Thursday, December 6, 2012

Special Event "Combo" at the Museum -- Take Your Best Shot Exhibit Opening and Snowflake Festival

Friday November 30, 2012 was a busy night at the museum  celebrating the second annual Take Your Best Shot Youth Digital Photo Exhibition Opening and the annual St. Albert Snowflake Festival.

The photo exhibition gives youth -- Grades 3 through 12-- the opportunity to enter our photo contest and have their entries on exhibit at the Musée Héritage Museum.  Along with their photos, we invited younger members of the community to tell us why they chose their St. Albert area nature subject.

Catherine with her first prize entry

Catherine, Grade 10

"Last July I chose to take a photo of this Canada Goose which I saw on a pond near St. Albert because the bird looked so majestic.  I took several photos that were more traditional showing the classic ringed neck of the Canada Goose.  I enjoy this photo because it shows the feathers in great detail and the water is so clam and peaceful beside the bird."

Maya, Grade 5  
Dandelion white, 
Old, but beauty still in sight. 
A backyard delight.

"I chose this picture because the colours pop.  Some people think of this flower as a weed.  I just think it is one of nature's beauties!"

Kaden, Grade 7

"I first saw this pathway when I was running with my  gym class to prepare for my school's Terry Fox Run. I told my mom about the beautiful pathway in the trees.  My mom did not know where it was so I showed her the ravine... I took a picture of the sun through the pathway of trees.

Elly, Grade 4  
"This is a picture of my best friend Grace's hands shaped into a heart....I took this picture just before a huge mass of storm clouds rolled over our camp.  I think this picture shows how much I love being out in nature.  The bright sun really reflects the natural beauty of our campsite and Sandy Lake."

Family members and visitors to the Museum had the opportunity to view all of the photo entries this year.  Prizes were awarded by our Curator,  Joanne White, to the winners in three categories; Grades 3-6, Grades 7-9 and Grades 10-12.

Curator Joanne White

The Snowflake Festival happens every year in Downtown St. Albert and the Musée Héritage Museum is always happy to be part of the festivities. 

 This year we invited visitors into the museum to experience the youth photo exhibit, have a look at the current exhibits and warm up with hot cider and candy canes!  Check out the pictures below!

Roy busy making olde fashioned snowflakes with our younger visitors.

Mouse making activity with Kat

Making Christmas Mice with Jasmine

Looking at the Wind Work, Wind Play: Weathervanes and Whirligigs Exhibit--a travelling exhibit from the Canadian Museum of Civilization Collection

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Remembrance Day at the Museum

The beginning of November is a time for Canadians to reflect upon those who have served our country in conflicts of the past.  At the Musee Heritage Museum, we are celebrating our veterans and remembering the sacrifices of the fallen with special displays and activities that will further the spirit of Remembrance.  The museum will be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday the 11th, closed for a short time at 11:00 AM so that staff may attend the ceremony at the cenotaph.

George Chevigny, Boer War.

On display will be uniform caps that represent the branches of the Canadian armed services; Lt/Sgt. Arthur Robinson's medals reflecting his long service through World War II, the Korean War, and peacekeeping activities; Sgt. Dorothy (Bellerose) Chartrand's Canadian Women's Army Corps uniform; a series of panels illustrating St. Albert's military history; a slideshow of archival photographs celebrating some of the people from St. Albert who have served; bayonets; ration booklets; and identification disks.

Siblings Ruth and Carson Latimer, WWII.

Besides historic displays, there will also be activities.  One popular activity is the "try-on" area, which includes real uniforms, helmets, and webbing for children to try on, allowing them a small glimpse into what it is like to put on the uncomfortable uniform, the clunky helmet, and the heavy pack - just a small part of the sacrifices that our soldiers make.  We also have a period World War II board game for visitors to play.  Originally produced by the CBC, this game educates Canadians about the transport of war materiel from Canada to Britain, including the dangers faced by sailors bringing such goods across the Atlantic (ie. U-Boat attacks).  There will also be colouring sheets and a peace dove craft.  We would like to thank the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum for lending us several artifacts.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Archives Week - October 1 - 7

Archives Week is soon approaching and we have some fun events planned at the Musée!

