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L.A. Beat

Galt Museum presents “The Greatest Years You Never Knew: Lethbridge 1906-1913

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When you are looking at  the Galt Museum’s new exhibit, “The Greatest Years You Never Knew: Lethbridge 1906-1913” Belinda Crowson examines a paining of Lethbridge from 1912. Photo by Richard Amerywhich opens Saturday, April 30, don’t forget to bring your ideas for other exhibits, because the museum is planning ahead for the next couple years.

“We need help from the community, so we’ll have pieces of paper for you to write down your ideas. We’re planning for 2013-2015,” said curator Wendy Aitkens who was glad to let Belinda Crowson take the reins on this exhibit.
“I always enjoy having a guest curator because I get to see their process,” Aitkens said.

“That era is when Lethbridge transformed from a frontier town to become the city as we know it,”  said Crowson, who did a lot of research to create this exhibit which includes  a replica of a home made cave where some of Lethbridge’s original settlers would live rent and tax free. They’d dig a hole into the side of a coulee and reinforce it with any wood they could find.

 The exhibit is separated by a wall representing the different worlds of the both lower class and upper or “preferred” settlers. There are also a variety of artifacts and gravestones marking some of Lethbridge’s historic buildings which have since been demolished. Plus there is a replica of a parlour featuring artifacts borrowed from the families of staff and volunteers, where you can sit and read newspapers and magazines from the era.


“We‘re always looking for new ideas to tell Lethbridge’s story, or a different angle for the same story,” Aitkens said adding it is important for the Galt to be involved in the community.

 There are a variety of activities planned for the grand opening of the exhibit.

 There will be special programs as well as children’s activities happening throughout the day including school yard games from 100 years ago, pen and ink experiments and Edwardian paper dolls.
The official opening ceremony is at 11 a.m. with music, speeches, and a ribbon cutting.
 There will also be a couple film screenings — the 1944 film “Meet Me in St. Louis” at 11:30 a.m., followed by “the Birth  of A Nation” at 1;30 p.m.

There will be special presentations on the Lethbridge Correctional Institute, Fire Department and Exhibition Park. And there will be prizes if you dress in your best period costumes.

 Admission is free for opening day. The exhibit runs until Sept. 11.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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