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From Pianos to Power Chords strikes a chord in Lethbridge music scene

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 It is no secret Lethbridge has an amazing music scene, and it has for a long time.

Tyler Stewart is excited to present From Pianos to Power Chords at the Galt Museum, Feb. 5- April 30. Photo by Richard Amery
 So the Galt Museum attempts to chronicle the scene from Blackfoot drumming back in the day to local music today in their new exhibit From Pianos to Power Chords, which runs Feb. 4 to April 30.
“This was a really cool opportunity to tell the stories of this great scene and it’s importance to the community,” said curator Tyler Stewart, who also plays in local bands Sparkle Blood and A Trozzo and the Electric Few.
“Lethbridge punches well above it’s weight for a city of 100,000 people,” Stewart said.


“It clearly shows where we are and where we’ve got to and how we’ve evolved,” Stewart said.
 The exhibit begins chronologically with a panel on the contributions of the Blackfoot people to music. Another panel touches on turn of the century NWMP and police bands. The exhibit also includes a case dedicated to Second World War POW camp bands featuring an accordion as well as a flugelhorn bugle which were among the instruments auctioned off to the public when the camp closed.


 Another section chronicles the technology people used to listen to music. Another case featuring Lethbridge’s oldest radio station CJOC includes one of their early mixing boards as well as photos of some of the original DJs.
“CJOC was and is an important part of the community,” Stewart said.


Another case focuses on a piece on classical music in Lethbridge features a piano and a panel dedicated to promoter Ron Sakamoto.  A wall next to the exit features some of Lethbridge’s popular music venues and another wall charts the members of local bands past and present going back to the early ’90s.
“That was the most time consuming part of the exhibit. But it was worth it,” Stewart said.
Local cartoonist Eric Dyck designed the lettering for that part of the exhibit as well as the evolution of music technology.

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Galt Museum explores Lethbridge music in From Pianos to Power Chords

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The Galt Museum explores Lethbridge music history in their new exhibit, From Pianos To Power Chords, which runs from Feb. 4-April 30.Tyler Stewart is excited to present From Pianos to Power Chords at the Galt Museum, Feb. 5- April 30. Photo by Richard Amery


“This was a really cool opportunity to tell the stories of this great scene and it’s importance to the community,” said curator Tyler Stewart, who also plays in local bands Sparkle Blood and A Trozzo and the Electric Few.
“Lethbridge punches well above it’s weight for a city of 100,000 people,” Stewart said.


“It clearly shows where we are and where we’ve got to and how we’ve evolved,” Stewart said.


 The exhibit begins chronologically with a panel on the contributions of the Blackfoot people to music. Another panel touches on turn of the century NWMP and police bands. The exhibit also includes a case dedicated to Second World War POW camp bands featuring an accordion as well as a flugelhorn bugle which were among the instruments auctioned off to the public when the camp closed.

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Galt Museum welcomes Aimee Benoit as new curator

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The Galt Museum’s new curator Aimee Benoit has some big shoes to fill in taking over from Wendy Aitkens who retired last year.

Aimee Benoit is excited to be the Galt Museum’s new curator. Photo by Richard Amery
 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.


“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.

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4-H history in Lethbridge community celebrated

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 Head, Heart, Health and Hands are the cornerstones of 4-H. Though most people think of cattle and agriculture when they hear 4-H, 4-H is really about community.

Andy Pittman is excited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 4-H in the Southern Alberta Region, with a variety of activities on Jan. 7 at Exhibition Park. Photo by Richard Amery
 The international agriculture organization for young people celebrates 100 years in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta with a massive celebration at Exhibition Park on Jan. 7,2017.
The Southern Region features 56 clubs including 950 members and close to 300 volunteer leaders from just south of Calgary to the U.S. border.


In addition to teaching young people about agriculture, 4-H also teaches them about the importance of community service and involvement, public speaking and even features summer camps.


“Most of them are beef, equine and sheep clubs, but there are also woodworking and small engine clubs and photography. And one project is snowmobiling. There are no limits, if there is interest and you can find a volunteer leader,” said Andy Pittman, Chairman of the Southern Region for 4-H in Alberta, adding there are also multi-clubs including an assortment of different activities like welding, woodworking and much more.
He is excited to celebrate 4-H community in Southern Alberta.


“4-H is so much about community, so we’re building a little community called Cloverville with different streets and little buildings which will showcase what Southern Albertan 4-H clubs are all about,” he continued, noting Southern Alberta features clubs for pretty much anything you can imagine, including sheep, horses, photography and, of course, cattle.


“There will be a lot of different craft areas for younger people to do 4-H themed crafts. And the Cloverville Museum will feature photos and stories. There will be lots of members and alumni on stage to talk about  4-H,” he said. There will also be a town square featuring an art display and a photo booth and plenty of interactive hands on displays. The trade show, from noon to 4 p.m., is free to attend.


There will be a reception and silent auction at 4:30 followed by dinner at 6 p.m.
“ We’ll be filling up a time capsule built in the shape of a grain elevator,” he said.
“4-H does have a rural base, but it appeals to a wide variety of people,” said Pittman, who, while he was never in 4-H himself, has put both his daughters through the program.

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Galt Museum exhibit illuminates Lethbridge Fire and EMS history

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 There is a lot more to fighting fires than “putting the wet stuff on the red stuff,” according to Lethbridge fire department deputy chief Jesse Kurtz.Dana Terry plays  the Wii firefighter game which is part of We Are Here To Serve: Fire and EMS. Photo by Richard Amery
“That’s a saying we have in the fire department. It means putting water on fire. But putting out fires is so much more complicated than that,” said Kurtz, noting that is what he hopes Galt Museum patrons will take away from the brand new exhibit “ We Are Here to Serve: Fire & EMS, which runs  Feb. 6- May 23.


The exhibit includes fire department and artifacts going back to the beginning of the department over 130 years ago, plus uniforms you can try on and a firefighting Wii game you can play.


“I’ll bet my kids will do better at this than I am,” chuckled deputy chief and Lethbridge Firefighter historian Dana Terry, trying out the game.
Galt Museum curator Wendy Aitkens, Chief Richard Hildebrand, Dana Terry and Jesse Kurtz  plus several retired firefighters got together to brainstorm ideas for the exhibit, which the Galt developed over the past six to eight months due to public request.


“We sat around a table brainstorming ideas and deciding what stories we wanted to tell,” Aitkens said.
“Dana read over these stories and really helped polish them,” she said.


“The fire department has been very helpful by lending us artifacts and clothing people can try on,” she said.
 “I hope the public will see we have a very long history,” said Kurtz, a  39 year veteran, observing a lot has changed with Lethbridge firefighters and EMS.
“I’ve used most of the equipment in the exhibit,” he observed, pointing out a multi use key in one case.
“We had to polish that black. There couldn’t be any rust on it,” he recalled, noting he had only heard of other items such as gas masks from the 1940s and 50s but had never used them.
He observed the exhibit turned out well  especially considering how much information and the numerous items available for it.
“It’s a great display. It covers everything. It would be easy for it to be overwhelming. But it is definitely not overwhelming,” Kurtz said, adding he enjoyed looking at all of the old photographs of  firefighters doing their jobs.


 He said the fire department has seen a lot of improvements even over the past 40 years.
“There is better equipment and gear now. But the biggest change is safety. There is better safety for the members and the public,” Kurtz said.
“And our fire trucks have computers in them,” he said adding they help the trucks run.

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