Currently, we have a scrapbook exhibit that features archives from our holdings.  Don't miss out, the exhibit will be on until October 21.

This Saturday, we have an activities day planned for families entitled, Show-and-Tell, Games and Tours: Families in the Archives.  We invite you to bring in your scrapbooks to discuss with others.  We will have a few games and crafts for families.  And our archivist is giving behind-the-scenes tours of the archives.

Finally, on October 4, 7 - 8:30 pm, we are holding a workshop on Preserving Your Family Photos.  At the workshop we invite you to bring in your family photographs and our archivist will help you with storing your photos so they last for a long time.  Pre-registration is required and there is a $10 fee per participant. 

To sign-up for the workshop and for more information on archives events, call 780-459-1528.  We hope you join us and explore the Musée archives.

Western Canada Fire Underwriters' Association map, 1935

Scrapbook from Pauline Vaugeois fonds

Monday, September 17, 2012

Harvest Festival

This weekend, the Musée Héritage Museum put on a successful Harvest Festival at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park.  Here are some photographs to sum up the fun at the event!

Dogs herding sheep at dog show

The Tchir brothers and friend performing

Horse rides

Girls gathering oats and wheat to make harvest bundles

Museum staff posing in front of Model-T

Friday, September 14, 2012

Scrapbooking Workshop

The Musée Héritage Museum opened the Cut and Paste exhibit on September 4.  This exhibit features family albums, personal collections and scrapbooks from clubs and community groups covering over 100 years of history. We hope you don't miss out on this exhibit which will be featured in our museum until October 21.

In conjunction with this exhibit, we will be hosting a scrapbook workshop. Here is the information:

Scrapbooking Workshop

at the Musée Héritage Museum
Thursday, September 20th from 7-9PM

Join us for an evening of scrapbooking instructed by Dawn Pritchard of The Inked Stamper scrapbooking and gift store.
The course is suitable for beginners but more advanced participants will be able to let their creativity flow.

The workshop fee is $10 to cover supply costs and we ask that you register ahead by calling the museum at 780-459-1528. 

Limit of 15 participants so sign up soon!

Postcard from a postcard album in Juneau family fonds

St. Albert Women's Institute fonds

Vacation scrapbook from Pauline Vaugeois fonds

Thursday, August 23, 2012

St. Albert Arena (AKA Ducky Dome)

For those of you who love the Ducky Dome, the Musée decided to do a blog about the building with information found in our archives. The arena was used by NHL players such as Troy Murray and Mark Messier prior to their fame.

Its Beginning
The inception of the St. Albert Arena was in the 1960s when the Town of St. Albert faced a problem of not having enough infrastructure to support a growing population.  Recreational facilities were among the infrastructure which was needed.  After plebiscites and community fundraising campaigns, the arena was approved by town council in 1969.  The arena was officially opened in 1971 and operated by the town.

Price list for using the arena, 1976, St. Albert Comets fonds
Front of arena, 1977
Ducky Dome?
In 1984, a mural of ducks was painted on the back wall of the arena, resulting in the nickname Ducky Dome. The mural was created to make the building aesthetically pleasing. Grant Leier was the artist who designed the mural. 
The mural, ca. 1989, Victor Post fonds
Panorama of Perron Street, 1989, Victor Post fonds
The front of the St. Albert Arena, 1992
Its End
When a twin-ice arena was planned for St. Albert, plans were made for the arena's demolition.  In 1992, the building was demolished despite petitions to save the arena.  With the help of Habitat for Humanity the material from the arena was recycled to build 35 new low-cost houses in Mexico.  The City of St. Albert won an environment award from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators for recycling the building.

Monday, July 9, 2012

St. Albert loses a former mayor - Richard Fowler

The Musée Héritage Museum is sad today, to hear of the passing of St. Albert's former mayor, Richard Fowler.  Fowler contributed greatly to the St. Albert community. To name a few contributions, Fowler erected the
--> Sturgeon General Hospital, St. Albert’s provincial building and the St. Albert courthouse.  He is noted for bringing the Alberta Winter Games to St. Albert during the 1970s.  

