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Fond memories of toys and games at Galt Museum

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Everybody has their own memories of their favourite toys and  games from their childhood.
“My favourite toy growing up was space Lego,” enthused Galt Museum employee Kevin Maclean,  proudly indicating a Lego space ship he donated in a case next to a Meccano set, a game of Twister and a Tonka dirt mover. He is proud to say he was so obsessed with playing with Lego that when his parents wanted to ground him, they took his Lego away.Anine Vonkeman plays witha  Blackfoot bone toss game. Photo by Richard Amery


His spaceship is one of over 60 toys and games donated by community members on display in the Galt Museum’s new exhibit, “Toys and Games,” which officially opened Oct. 1 and runs until Jan. 8.

 There are 130 artifacts on display including numerous items from the Galt Museum’s extensive collection as well as 60 others on loan from  community members and  Medicine Hat’s Esplande Museum.


“We wanted to look at what we gain from playing rather than just having artifacts,” said curator Wendy Aitkens. The items were chosen according to how they affect people’s lives.


“When I was growing up on the farm in the ’70s, our TV only had  three channels, but there was Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers and Star Trek reruns. So whoever came up with marketing a space themed Lego series was a marketing genius,” MacLean said.


“And they changed a lot in three years. The original space lego were just the original blocks,” he continued.


He said the instruction manuals that came with Lego kits  were an important learning tool for children, who had to learn to follow directions for the kit to turn out right.


“We learn from playing right from the beginning. When a baby shakes a rattle, it not only learns how to move their fingers, but that they can make noise too,” Aitkens said adding free play time, that is play not determined by a schedule like  school, play school and after school activities, is important for children because it encourages them to  use their imaginations, not to mention learn problem solving skills.


“If they are playing a game with others, like Scrabble, they have to learn how to problem solve and communicate, like by saying that word doesn’t exist,” Aitkens said.

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Relive your youth with Games and Toys at the Galt Museum

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Do you have fond memories of childhood toys like Lego, Meccano sets, old computer games and even simpler toys like dolls, Fawkes Marquis Bruinsma plays a giant game of Snakes and Ladders at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard Ameryjacks, jump ropes, hula hoops and and marbles? Then check out the Galt Museum’s new exhibit: Toys & Games, which opens Oct. 1.


 There are 130 artifacts on display including numerous items from the Galt Museum’s extensive collection as well as 60 others on loan from  community members and  Medicine Hat’s Esplande Museum.


“We wanted to look at what we gain from playing rather than just having artifacts,” said curator Wendy Aitkens. The items were chosen according to how they affect people’s lives.

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Historic Lethbridge week begins with fashion show and concert

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David Renter will be playing cool jazz, May 3 at the Lethbridge Public Library. Photo by Richard Amery Lethbridge is going back to the ’50s this week, in recognition of Historic Lethbridge Festival, May 3-8.


The fun begins tonight, May 3 with a  ’50s fashion show and concert at the lethbridge Public Library.


If the ’50s music strikes your fancy, there will be an excellent selection of music from rock and roll to cool jazz during a special presentation at the Lethbridge Public Library downtown branch in their theatre, May 3 at 7 p.m. There is a rumour Elvis himself may show up.


The concert is a collaboration with the University’s  Theatre department as  that same night there will be a fashion show of ’50s clothing featuring outfits from the department.

Performers include mezzo soprano Sandra Stringer plus Deanna Oye. David Renter and friends will explore the “cool jazz” part of the ’50s, while a crack band consisting of Dale Ketcheson, Bruce Striebel, Bente Hansen and Amanda Lutsenko will handle the rock and roll part of the ’50s.


 They will be playing everything from Fats Domino to Elvis with a little bit of billie Holiday and Chuck Berry thrown in for good measure.

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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.

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Galt workshops are about hands on learning begining with family history research

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For people who like their history a little more hands on rather than from dusty old text books, The Galt Museum is beginning a special series of monthly workshops, Jan. 19.Monta Salmon indicates some of the research material available at the Lethbridge Family History Centre. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s a new series called Galt Workshops. And the idea is to take topics from Southern Alberta and bring them alive in a hands on way,” said Leslie Hall, Galt Museum community programs co-ordinator, adding the Jan. 19 workshop  features guest speaker Monta Salmon who will be teaching participants how to research their family history.


“She’ll teach you how to get started if you are thinking about it. It’s not that scary. So she’ll teach you the basics,” Hall continued.
“It’s a great, informal way  to start learning about it,” she continued. The two hour seminar takes place 7-9 p.m and admission is free.
 Hall is planning on having these workshops once a month.
The next one will be a beading basics workshop on Feb. 10. The one following that will be on how to create  patchwork quilt.


“It is inspired by  a historical piece of art in our exhibit,” Hall said adding the Café Galt presentations are kind of similar, but  the workshops are more hands on.


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