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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.


Galt Museum explores life of bootlegger Emilio Picariello

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Southern Alberta has a pretty wild, wild west history, with plenty of interesting characters who might as well have stepped right out of  a movie, and in some cases inspired movies and opera.

Aimee Benoit stands with a family portrait of the Picariello family which opens the Galt Museum’s exhibit the Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Galt Museum explores the life of one of these characters, Emilio Picariello— a young Italian entrepreneur,  councilman and bootlegger who was arrested, tried and executed with family friend Florence Lassandro for the murder of Alberta Provincial police Cst. Stephen Lawson in their exhibit “ The Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello,” which continues  until Jan. 7. It opened on Sept. 30.

“ A lot of people know his story, but guest curator Adrianna Davies looks at it from a little bit of a different perspective — what if they were innocent,” observed Galt Museum Curator Aimee Benoit.
“ She even found documents suggesting there may have been another  shooter in the alley,” she added.

 The exhibit is on loan from the Fernie Museum.
“He arrived in Fernie in 1911 as a young Italian immigrant. He was quite a prominent businessman and entrepreneur and he even served as a town councillor. He was well respected and well liked, but he became known as a bootlegger during prohibition, running alcohol through Coleman and Blairmore and into the United Staters,” she continued, noting he had a variety of businesses including an ice cream shop and gathered empty bottles, which he sold back to breweries and bottling plants.


Postcards and paintings at new Casa exhibits opening tonight

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Casa presents several different perspectives on painting with five new exhibits opening tonight, April 29 with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m.

Darcy Logan adjusts a painting in the Castle River & Porcupine Hills exhibit before the opening reception tonight. Photo by Richard Amery
“The exhibits are all paintings, but they are all very unique, so what I hope  people will take away from them is that they take a moment to see all of the different possibilities  painting offers,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.

In the main gallery, Pauses and Transitions features paintings from Montreal born artist Anne Laure Djaballah. She earned her MFA from the U of L two years ago and has been working out of the McNally School studios.

“These paintings are more abstract. They represent landscapes and alleys she has seen while walking and reflecting,” Logan described, indicating an abstract painting of a pile of trash in an alley.
“ She also asks the view to explore the  nature of painting with brush strokes and colours,” he continued.

 The adjacent gallery features “The Castle River & Porcupine Hills featuring the works of Lethbridge artist Blake Wilson and  Mike Judd, who lives in the Castle River area.

“These paintings  capture  the poetry of natural environment,” Logan said, adding Blake Wilson is an active member of the Lethbridge art community.
“ He’s been involved in multiple group exhibits here,” Logan said.


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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