-->Fowler became a resident of St. Albert in 1958, when he moved here with his wife Vera.  The couple had five children.  In the early 1960s, Richard Fowler was a salesman of commercial heating, air conditioning and refrigeration. In the 1960s he was also active with the Boy Scouts.   By 1963, he gained a seat on the council of St. Albert and in 1965 he became mayor of St. Albert.  His first term as mayor ended in 1968 and in 1969 he began to work towards a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Alberta.  By 1976, Richard Fowler obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences and a LL.B.  Following his schooling, from 1980 to 1989, Richard Fowler held the position of mayor of the City of St. Albert for three terms.  Then, in 1989, he won an election for the position of Member of Legislative Assembly for the Province of Alberta under the Progressive Conservative Party.  During his term as Member of Legislative Assembly, he served as Solicitor General, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister Responsible for Native Affairs and Justice Minister.  He ran for a second term as Member of Legislative Assembly in 1993 but lost the election to Len Bracko.  In December 1993, Fowler’s wife Vera Fowler died.  In 1994 Richard Fowler became a family court judge.  His second marriage was to Dawne Adeline Pusher.
Richard Fowler and Gerard LeBlanc with centennial certificate for St. Albert, 1961 - Photo: Musée Héritage Museum, Richard Fowler fonds, 1998.15.70.24

City of St. Albert Transit Terminal Opening, Sept. 13, 1986 - Photo: Musée Héritage Museum, Victor Post fonds, 2012.02

Richard Fowler outside his constituency office, ca. 1990 - Photo: Musée Héritage Museum, Richard Fowler fonds, Photographed by Victor Post, 1998.15.70.111
To learn more about Fowler's contribution to our community, visit the Musée's Archives as we have his personal papers including numerous photographs and scrapbooks. A finding aid, which lists his materials at the archives, can be found here:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thank you to all the people who came out on Canada Day to celebrate the holiday with us at the Heritage Sites of St. Albert!  Canada Day 2012 was a lot of fun all around and was well attended, despite rainy weather to begin the day.  At the Father Lacombe Chapel, visitors made Canada Flag pins and beaver puppets, and worked through a Mission Hill scavenger hunt.  At the St. Albert Grain Elevator (SAGE) Park, where we had about 400 attendees, visitors made noise-makers, post cards, and railway lanterns, and took tours of the grain elevators.  The celebration at SAGE Park was called "Dominion Day" to honour Canada Day in the past.  As such, the festivities included a huge cake in the shape of a Union Jack!  At the Little White School, where we hosted about 200 people, visitors were again treated to a giant cake shaped like a Canadian Flag, and took part in our "Great Canadian Flag Debate Contest."

The contest helped visitors learn about and re-live the real life Canadian Flag debate that took place in 1964.  Up until 1965, Canada, despite being an independent country since 1867, had no official flag.  As a national flag, Canada used either the Union Jack, since the Dominion of Canada was a loyal part of the British Commonwealth, or the Canadian Red Ensign.  In 1964, Liberal Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson announced that Canada would adopt an official national flag that was unique to Canada - something to help unify Canadians under a single banner.  He favoured a flag with a blue bar down each side, and a red maple leaf in the centre: the "Pearson Pennant."  John Diefenbaker, leader of the Conservative Party (official opposition at the time) opposed this idea, declaring that the Red Ensign should be the national flag of Canada.

To solve the debate, Pearson created a 15-member committee to debate and decide on a new national flag for Canada.  The committee debated the issue from May to October of 1964.  During that time, some 3,500 flag designs were submitted by concerned Canadians across the country, each hoping his or her design would be chosen to represent Canada.  In the end, George Stanley's simple, yet now iconic, design was chosen unanimously by the committee - the flag we know as the Canadian Flag today.  Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new Canadian Flag in January 1965, and on February 15th, 1965 the new flag was flown above Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

At the Little White School, we attempted to re-live this debate by asking visitors to submit their own designs for a "new Canadian Flag."  We asked them to consider symbols of Canada and what Canada meant to them when designing their flags, and we received over 50 submissions!  The contest had four categories: ages 5 and under, ages 6-9, ages 10-12, and ages 13 and up.  Judging this contest was very difficult!  There were so many beautiful, thoughful designs, but in the end only one winner could be chosen for each category.  Below are the winners in each age group.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy National Aboriginal Day!

