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Fort Whoop-Up features special summer programming

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 A lot has changed at Fort Whoop- Up since the Galt Museum took it over three years ago.: Fort Whoop Up interpreter Keiran Swayn and Graham Ruttan give a rope making demonstration at Fort Whoop Up. Photo by Richard Amery
 This summer they have been having special programs every Thursday night, alternating between performances by local musician Floyd Sillito and a historical story telling program spearheaded by Andrew Legg and featuring  local actors DJ Gellatly and Kathy Zaborsky, who will be taking over from Gellatly in August.
“It’s called Trader Tales. And really the credit goes to Andrew Legg who created this character from the 1860s-70s who would have been around  Fort Whoop Up at the time,” Gellatly said, adding he has enjoyed spending the summer telling stories around the campfire.

“This character tells story around the campfire about some of the characters who would have been around the Fort at the time,” he continued, adding he has enjoyed learning about the history of the Fort.
“I had never been down here until I started doing this. I think that’s true of a lot of people. They have never been to the Fort,” he observed.
“It really was the wild west here. So it has been really cool learning about it. It’s very interesting the North West Mounted Police formed to stop the whiskey trading happening at  Fort Whoop up,” he continued, adding he dresses in 1860s-70s style for the program.

“I wear a real 1860’s moose hide jerkin,” he said.
The program starts at 7:30 p.m. July 26 was Gellatly’s last performance. New West Theatre veteran Kathy Zaborsky takes over in August.
“She’s created a female character from that era,“ he said.
“It’s really Andrew Legg’s baby,” Gellatly said.


Fort Whoop Up features black powder and cannon demonstrations on Sunday

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If you want to get a feel for the wild west that  Lethbridge once was, Fort Whoop Up has plenty of excitement this Sunday.

Fort Whoop Up interpreter Keiran Swayn and Graham Ruttan give a rope making demonstration at Fort Whoop Up. Photo by Richard Amery
Lethbridge has a fascinating history of buffalo robe trading/ whiskey trading and the formation of the Northwest Mounted Police in order to stop it. The Fort features a variety of interactive displays in which you can get a feel for how people lived in the 1860s and 70s.

In addition to the special events on Thursdays, Fort Whoop Up is open seven days a week until Sept. 2 with a variety of activities happening including rope making, wagon rides, Buffalo chip tossing, a mini horse petting zoo, candle dipping, live blacksmithing demonstrations and bannock making over the fire.

As s special bonus, this weekend, Sunday, July 22, Fort Whoop Up brings back the Fort Whoop Up  Black Powder Club and South Alberta Horse Artillery who bring a replica cannon similar to the cannon at the actual Fort Whoop up in the 1800s, for a demonstration of 1860s era weapons.


Kat Kado telling the story of Cougar Annie at SAAG

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Vancouver Island based musician Katrina Kadoski combines art with music as she recounts the tale of Vancouver Island character and all round touch, resourceful woman Cougar Annie in her one woman show “Cougar Annie Tales.”Kat Kado brings Cougar Annie Tales to the SAAG this week. Photo submitted
 She brings Cougar Annie Tales to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Sunday, April 22 with a multi-media presentation including video, photographs and music, followed by a performance  by The Edgedwellers, her duo with Peter Wahl.

“Cougar Annie moved to Canada to avoid  marrying a man her father wanted to marry. She outlived four husbands and six of her children  (she had a total of 11 children) and  is reputed to have shot 70 cougars, which is why people call her Cougar Annie,” said Kadoski, who performs under the name Kat Kado.

“ You have to be  pretty resilient person to lead a life like that, so that really inspired me,” she said, adding she found a lot  of inspiration in Annie’s story and decided to create a multi-media performance based on her life  from 1915-83.

“It’s a one woman play, but there are other components like visual and audiovisual aspects as images of letters and photos are displayed behind me during the show,” she said,” adding moving to Vancouver Island and learning about Cougar Annie inspired her.

“I  was between jobs and got a job as a caretaker north of Tofino. I actually first learned about her on a first date, so that encouraged me to research her life. She spent a lot of time at the Cougar Annie museum and read  Margaret Horsfield’s book“ Cougar Annie’s Garden” about Cougar Annie as well as  talked to some of the people who knew her.


