Tuesday, September 15, 2015

End of the 2015 season at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park!

The 2015 summer season at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park has been busy with school programs, tours, special events, weddings and Craft Thursdays.  

Our last event of the season, the Harvest Festival, took place Sunday September 13, 2015 on a windy September afternoon.  While rain threatened it held off and our visitors enjoyed music, hot buttered corn, face painting, balloon shapes, tours, a scavenger hunt and demonstrations by local quilters and weavers.   Oh, and of course…the farm animals brought in by 12 Acres Farm--sheep, chickens, goats and a duck!


Quilting demonstration

Hot buttered corn!

Grain elevator tours

Activity tents

Thank you to everyone who came out to the grain elevator site this summer to enjoy a food truck event, our Canada Day celebration, a wedding, a tour with family and friends, a craft day or the Harvest Festival.  We enjoyed showing you around the heritage site and look forward to seeing you again in 2016!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The 2015 ACA Conference in Regina - Part 5: The young and the archives

Outreach was a big topic at the conference.  Working in a museum, I’ve seen the efforts that our programming team puts towards outreach and I am always looking at ways to increase the archives profile in the programming area.

 Excellent case studies were presented where archivists actively went out to reach different audiences.

WWI letters from a Oshawa soldier becomes part of the curriculum
Particularly interesting were the efforts to reach a young, school audience, which may not be typically seen as a primary user group of archives. 
Jennifer Weymark of Oshawa Community Museum partnered with a local high school to incorporate archival materials into their curriculum to teach about World War I. The museum used a diary they had from a local WWI soldier, which became a focal point to teach about the war in school.

Students create their own portrait of a soldier

Rachel Beattie speaks on the Degrassi trivia night session

Another great outreach presented by Rachel Beattie at Media Commons of the University of Toronto. She developed a trivia night session based on their holdings on the tv show Degrassi. This reached out to a wide group of people interested in Canadian pop culture.  All of the presenters clearly illustrated that a lot of time and effort goes into outreach, but it is something that can result in some very positive exposure and use of the archives.

Good tips I learned
  •  Try not to hold your major events in the winter where cold nights could scare people away. 
  •  All archivists; brush up on your cursive writing skill or at the very least how to read cursive writing!  Many children are no longer being taught cursive writing and this leads to difficulty in reading older documents resulting in a lot of work transcribing documents in the archives.
It was another informative conference put together by the ACA. It was great to see some old friends and colleagues and see the progress archivists are making in their never ending efforts to bring awareness to the archives. I hope that readers will get a better sense of the archives are about and what we have to offer.