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New ice sculptures a highlight of Nikka Yuko's festival of lights

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The lights are staying on at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens for their annual winter lights festival.Lee Ross installs one of his ice sculptures at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens. Photo by Richard Amery
 Organizers were concerned new Covid measures would mean they would have to flick the off switch for their fifth annual Winter Festival of Lights..
 But the event will proceed as planned, including moving in new ice sculptures on Saturday, Dec. 12.

“We’ve been working with the City of Lethbridge and Alberta Health to work with these new restrictions,” said Nikka Yuko Marketing and Events manager, Melanie Berdusco, adding it has been a tough week, worrying about being  cancelled then having to  pull everything back together  again in a day to get things going.
“It’s one of the benefits of being an outdoor  event, so we’ve been working with Alberta Health Services. We’re excited to be able to do it,” she said.
“ There isn’t a lot to do anymore, so it is really important to the community,” she continued.

“And we’ve been sold out every night so far,” she continued.

Unfortunately Shakespeare Meets Dickens in the Garden as well as horse and wagon rides have been cancelled. Ticket buyers can still check out the  lights, but refunds are also available upon request.

Berdusco noted there are 167,000 lights for the fifth year of the event. There were 116,000 last year.
This year,  10 ice sculptures will be installed on Saturday, including three created by Calgary based artist Lee Ross of Frozen Memories as well as another seven  works from Lethbridge College Culinary Arts program students, for which Ross teaches an ice sculpture course.
“ We had eight, but one of them didn’t make it,” she said.


Pockets pondered in “Pockets of Possibilties” in new Galt Museum exhibit

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 A new exhibit at the Galt Museum hopes to answer the question of why women’s clothing doesn’t have any pockets.Kirstan Schamuhn presents Pockets at the Galt Museum, Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery
The new exhibit, “Pockets of Possibilities,” opens Oct. 17.

“Women’s clothing did have pockets in the early twentieth century and latte  nineteenth,” observed guest curator Kirstan Schamuhn, who drew much many of the pieces from the exhibit from the Galt Museum’s archives.
She will be giving an online presentation about pockets and how women‘s clothing styles have changed on Oct. 14  at 2 p.m..

“I’ve always been curious about  why that is, so this this seemed like the perfect time to do it,” Schamuhn said, noting the lack of pockets  is a relatively new phenomenon that arose, simply to ideas of style.



Galt Museum explores refugees in new traveling exhibit

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The Galt Museum explores the plight of refugees in Canada in their new travelling exhibit “Refuge Canada,” which runs until Jan 10.

The exhibit was created by  the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.Aimee Benoit introducing  the new exhibits at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard Amery

“These first person accounts really call into the question of Canada’s attitudes towards refugees,” said curator Aimee Benoit,” noting the exhibit focuses on first person accounts of refugees moving to Canada through panels, artifacts and video testimonials.
“The goal is to start a discussion about refugees,” she said.

The oldest item is a star of David, which belonged to a Jewish refugee who was in a POW camp in Germany during the Second World War.

Ira Provost tells the story of his life in Winter Count at Galt Museum

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Piikani musician, educator and storyteller Ira Provost tells the story of his life with a new exhibit at the Galt Museum.
Piikanikoan: Living Under A  Blackfoot Sky: A Modern Winter Count opened Sept 26 and  runs until Feb. 7.Ira Provost is excited about his new exhibit Winter Count at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard Amery
“ When people ask me  to write a book about my life, this is it,” said Provost, who embraced the Piikani tradition of the winter count, by creating his own winter count–an autobiography about his life on a buffalo robe.

“It’s a  Blackfoot concept. It’s very personal. Families, clans and tribes would record important moments in their lives, he said adding people often consider the Blackfoot culture  to be a non written  culture.
“ But it isn’t true. We’re a very visual people, you can see that in petroglyphs,” he said.

 He focused in five different  themes for his  winter count— heritage, culture, music, career and gratitude.

 There are five panels  adjacent to the winter count, explaining the meaning of specific petroglyphs.
 To emphasize each theme, song lyrics accompany each panel, including a QR codes so anyone with a smartphone can listen to the songs themselves, which are also available on his albums “Under a Blackfoot Sky” and “Evermore.”

“ It’s very fluid, so I can add to it as well,” Provost continued.


Explore Fort Whoop Up history with Trader Tales

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Lethbridge has a fascinating history, which  the Galt Museum/ Fort Whoop Up and New West Theatre are bringing to life with Trader Tales. They are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Fort Whoop-Up this year.

Nick Bohle performing in Trader tales last summer. Photo by Richard Amery
 The last Trader Tales of the season is from 6-9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 21 at Fort Whoop Up.
“Due to Covid 19, we only had two this season, one in July and the last one on Aug. 21.

They’re completely different stories,” said Galt Museum Resource and Development Co-ordinator Chris Roedler, noting they are also completely different from last year’s Trader Tales.
 There are 60 tickets available for the Aug. 21 show.

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