Bring in Spring with the Home and Garden show this week

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Bring in spring by improving your home, perhaps with a little help from the 2018 Home and Garden Show, taking place at Exhibition Park, March 21-24.

Doug Kryzanowski is ready for Home and Garden show 2018., March 21-24. Photo by Richard Amery
 “With the dollar being down, more people are staying at home and want a comfortable space perhaps adding a pool or hot tub or changing their back yards,” noted Doug  Kryzanowski, Exhibition Park manager of corporate relations and marketing.

“If the Ag Expo is the grandpa at over 60 years, then the home and garden show is the grandma at 42,” he said.
Exhibition Park has played host to the Home and Garden show for the past 42 years. Kryzanowski observed the event attracts an average of 20,000 people throughout the week checking out some 300 exhibitors.

 “We don’t have a waiting list this year,” he said.

“ But that (attendance) depends on the weather. Most of our audience are urban,” he said.

 There will be a cornucopia of vendors offering services and ideas for anything you can imagine.

“There are booths  for landscapers, home renovation, kitchen and cooking, accessories, clothing  and hair and spa items,” summarized event co-ordinator Lisa Ludwig, noting there will be no tiny houses this year, which have been a favourite of past Home and Garden Shows.

“Everything you want to  know about renovations and building and going camping is going to be available,” she added.


Galt exhibit explores why people collect

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What’s the difference between a collector and a pack rat? Check out the Galt Museum’s new exhibit and find out.

Graham Ruttan with a selection of items in “For Keeps: Collecting Memories.” Photo by Richard Amery
“I think it depends on how the collector defines their own collection. Things that may seem like throwaway items to one person can be highly valuable to another person, for their own reasons. A lot of collectors have an emotional connection to what they choose to keep, and other people might not understand why,” noted Jane Edmundson, guest curator of a new exhibit at the Galt Museum “For Keeps: Collecting Memories.”

The exhibit opened last weekend, Jan. 28 and continues until April.

It combines collections from the Galt Museum archives with unusual collections from Southern Alberta collectors plus several multi-media presentations  featuring some of the collectors explaining the stories behind their collections.

“Jane Edmundson worked in our collections department for two years and the exhibit came from her curiosity about the stories behinds some of the items in our collections,” said Galt Museum Marketing and Communications officer Graham Ruttan, noting the exhibit opened to the public on Sunday, Jan. 28

“Because it is more difficult to find items from an event that happened 80 or 90 years ago,” he said.
“The exhibit is about exploring what transforms everyday objects into treasures that we want to collect and preserve,” related Jane Edmundson via e-mail.

 The bulk of the main room features a variety of items from the Galt Museum collection including a collection of anti- Trump protest signs collected last year from a simultaneous women’s march in Lethbridge held simultaneously with the women’s march on Washington  after U.S. Donald Trump’s inauguration and a police revolver used in a police shooting in 1982.

He noted the Galt Museum is taking a more proactive approach to collecting items from events in Lethbridge which will have historical significance, like the protest signs.

 The smaller room features collections from local people from the expected like buttons, Levi Cox’s collection of Barbie dolls to the unusual like a 12-year-old’s collection of egg cartons.
“The idea for the exhibit started when I was working as the Collections Assistant at the Galt, doing research to uncover the histories behind objects that had incomplete records or unknown stories. The research involved looking through newspapers, archival records, and tracking down donors or next-of-kin to try to talk to them about the artifact, and what it meant to them before they donated it to the museum. I learned that the stories behind artifacts are what makes them special and important to preserve for the future,” Edmundson added.

“While I was working in Collections, I became interested to specific objects; some with detailed, recorded human histories that relate to Southwest Alberta, some with known histories that do not relate to Southwest Alberta, and some about which very little or nothing is known (despite research efforts). I wanted to include a selection of artifacts from each of these three categories for the exhibit, to show the public about the work that Galt staff are constantly doing to improve the relevancy of the museum’s collections,” she added.

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