Thursday, May 29, 2014

Staff Profile: Featuring Celina Loyer

This week's staff profile:  Celina Loyer, Aboriginal Programmer.
Celina leading a school program at the Musée
  I am Celina Loyer, the Aboriginal Programmer on staff at the Musée Héritage Museum. Working alongside the Program Manager I develop and lead programs that have Aboriginal content and information.  I present a variety of different programs at the museum, the St. Albert Grain Elevator (SAGE) Park, the Little White School and the Father Lacombe Chapel. As well, I help to develop programs, especially for preschool to grade 2. I particularly enjoy working with the little ones, even though I do programs right up to junior high aged students.

  I discovered this job one day while visiting the Michif Institute in St. Albert.  During my visit I spoke with retired Senator Thelma Chalifoux who told me, “You need to go work at the Museum and help out my daughter Sharon!”

  As someone who enjoys crafting I am fortunate that my interests and talents are part of the work I do and have become part of the teaching I share with visitors and the staff.  For example I am a Traditional Metis Finger-weaver and have had the opportunity to share this interest with visitors and staff at our museum and heritage sites. I've also sewed for various projects at work, including making a “River Quilt” for the Spring Along the River program for preschoolers, and try-on Metis clothing for one of our Education Kits.

  This past winter I have been fortunate to be able to work on a plan for developing a Metis Medicinal Herb Garden, which will eventually be a part of the Cunningham House site on River Lot 23 in St. Albert.

   One reason I love this job is because of the variety of things I might get to do in a week, whether it’s research, teaching a program for little ones or planning what’s coming next!

Come down and visit with us at the museum or drop by one of the heritage sites this summer, we would enjoy meeting you and showing you around!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Night at the Museum, 2014

On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, the Musée Héritage Museum hosted one of our favourite events of the year, Night at the Museum. Some of our special Canadian guests included Nellie McClung, Billy Bishop, Father Lacombe, Victoria Callihoo, Tim Horton, Emily Murphy, Alexander Rutherford, Jacques Plante, and John Ware! 
Musée was "jam packed" with historic figures and their families and friends

Grade 4, 5, and 6 students from Leo Nickerson Elementary School in St. Albert set up throughout the Musée and the rest of St. Albert Place. Each student took the persona of a historic Canadian figure by dressing up in costume and delivering a first person monologue on their subject. All one had to do was step up to each student and press the red button on their hands in order to have the historic figures come to life!  

Students lined up in St. Albert Place.

Students get ready as judges are about to arrive.

    Judges also went around to mark and comment on
    their presentations, which were delivered in
    both English and French.

Judges listening to presentations.
 Thank you to all Leo Nickerson students , your presentations were splendid! We at the museum always enjoy this event as we learn so much about all kinds of Canadians past and present.
Take a look at some of the pictures below and see if you know how all of these Canadians have contributed to our communities, our country and the world.

Famous Five: Louise McKinney, Henrietta Edwards, Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, and Nellie McClung
Bart Clark

Marilyn Bell
Doug Henning
James McKay
Victoria Callihoo
Alexander Rutherford
Nellie McClung
Aaron Bold
Billy Bishop
Nellie McClung
Henrietta Edwards comes to life to share her story!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Clement Aplati's visit to St. Albert

One of our visitors to the Musée shares the story of her visit with Flat Stanley.
My nephew Sawyer goes to the French Immersion school James Kennedy in Langley, BC, and as part of the grade 2 Social Studies and Language Arts program the class read the book Flat Stanley (Clement Aplati) by Jeff Brown. The book is about a young boy named Clement who is accidentally squished “as flat as a pancake” when a bulletin board falls on him. Clement is very, very flat but otherwise fine. The story tells of Clement’s adventures being flat. He can slide under doors, go down into sidewalk grates, and even fold himself up small enough to fit into an envelope and be mailed to exciting and interesting places.

My nephew made me a Langley Clement Aplati, and sent me a letter in French to tell me about Clement’s city. I don’t think he would mind me sharing it:

Tante Lee,
Clement est ne a Langley. Langley est une ville tres jolie. Fort Langley a ete cree avec l’industrie de four rure il ya longtemps. Aujourd’hui les personnes aiment faire de diverses activites dehors, comme aller en bicyclette, faire des rendonne’s a pieds et monter acheval. Amusez tournez le vous bien avec Clement!

Clement came for a short visit with a journal to tell of where I live and exciting things that he saw or did on his adventure. Part of my adventure with Clement was to take him to the Musee Heritage, where he had a great time visiting and posing for fun photos! Thank you to the staff for assisting us on our fun afternoon, and as promised the photos I took are accompanying this letter.

Lisa Ryan, St Albert

St. Albert heritage sites opening for the summer!

The St. Albert Heritage sites open this weekend and we invite you to drop in and visit!

We look forward to a busy summer season at the Father Lacombe Chapel and St. Albert Grain Elevator Park!

It's the beginning of another great summer at the Father Lacombe Chapel, situated atop Mission Hill on St. Vital Avenue in St. Albert. This chapel, the oldest building in all of Alberta, was constructed in 1861 by Father Lacombe and Métis settlers to serve the newly established St. Albert Roman Catholic Mission. The chapel has been restored to what it looked like in the 1860s. 

Drop by and have our interpreters take you back in time by showing you around Mission Hill where you can visit the crypt of Father Lacombe and Bishop Grandin, discover the grotto and take a walk through the cemetery, which is the resting place for some of St. Albert's earliest settlers.

Join us over the summer break at our summer events, to enjoy some bannock, stories of St. Albert’s past, and above all else some good old fashioned fun! For 2014 our special events include Canada Day on July 1st, Taste of the Past on July 20th and Mission Hill Day on August 17th, all events run from noon until 4pm.

