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Galt Museum explores Lethbridge neighbourhoods in Places and Traces

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The Galt Museum and Lethbridge Historical Society combine their knowledge and resources  to explore Lethbridge neighbourhoods in their new exhibit “Places and Traces.”Aimee Benoit examines a roller skate and wagon in Places and Traces. Photo by Richard Amery
The exhibit opens today, May 23 and runs until Sept. 8. It includes suites of old photographs of what the city used to look like plus items including street signs, toys and clothing. There is also a video component featuring familiar faces like Mark Campbell talking about their  neighbourhoods.
“It’s about how neighbours change and how the people living in them change them,” summarized Belinda Crowson putting on her Lethbridge Historical Society hat.


 Crowson, who has written several books about Lethbridge history, even learned a lot while helping put together this exhibit.
“The people living in the neighbourhoods  changed the neighbourhoods,” Crowson observed, noting community organizations worked to plant trees and even rename neighbourhoods and streets.


“Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t she said.
“In the ’60s, students living in Hardieville being renamed,” she said.
“And people living in Parkdale were able to prevent the construction of a  grain elevator,” she said.
“You can tell people who moved here and people who grew up here from the way they speak about the neighbourhoods like the coulee bottoms. People  who were born here call the the coulee bottom  River Bottom. People who moved here call it the River Bottom,” she observed.

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Galt Museum examines memories of home in Recollecting Home

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Home is more than a building, it’s where the heart is and where your own personal memories lie.Aimee Benoit is excited to present  the new exhibit Recollecting Home at The Galt Museum beginning Feb. 1. photo by Richard Amery
 That’s the idea behind the Galt Museum’s new exhibit “Recollecting home, running at the Galt Museum Feb. 1-May 5.
“ The idea is to explore different ideas of home from people in the community, ” summarized curator Aimee Benoit.
 So last year, the Galt Museum put out a call on social media for people  to select items from the Galt Museum’s archives and write a story about their personal memories of the items.


“ We got close to 60  participants. It’s similar to the Treasuries and Curiosities exhibit,”’ said  Benoit.
It is an opportunity for us to connect to the community as well as  for the community to get a behind the scenes experience,” she said.


There are several different of  similarly themed items, including  music, chores, kitchen and several other categories.


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Galt exhibit ‘Decoding E-money’ explores the evolution of payment systems

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If you are curious about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, then a new traveling exhibit opening at the Galt Museum will tell you everything you want to know and more.

“De-coding E-money” opens at the The Galt Museum on Saturday, Sept. 22 and runs until Jan. 6.

Aimee Benoit plays a find the bitcoin game which is part of the Galt museum's Decoding E-Money exhibit. photo by Richard Amery
The interactive, bilingual exhibit on loan from the Bank of Canada Museum features several interactive exhibits. One shows the path different types money (including cash, cheques, credit cards, debit cards and bitcoin) takes from your pocket to the merchant.

Another shows the history of different forms of money including early band notes, bank drafts, coins and even a wooden strip used during the heyday of the fur trade. There is a quiz of your knowledge of money and another exhibit dedicated to cryptocurrency, featuring a video game  involving spotting the cryptocurrency.


There is also an interactive display about the history of different forms of payment through the years.


“ We’re really excited about this exhibit and all of the interactive displays,” said Galt Museum marketing and communications officer Graham Ruttan.
“I’m impressed with it. We’re privileged to be able to bring it here,” he continued.

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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.

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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.

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