Fredericton Region Museum to be Launching New Exhibit on Cancer

Fredericton Region Museum to be launching new exhibit on cancer this autumn. The date of the launch is set for September 5, 2015 at the Fredericton Region Museum in downtown Fredericton.

FREDERICTON, NB – Aug 12, 2015 – Entitled “Stories of Those Affected by Cancer,” the new exhibit from the Fredericton Region Museum forms its main content through contributions gathered from the surrounding community. Members of the local community are encouraged to submit their own story on how cancer has had an effect on their lives. Submissions come in the form of essays and poetry and may be accompanied by photographs as well. Stories are welcomed both before and after launch – the exhibit room will house furniture and materials that guests may use to record their own story which can then become part of the exhibit as well.

As we travel further into an age of technology and globalization, it becomes easy to form a disconnect between ourselves and our local community. This project helps to remedy that by giving people a platform to connect with others around them through a shared experience. Visitors to the museum can expect to feel a sense of solidarity when reading stories similar to their own lived experiences.

For those who are not as familiar with the disease, the Fredericton Region Museum has partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society in order to provide informational panels that can inform guests on the statistics of the illness to better understand the real effect cancer has had on Canadian lives.

Local businesses and organizations have joined hands to help with every aspect of this project. The Canadian Cancer Society, the New Brunswick Literacy Coalition, the University of New Brunswick, the Crown Plaza, the Fredericton Public Library, A Pile of Scrap, and local writer Biff Mitchell have all had a part in bringing this exhibit together, making it a truly community-built venture.

The Fredericton Region Museum aims to provide a history for future generations to look back upon which is why it so important that we work to actively preserve our stories and experiences now. Today’s events are tomorrow’s history and through “Stories of Those Affected by Cancer”, we can make available a collection of stories that can reach out and touch people now and in the future.

The Fredericton Region Museum was founded in 1934 by the York Sunbury Historical Society. It is a non-profit organization and runs largely on the support of donations, volunteers and a small number of paid staff. The museum is located in downtown Fredericton at 571 Queen Street in the former Officers’ Quarters.

Any person interested in submitting their story to be featured in this exhibit can find out more information on how to contribute here:

To learn more about the inspiration behind this exhibit and how it came into existence, look here:

For any further questions about “Stories of Those Affected by Cancer” please contact the museum at:

Phone: (506) 455-6041

History Themed Summer Day Camps

We’ve had a wonderful summer here at the Fredericton Region Museum. One of our favourite parts were the history themed summer day camps. This year, we offered four fun-filled and educational weeks.

Our first camp was the Blast to the Past: The Fredericton Edition camp. This camp was certainly a blast! We visited all kinds of historic places like the Government House, the tapestries at City Hall, the Barracks in the Historic Garrison District, the jail under Science East, and Christ Church Cathedral. We learned all about the city of Fredericton and what it was like when it was called Saint Anne’s Point.


Our second week of camp was Marching Through History, where we learned all about Canada’s military history. We received special presentations from Greg Fekner, who works at the New Brunswick Military History Museum, in Gagetown. The Guards in Officer’s Square visited us and gave special presentations about their uniforms and activities. We also had the chance to dress up like soldiers in the Day in the Life of a Soldier activity at the Barracks in the Historic Garrison District.


The next week of camp was called The Museum: An Inside Story. This was a very special week where campers had the opportunity to see behind the scenes at museums in Fredericton. We learned about accessioning artefacts, storing them, and even about how to repair them! We visited places like the UNB Archives, The School Days Museum, and the Lord Beaverbrook Art Gallery. We even made and accessioned our own artefacts!


The final week of camp was simply delicious! It was our Food for Thought camp. We learned about cooking throughout history! What we ate changed with time and helped us to survive. We learned about and made many interesting foods such as chocolate, trench cake, bubble gum, and bread!


Overall, we had an awesome summer. We will miss having our mini historians visiting the museum. We couldn’t have asked for a better summer. Thank you to all our happy campers and special guests! We couldn’t have done it without you. See you all next year!

Victory over Japan Day 70th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony

William Hickie, Royal Rifles of Canada, in Gander Newfoundland before leaving for Hong Kong.  William Hickie was from Jacquet River, New Brunswick.

William Hickie, Royal Rifles of Canada, in Gander Newfoundland before leaving for Hong Kong. William Hickie was from Jacquet River, New Brunswick.

This August 15th marks the 70th Anniversary of “Victory over Japan” Day. The official end to the second world was in 1945 when it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. Since then, August 15th have been known as “Victory over Japan” Day, or simply “VJ Day.”

In the fall of 1941, two infantry Canadian battalions, the Winnipeg Grenadiers from Manitoba and the Royal Rifles of Canada from Quebec, were sent to reinforce the Hong Kong garrison following Canada’s offer to the British government. The Quebec Regiment, the Royal Rifles, had recruited from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Together, the two regiments joined together to form the “C Force” with a total of 1,975 personnel. The Canadian soldiers arrived in Hong Kong on 16 November and first engaged in battle while defending the Colony of Hong Kong against a Japanese attack in December 1941. Though most had limited military training, they fought against overwhelming odds and displayed the courage of seasoned veterans.