Hours of operation, from May 15th until Labour Day,  are seven days a week 10 am to 5 pm. We look forward to seeing you at the Father Lacombe Chapel this summer!

On Saturday May 17th, 2014 the St. Albert Grain Elevators officially open for the 2014 season!  Each week we open our gates to the public Wednesday through Sunday, and holiday Mondays, from 10 am until 5pm. Our friendly staff will be on hand to welcome you to our historic grain elevators, and our 1920 era replica train station.

Join us this year each Thursday for crafts, traditional games, and refreshing lemonade. Our annual Dominion Day and Harvest Day festivities will be particularly exciting, so stay tuned for regular updates!

Janel, Curtis, and Gwen, our St. Albert Grain Elevator Park interpreters for this season.
Our majestic elevators have stood sentinel over St. Albert since 1906 when our silver Brackman Ker elevator was completed, joined by the Wheat Pool elevator in 1929. Both these 90-feet structures are open to the public, accompanied by one of our three knowledgeable interpreters. In addition to discovering our remarkable agricultural past, step into the 1920s by visiting our replica train station. See how the station agents lived, try your hand at the specially designated Railway Morse code, and find out why the rail lines were so important to the development many communities all over Alberta, like St. Albert.

Drop in a check out the historic sites of St. Albert, Alberta this summer!  We look forward to meeting you, showing you around and sharing the history of this community with you, your family and friends.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Visit to 100 year old church at Kehewin Cree Nation

Merlin Rosser, our Heritage Sites Manager, was recently given the opportunity to visit a 100 year old catholic church at the Kehewin Cree Nation, located near Bonnyville, Alberta.
This opportunity came about when Harvey Young Chief, Indian Residential School Coordinator, saw the St. Albert Gazette article about Merlin's restoration project of the Chevigny house in St. Albert: Restoring layers of history. Harvey then contacted Merlin and asked if he would like to come look at the old church in Kehewin. Merlin, one who could never turn down an opportunity to examine historic buildings, jumped at the chance. I was also invited by Merlin to take the two and a half hour trip to Kehewin to tour the place. As the archivist, I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about the history of the church and the significance it played for the area.
Merlin and Harvey
The old church was built in 1914 and has not been in service in over the last 10 years. So when Merlin and I arrived at the base of the church, we expected to find a building in rough condition. However, to our pleasant surprise, the building was in relatively good shape. Harvey met up with us and took us inside the church, allowed us to have a look around and take pictures. The place was certainly showing signs of wear and tear over the years, but Merlin in particular was thrilled to note that the building structure was in good shape, especially given its age.
We took a tour around the church to examine it and then went down into the foundation area as well, which was neat for me. I actually kind of felt like an archeologist, a la Indiana Jones, with my big flash light and camera in tow.
Entering the foundation area.
Vino perched up on the stairs as Merlin takes a photo of the foundation entrance from beneath.
After examining the foundation area, Harvey, Merlin, and I then had a nice chat about the history of the church, about the different documents, artifacts, and photos related to the church, and the land surrounding it. Harvey told us some neat stories of the area, such as Bishop Grandin of the Archdiocese of St. Albert coming down to bless the area in the late 1800s. It was also interesting to note that the church attracted people from a large region in the St. Paul, Alberta area. The church grounds is the site of the annual St. Joseph's pilgrimage, which dates back to the mid 1940s. The pilgrimage attracts people from across many nations, where the pilgrims converge up at the shrine on St. Joseph's Hill, which is just behind the old church.

Both Merlin and I were honoured that Harvey contacted us to come look at Kehewin's old catholic church. As Musée employees, it really is a cool aspect of our jobs to be able to assist with the development of historic resources in our extended community.

Vino V.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Staff Profile: Featuring Edna Baker

This week on our staff profiles is Edna Baker, Visitor Services Coordinator.

      I am Edna Baker, the Visitor Services Coordinator, at the Musée Héritage Museum.  I have been with The Arts and Heritage Foundation for over 6 years.  Chances are on most days, I will be the first person you see when you come into the museum.

Edna helping out some scavenger hunters during last's year Harvest Festival at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park.
   It is a pleasure to meet and greet visitors of all ages. I especially enjoy the days when children who have attended an educational program come back with their parents or grandparents and give a ‘tour’ of the museum.  They are very knowledgeable as “they have been here before” so I can stay back and watch.  

   While tracking attendance and completing reports, I see that we have visitors from all over the world. Last year, in addition to our Canadian and American visitors, we saw visitors from Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Italy, Russia, Scotland, & Turkey, just to name a few.

   Managing and maintaining the Gift Shop is also part of what I do and I am always on the lookout for new and unique items for all ages including books! Recently added to our inventory were several children’s books including Discovering Numbers and Discovering Letters – written in English, French & Cree; The Giving Tree and Relatives with Roots – each book includes a CD that narrates the story in English & Michif; The Métis Alphabet Book and more! 

   Spring is the time to plan, sort and send items to our gift shops at the historic sites--the Father Lacombe Chapel and the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park.  Spring also means organizing and tracking special events at the heritage sites including weddings, photo shoots, meetings, birthday parties and family gatherings.

  I work closely with many of our volunteers as well preparing program materials, greeting visitors, responding to genealogy and research requests, highlighting new exhibits, and organizing opening receptions. They are all wonderful, and we appreciate their contributions to our organization and how they work with our team.   

   My job is an adventure and different every day of the week! Drop in and have a look around, I look forward to greeting you at the Musée Héritage Museum.

Edna J. Baker