how we do things! I spoke with people of many different educational and employment backgrounds, and from all over North America. Those who represented other smaller museums, many based out of the US commended Musée Héritage Museum on its innovation and perseverance. I ended up giving out every last one of the business cards! To add a bit more to my poster setup, I also held a draw – in exchange for a business card, visitors had the chance to win a set of 3 Musée Héritage Museum’s candy tins, with each tin featuring a historic site maintained by the museum!

I have gladly offered my poster to the museum for keepsake, so be sure to take a look on your next visit!

A BIG thank you to Musée Héritage Museum for this amazing experience, and for all of the help!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Healing Garden in St. Albert


The Musée Héritage Museum has been working alongside the United Church and City staff planning a place to remember the children that were taken from their families and placed residential schools. There were two residential schools in the region, the Youville Home on Mission Hill and the Edmonton Industrial School located near River Lot 56.

At our 2015 Father's Day Food Truck event we had children and their families make a heart flower to plant at the Healing Garden site, located on the north side of the Sturgeon River, across from City Hall.  Children from the St. Albert United Church started planting the heart garden on Sunday June 21 and then museum staff added the hearts they had collected at the special event.

Heart gardens are being planted across Canada and…."The goal is to honour children lost to the Indian Residential School system and mark new possibilities in reconciliation."  To discover more about this project visit

We invite you to stop by the Musee Heritage Museum to make your own heart flower to add to the garden! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 21, 2015 food truck event at the St. Albert Grain Elevator park

On Sunday June 21, 2015 the St. Albert Grain Elevator Historic site hosted eleven local food trucks and more than 3000 people!  

Father's Day, National Aboriginal Day and the longest day of the year were all celebrated as our visitors enjoyed sunshine and a variety of food choices.

A lot of four legged family members enjoyed the day as well!

Making hearts to place at the new Healing Garden site in St. Albert.
Face Painting station

Grain elevator tours of both the 1906 and 1929 elevators led by our interpreters.

Food trucks all lined up and very busy

Live music all day long!

And an old fashioned Penny Carnival for the children.

A really great day at the historic site!

 Join us for Canada Day celebrations from 11am until 4pm on July 1, 2015 and do not forget to mark Friday August 28 on your calendars because the food trucks will be on the site once again from 5pm until 9pm!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

More summer student introductions-Meet Jia Jia!

Hello! My name is Jia Jia. I’m the Project Archivist this summer at the Musée Héritage Museum in St. Albert.  My job is partially funded by the Federal Young Canada Works grant program which assists students to gain work experience, related to their degree programs, during the summer months.  I’m currently working towards my Master of Library and Information Studies degree at the University of Alberta. Just one year left! I’m thrilled to be a part of the Musée Héritage Museum team this summer and I’m learning a lot about archives and about the history and community of St. Albert.

The Musée Héritage Museum’s focus on outreach is one thing that I really love. Especially because we archivists are often "closeted" in a windowless back rooms and whenever we discover anything interesting, we are largely excited about our discoveries all on our own. However, outreach and programming, exhibitions and events, even this blog, all are chances for us to share with you what we’ve discovered and what we’re excited about.

My main project this summer is to process the records of Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel. He was a fascinating man who commanded the Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade in WWI and ran a resistance group from his home in France in WWII… that’s just a few of the highlights from his life!

The Museum has published a biography of Brutinel written by close family friends, which is full of stories, photographs, and letters by Brutinel.  I highly encourage you to check it out if you want to read a detailed account of his life (

But, more than second-hand compilations and biographies, what’s most meaningful to me and what draws me to archives is the primary, first-hand evidence in the records. Brutinel’s archive contains some remarkable documents, such as a WWI interim operations report from 1918 that details military maneuvers and troop movements over a three-day period in August complete with maps and sketches. There’s a lot to discover. And I’m pleased to say that Brutinel’s archival records are being processed and will be available for researchers soon!

So if you’re curious about Brutinel, or any records in the Musée Héritage Museum’s archives please get in touch with us! You can email or check out the website at  Spend some time with the records, make discoveries, and celebrate with those of us who work in “the back room”.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Father Lacombe Chapel Provincial Historic Site 2015

An invitation and introductions from the 2015 summer interpretive staff of the Father Lacombe Chapel in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada...We are looking forward to another great season at the Father Lacombe Chapel and invite you to drop in and see us this summer for a tour or on one of our special event days!

Meet our summer staff (from left to right) Maggie, Julianna, Jasmine and Colette
We are open seven days a week from May 15, 2015 until Labour Day on September 7, 2015 and will be leading school programs through the months of May and June as well as conducting tours all summer long.  

As the summer interpreters we care for Alberta’s oldest standing building (built in 1861)and tell the stories of the people and places in this unique community using historic objects, stories and pictures. Let us show you around Mission Hill where you can see the grotto, the cemetery, the crypt and of course the Father Lacombe Chapel.  

Hello, my name is Maggie and I am a student who is passionate about the history of Alberta. I am so excited to start sharing my passion with all our visitors and enjoying the beautiful summer weather!

Bonjour, my name is Julianna Damer and I am a Franco-Albertan born in St. Albert. The history of St. Albert is very rich and fascinating and I look forward to sharing it with visitors and learning from them too!

Hello! My name is Jasmine and I’m a West Coast girl exploring Alberta’s history. I’m fascinated by the mix of nations, people and ideas that created St. Albert. Come say hi this summer!

Hi my name is Colette Bachand, I am an artist and a student enrolled in a Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta. I can trace up to five generations of my family living in and around the St. Albert area, and this year I am excited to share these historical stories with you at the Father Lacombe Chapel. I look forward to teaching the next generation about their roots and have them experience it by tasting bannock, touching beaver pelts and singing traditional voyageur songs.