The soldiers had no chance of victory, but refused to surrender until Christmas day when they were overrun. Shortly after engaging in battle on December 8th, the 14,000 Hong Kong defenders were attacked by 52,000 Japanese soldiers. When the battle ended, the Crown colony had surrendered to the Empire of Japan. Those who survived the battle became prisoners of war and many endured several years of torture and starvation by their Japanese captors. Hundreds of these soldiers came from New Brunswick.

On December 7th 1941, Canada declared that it was in a state of war with Japan. Canada was the first to declare war on the Japanese Empire, followed that same day by the United States and the United Kingdom. Canada prepared to defend itself by increasing its forces along its pacific coast. Over 20 warships, 14 RCAF squadrons and over 30,000 troops were stationed in British Columbia. Canada also joined forces with the United States to clear the Japanese from the Aleutian Island off of Alaska. In addition to this, two Canadian RCAF transport squadrons airlifted supplies in Burma and India, communications specialist served in Australia and the HMCS Uganda, a Canadian cruiser, participated in Pacific Naval operations. Many of these soldiers, airmen and sailors were of New Brunswick and not all of them returned safe and sound.

When the Japanese announced unconditional surrender on August 14th, 1945, Canadians across the country took to the streets to celebrate. The formal surrender ceremony was performed in Japan’s Tokyo Bay upon the battleship USS Missouri. Now, August 15th is recognized as “Victory over Japan Day” or VJ day to Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth.

To mark this very important anniversary and to honour those Canadians who fought bravely, the Fredericton Region Museum will host a 70th Anniversary of VJ Day Ceremony on Saturday, August 15 at 10am. The ceremony will conclude with a City Guard walk-by and a bagpipers lament. Attendees are invited to view a display of Andrew Flanagan’s private memorabilia from his father who fought in Hong Kong.

To mark this very important anniversary and to honour those Canadians who fought bravely, the Fredericton Region Museum will host a 70th Anniversary of VJ Day Ceremony on Saturday, August 15 at 10am. The ceremony will begin with violin solos by Sidney Murgatroyd, the great-grandson of Hong Kong veteran William Hickie. Base Commander Colonel D.A. MacIsaac will welcome guests with opening remarks and Lt Col H.A. Skaarup will provide the history of New Brunswick’s contribution to the war in the Pacific.

This event is free to the public and all are welcome to attend. The ceremony will conclude with a City Guard walk-by and a bagpiper’s lament. Attendees are invited to view a display of Andrew Flanagan’s private memorabilia from his father who fought in Hong Kong.

Hats Off to our New Exhibit

On Thursday the 6th of August, at 5:00 PM the Fredericton Region Museum, (FRM), will be hosting a private reception for the opening of our new hat exhibit. We are happy to welcome Trish Hirschkorn who has generously contributed some of her own creations to our collection. Ms. Hirschkorn is an artist who specializes in felt making and headwear design. With her guidance and assistance, the museum was able to have several chapeaus conserved for this exhibit. Ms. Hirschkorn has gone above and beyond in her work for the museum.

Ms. Hirschkorn’s millinery is inspired by the 1920’s, an era known for glamour and embracing, ‘the new’; both aspects are captured beautifully in Trish’s cloche hats. Originally, the design of the cloche accompanied very short hair, and was considered fashionable from 1908 until 1933, though is best remembered from the iconic decade.

As a Fredericton-based maker, Trish is well acquainted with harsh Canadian winters, and designs her hats accordingly. Her goal is to continue to create headwear that is both functional and fashionable, and hopes her designs will give the wearers confidence to face the cold while remaining stylish.

The York Sunbury Historical Society founded the Fredericton Region Museum in 1934. In 1959, the Museum found permanent headquarters in the Officers’ Quarters (571 Queen Street) in the heart of downtown Fredericton. The Society and Museum remain a non-profit enterprise with a small paid staff and numerous volunteers.

571 Queens Street
Tel: (506) 455-6041
Eleanor Waite,
Collections and Social Media Officer

Stories of Those Affected by Cancer

The York Sunbury Historical Society has been collecting artefacts and documents since 1932, which in terms of the museum industry is a long time. They have a vast collection of three dimensional artefacts, photographs and documents that have all been carefully catalogued and tucked away for safekeeping. This incredible collection is the foundation of the exhibits built for the public to enjoy. It is also used to illustrate articles in publications and by researchers from across North America and the globe.

A museum is generally in the business of collecting artefacts but with each of those artefacts comes a story and museum people love stories. We relish the moments when we open an object’s file and discover its age, who owned it, how they used it; or when we read an aged document and we are pulled into someone else’s life. It is an amazing feeling!

For the most part, the museum’s collection has grown organically over the years. We usually collect items that have been donated by people who are looking for us to preserve their histories through their objects. This has resulted in a building full of chairs, trunks, dishes, clothing and many other things. These objects usually come to us many years after their owners have passed and we have to work harder to preserve their story.