In honour of National Aboriginal Day, we thought to blog on some of the Métis beadwork in our museum collection.

St. Albert is fortunate to have access to some exceptional examples of Métis beadwork. Métis beadwork was identified by highly decorative floral designs; in fact, the Dakota Sioux and Cree called the Métis the “Flower Beadwork People”. Métis adorned garments and personal items of all kinds with imaginative designs of brightly coloured and metallic beads.  Occasionally, when Europeans began searching for items to collect, other cultural groups sold the highly desirable Métis work as their own, creating confusion as to the real source of the pieces.

Beadwork designs have traditionally been shared, adapted and passed on from one individual to another and from one community to another. Women were inspired by each others work, incorporating new ideas not only from other beaded items but also from painted designs, porcupine quillwork, and even European embroidery. As patterns and techniques moved throughout the northwest it often became difficult to attribute a style to a particular culture or area.

Beaded purse by Desjarlais 2009.08.07
Today’s blog post features the work and stories of two women whose craft we have in our holdings...

About Mary Desjarlais

Pierre Gray was a well-known and very successful free trader near Grande Cache. In 1868 he married Marie Delorme. They adopted Mary Desjarlais along with four other children from the Lake Isle area. Mary was born ca. 1892 and was raised on the Gray’s farmstead at Lake Isle where Pierre and Marie ran a stopping place. The items made by her were likely produced in the hamlet of Marlboro, near Edson.

Vamp beaded by Desjarlais, 2009.08.01
Gauntlet beaded by Desjarlais, 2009.08.11

About Victoria Callihoo (née Belcourt)

The daughter of a Cree medicine woman, Victoria Belcourt was born in Lac Ste. Anne in November 1862, and was baptized by Father Albert Lacombe, OMI.  She only attended school for a short time. As a young girl of thirteen, she took part in her first buffalo hunt in a traditional Red River cart.  She later described the hunt and also her early years at Lac Ste. Anne.

In 1879 Victoria married Louis Callihoo and together they had twelve children – six boys and six girls.  Their household spoke both French and Cree. As with many supplies, fabric for the family’s clothing came from the Hudson’s Bay Company. The women of the family wore traditional leggings made of black velvet, which were beautifully beaded on the outside of the leg.

Fragment of a vest possibly beaded by Callihoo, 1988.14.03
As well as raising a family, Victoria and her husband hauled freight for the Hudson’s Bay Company between Edmonton and Athabasca Landing. Many of the Métis in this region made their living by transporting supplies. Women took part in all types of work to help bring in money and Victoria was able to use her skill as a horsewoman to help her family. Louis and Victoria also farmed, had a sawmill, and ran a hotel for a time.

Louis Callihoo passed away in 1926.  When Victoria got older, she moved away from Lac Saint Anne, but continued to attend the religious pilgrimage every year until she was 98 years old.  Always an avid dancer, at the age of 100 she danced a Red River Jig at her birthday celebration. Victoria Callihoo was 104 when she died at the Youville Home in St. Albert.  She credited her long life to the abstinence of alcohol and tobacco, combined with lots of exercise and as much fresh air as possible.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Elimination of the National Archival Development Program

On April 30, 2012, Library and Archives Canada announced the elimination of the National Archival Development Program (NADP) which has collapsed the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA).  NADP is a grant program which assists archival institutions across Canada to make archives accessible to the public, to digitize archival collections, to train and employ young professionals, to increase representation of underrepresented groups in holdings and to assist with preservation of archives.
The CCA was founded in 1985 and is unique in that it works with individual Provincial and Territorial councils of archives to identify common needs and long-term goals, then presents the results in a single, unified voice. This way, a collective harmonization of efforts reduces the need to repeat processes that have already been developed. The elimination of NADP is a detriment to archival institutions across Canada.

