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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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Lethbridge libraries get ready to play for literacy day

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Lethbridge libraries will be “playing all day for literacy” during Family Literacy Day, Jan. 27, and with two of them operating, the day will be twice as much fun.Paige McGeorge prepares for Literacy Day, Jan. 27. Photo by Richard Amery


“Literacy is more than just about reading books,” observed Crossings Branch teen-brarian Paige McGeorge, adding  there are a variety of Literacy Day activities scheduled for both branches.


“We’ll be playing for literacy, so we will be having a variety of play related activities both here and downtown,” said McGeorge, outlining an array of  play themed activities to happen all day long , Jan. 27.


“Here, we’ll be starting with story-time at 10 a.m.,” she said adding something special will follow after the opening ceremonies at noon— a celebrity dictionary race.
“We’ll be pitting local celebrities against each other in a dictionary race, where the first person to find a word and a definition in the dictionary wins,” she continued.


“But it will be separate from the spelling bee,” she continued adding the afternoon will be dominated by a preschool literacy carnival.
“It will have a lot of activities for the kids like story corners, colouring, a beanbag toss and activities like pin the tail on your favourite storybook characters,” she continued adding there will be games throughout the day as well, both board games as well as video games.

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Beware of fakes in the stores in ‘Fakes and Forgeries: Yesterday and Today exhibit

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Wendy Aitkens explains the Galt Museum’s Fakes and Forgeries exhbit. Photo by Richard AmeryConsumers need to have constant vigilance, especially during the Boxing Day shopping season. But today, the old adage, “You Get What You Pay For,” has never been more true.


Because everything you can buy can be counterfeited including the currency itself. So it is a perfect time for the Galt Museum to  open their latest exhibit — Fakes and Forgeries: Yesterday and Today. The traveling exhibit, comes to the Galt  from the Royal Ontario Museum with the help of a  special Heritage Canada grant.


 The interactive exhibit, which opened Dec. 18 and runs until April 10, features 11 showcases full of  numerous different types of forgeries  from currency to ancient artifacts, as well as originals set side by side. They include counterfeit merchandise, minerals, drugs, hockey helmets and uniforms, counterfeit software and popular items like toys and ipods as well as ancient artifacts and their counterfeited counterparts from Egypt and China.


“The collection puts them side by side and  gives you a chance to  guess which is which. But they don’t just leave you guessing, you  can open a door and see if you are right or wrong. Underneath the door is an explanation of what to look for,” said curator Wendy Aitkens adding counterfeiting costs Canadian taxpayers about $22 million a year.


“The Royal Ontario Museum has six million objects, so when they found out they had fakes in their collection, they put some of them together side by side with the real ones,” she continued.

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A bargain may not be a bargain, it may be a fake

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If you can buy it, somebody can counterfeit it and if you buy a  counterfeit, it could kill you. That may be an extreme conclusion to come from the opening  day of the Galt Museum’s new exhibit Fakes and Forgeries: Yesterday and Today, but the main message Lethbridge Regional Police  Service Community Liaison Officer Blaine Stodolka wanted to leave with a handful of fascinated listeners, Dec. 18, is if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It is also more likely to be a counterfeit product.Cst. Blaine Stodolka stands by a case of fake merchandise. Photo by Richard Amery


“The best way to tell, is if the price is too good to be true,” Stodolka said before his presentation at the museum, adding he didn’t know how big a problem selling counterfeit goods was in Lethbridge, though, there was the possibility of it being huge.
“It’s a matter of is it being enforced? There’s time commitment and resources,” he continued adding the police investigate complaints of counterfeit consumer goods, but don’t actively go through stores looking for them.

He said consumers should carefully examine labels. If they look poor quality and are full of spelling errors, and don’t have a contact name or address, they may be counterfeited goods.

As well, items like hockey helmets and day to day items like fire extinguishers and extension cords must undergo rigorous safety testing and are marked with a Canadian Standards Association test sticker marking they have passed the test.

Counterfeiters usually won’t bother trying to reproduce these stickers and seals, or, for that matter, making sure the packaging looks professional and well designed.


“Corporations  spend millions of dollars making sure packaging and labels look good, but it costs counterfeiters time and money and they just want to get them out as fast as possible,” he said showing a video of a counterfeit fire extinguisher, which wouldn’t actually put out a fire.

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Galt Museum presents Fakes and Forgeries— from yesterday to today

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It is always a good  idea to be a wary consumer, but it is even more so with the Christmas shopping season in full swing.  Because everything you can buy can be counterfeited including the currency itself. So it is a perfect time for the Galt Museum to  open their latest exhibit— Fakes and Forgeries: Yesterday and Today. The traveling exhibit comes to the Galt  from the Royal Ontario Museum with the help of a  special Heritage Canada grant. Volunteers and Bank Of Canada analyst Marc Trudel examine the counterfeit bill displat. Photo by Richard Amery
“Every 10-12 years, we release a new series of bills with different security features. This helps us keep one step ahead of the counterfeiters,” said Trudel, giving a preview of his  sneak preview of his presentation. He said next year, bills will be made of a special plastic polymer, though he doesn’t know which ones will be redesigned or what the new features will be.


“They’ll probably tell us what they are about two hours before it happens, because they don’t want any leaks,” he laughed adding there are a variety of security features on  the current issue of bills which include a special cotton fibres, which give them a distinct feel. So in addition to feeling the bills, you should be able to tell a counterfeit bill as well as by holding it up to light.

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