The Galt Museum’s new curator Aimee Benoit has some big shoes to fill in taking over from Wendy Aitkens who retired last year.
But Benoit is excited to return to Lethbridge, where she graduated from the University of Lethbridge with her BA in History in 1998. She also has a MA in Geography and is currently working on her PHd in Communities and social inclusion.
“I lived in Lethbridge from Grade 6 on and got my undergraduate degree at the U of L, and then I left the city for a number of years, ” Benoit said adding she lived in Saskatoon and taught English in Japan for several years before returning to Alberta to take a job at the Glenbow Museum. While there, she also worked as the Calgary Stampede’s archivist and historian.
She has a long history with the Galt Museum.
“I have a really deep love for history in this province. So I’m excited to work on being part of the community again,” she said, adding in addition to exploring Southern Alberta History, she plans to help put history into a contemporary context.
“When I was working on my degree, I started volunteering at the Galt Museum as a collections assistant. That’s when I decided I wanted a career working in museums,” she said.
“ So it feels like a treat to come back and reconnect with that early experience.”
Benoit, who started her new position at the end of November, is looking forward to the job.
“I’m looking forward to looking at different themes and telling different stories and relevant topics that engage with people,” she said.
She noted a lot of the exhibits have already been planned for the next couple years, so she is looking forward to looking beyond that.
“The next exhibit, ‘From Pianos to Power Chords,’ is curated by Tyler Stewart and opens Feb. 5. And we have a travelling exhibit from Fernie that focuses on Emilio Picariello, who was a rumrunner. A lot of people in the Crowsnest Pass will be familiar with that story,” she said.
“And I’m curating an exhibit about water that focusses on the Old Man River watershed, which is a broad history of Southern Alberta which explores people’s reactions to water and also the future of water and how it informs our discussions about water,” she said.
She agreed filling Wendy Aitkens’ shoes is a challenge, but she is looking forward to that
“I’m really excited to work with new team. Wendy was a very respected curator and left great big shoes to fill but she stayed to help me for two weeks. So I look forward to that challenge,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all of the other people,” she continued.