The Musée Héritage Museum archives’ goal is to acquire, preserve and make archival holdings available to the public.  Our archives hold the documentary heritage of St. Albert and are to be shared with anyone interested in St. Albert’s history.  Without NADP in St. Albert, public access to our archival holdings will be more difficult as much of this work has been done through the federal grant.  In the past, NADP funding has helped us in many areas, including:

-       Preservation Management: Preservation involves a variety of techniques to ensure our archives last for as long as possible so future generations can use them.  In 2005, we had a preservation assessment done by an archives conservation expert. This report let us know what we are doing well and what needs improvement with regards to preservation. 
-       Archival Digitization Project:  For this project in 2006, we digitized photographs in the holdings relating to Métis history in order to represent communities that are currently underrepresented in archives.  These photographs were placed online on the Archives Society of Alberta’s database.
-       Magnetic Media Project: In 2008 we ordered supplies in order to preserve our oral histories.
-       Photographs of Aboriginal Life in the early 20th Century: In 2009 we described, digitized, preserved and placed online photographs of residential schools from Alberta and Saskatchewan.  The project involved aboriginal communities as they helped us identify the content of the photographs.  We digitized negatives and made photographic prints which were returned to their respective communities.  We established relationships with various First Nations communities who were saddened to recall their sufferings at residential schools yet elated to receive photographs of their families.  These photographs can currently be viewed on the Archives Society of Alberta’s database.
-       St. Albert Historical Society Photography Project: In 2011, we processed over 1000 photographs and digitized over 800.  The photographs cover a large range of St. Albert’s history.  The project allowed us to make photographs available online via the Archives Society of Alberta’s database.

From the Photographs of Aboriginal Life in the early 20th Century project - Children in front of Le Goff, Cold Lake school, Alberta, 1920s - 1930s. 
From St. Albert Historical Society Photography Project - George Hodgson family, [187- - 1900].

To learn more about how NADP has supported archival institutions across Canada and how you can help, see

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Night at the Museum, 2012

Night at the Museum Event

On May 12, 2012 students from Leo Nickerson Elementary School set up their Heritage Fair projects at the Musée Héritage Museum and families, friends and the public were invited to step into the past and meet some fascinating people!  Take a look...........

 JACE was Jamie McLennan,  Canadian professional hockey goaltender who played for the New York Islanders and Calgary Flames.
Nellie McClung (KALEY) was born in 1873.  In 1927, she along with four other women: Henrietta Muir Edwardss, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby came to be known as "The Famous Five" ) and together they launched the "Persons Case," contending that women could be "qualified persons" eligible to sit in the Canadian Senate.

Henrietta Muir Edwards (DANIKA) who was born in 1849 is recognized as a Canadian women's rights activist and reformer.  She is one of the "Famous Five" who established that women were, indeed, persons and therefore entitled to sit in the Senate of Canada.

Lois Hole (ISABELLE) was a St. Albert resident who served her community and  the Province of Alberta in many different ways.  As a local business owner, educator and author as well as Chancellor of the University of Alberta and as the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

MADELINE was Agnes McPhail the first Canadian woman elected as a Member of Parliament in 1921 which was the first federal election in Canada in which women had the right to vote.  
CLAUDIA shared the story of the Dionne Quintuplets -- Five sisters born in Ontario in 1934.  The Dionne girls were born two months premature and all five survived. After four months with their family, they were made wards of the King for nine years under the Dionne Quintuplets' Guardianship Act, 1935. Many, including the government  profited by making them a significant tourist attraction in Ontario. 

Alexander Graham Bell (JORDYN) inventor of the telephone and metal detector (as well as a host of other inventions).   Bell spent time living and working in Canada and his family moved back and forth between the United States and Canada throughout his life.  He was buried on a private estate on Cape Breton Island in Canada.

RILEY as Chad Kroeger a songwriter and  the lead singer for the Canadian band Nickelback.  He was born in Hanna, Alberta in 1974.

                 SASHA portrayed a local hockey player, Megan Mikkelson, who played on the 2010 Gold Medal Women's Olympic Hockey Team.