This year, the museum is going to start placing an emphasis on actively collecting stories. We want to capture a glimpse of our lives right here, right now to be shared and then stored safely away in our archival collection for future generations to explore. We plan to choose a different theme each year and co-create an exhibit with our community around that topic.

Our first theme is cancer. Unfortunately, it may not be the most uplifting choice but when we selected it, it was out of inspiration. A few years ago, a most remarkable person donated a large Swarovski crystal collection to the museum. Joan Maybee has been fighting a battle with cancer for a few years and when she downsized her home, she wanted her collection to stay together. The museum does not usually collect contemporary objects such as these, but Joan’s fight with cancer inspired us and we wanted to do something. It was just a matter of what!

We decided that we would build an exhibit but put a different spin on it. Instead of the traditional historical exhibit normally found at the Fredericton Region Museum, we decided to build a display based on the content that we receive from the members of our community. In essence, the people who contribute to the exhibit become co-creators by providing us with the material that they want presented.

The content will be in the form of written stories, poems and scrapbook pages; or, in the case of younger children, we would love to display their art. Pieces from the crystal collection will act as the centerpiece of the exhibit and information about cancer will be displayed alongside the contributions.  Visitors to the gallery will be able to participate in person!  We will have supplies available to write an essay / poem or to create a scrapbook page and contributions created at the museum will be added as we receive them. This will give the exhibit the ability to take on a life of its own as it grows.

Our curators are Dr. Krista Wilkins from the University of New Brunswick and our Intern, Jordan Harnish. Dr. Wilkins works in the Faculty of Nursing and collects stories from individuals that have had cancer more than once. She will be sharing parts of her research along with photographs in the exhibit.

The museum is very fortunate to have several collaborators on this project. We are grateful for the support of the Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Literacy Coalition, the Fredericton Public Library, the City of Fredericton, the Crowne Plaza, Lynn Richards from a Pile of Scrap and local writer Biff Mitchell who have all jumped in to help us with this project!

If your life has been affected by cancer and you are willing to share your story to be placed in the exhibit, please call the museum at 455-6041 or send an email for information. Monetary donations would also be greatly appreciated as we are unsure how large this exhibit will become. The museum is operated by the York Sunbury Historical Society, a registered charity, and can offer tax receipts for donations.

The Fredericton Region Museum is an amazing downtown gem with a dozen galleries displaying over 700 artefacts. Our summer hours are Sunday to Saturday, 10am-5pm. We plan to open our cancer exhibit on September 5th and though we have several great stories, we would love to share your story too!

Food for Thought Summer Day Camp

We still have spots available in our “Food for Thought” day camp!

August 3 – 7 (4 days):  Food for Thought
Do you love to cook, and history? Why not combine the two and learn about the history of food? Join us as we make and learn about historic dishes. There will be guest speakers and outings all focused on food and how it changed throughout history.

York Sunbury Historical Society Members $105 / Non-Members $115

Camp fee includes a museum t-shirt, all materials and activities.
Meals and snacks not included.
All camps run from 8:30am to 5pm.

Register today!
2015 Summer Camp Parent Handbook
2015 Summer Camp Registration and consent forms

Spaces are limited!

Registration forms, consent forms and payment can be brought in to the Fredericton Region Museum office at 571 Queen Street during business hours (10am – 5pm, Monday to Friday).  Or, mail the forms and a cheque payment to PO Box 1312, Station A, Fredericton, NB E3B 5C8.

Open House at the Fredericton Region Museum

The Fredericton Region Museum would like to invite everyone and their families for a free fun-filled day at the Museum on August 2nd from 10:00AM until 5:00PM.

Every year our Open House event gets bigger and better and we are certain that this year will be the best yet. This is the only day on our calendar that the admission fees are waived at the museum. That’s right, FREE ADMISSION! To top it all off there will be plenty of free activities and live music for everyone to enjoy!

This year’s theme is “Playing with History” and to suit our theme we’ve hired a toymaker to build us a collection of historically accurate antique styled games, such as Battledore and Graces. Guests of all ages are welcome to come and play with these marvelous handmade toys.

There will also be a guessing game where a collection of strange unidentified artifacts will be on display and pens and paper will be available so that guests can leave a guess as to what the item was used for.

Another aspect of the day that is exclusive to this event will be access to the workrooms of the third floor of our building. The third floor workrooms are where all incoming and outgoing artefacts are handled and processed. The third floor is restricted to all but staff except for this one day each year.

And of course the Icing on the Cake will be live entertainment on our Balcony. SONA, a marvelous local folk band will be playing English, French and Celtic music for all in Officers’ Square to hear. Hannah’s Tea Place will also be open on the balcony, where Benjamin Ingraham will be selling scrumptious tea and cookies.

Don’t forget, all admission and activities are FREE August 2nd. We can’t wait to see all of you for this, the biggest event on our Calendar.