Category Archives: Museum News

Moving On …

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Inspecting the City Guard!

Dear Friends,

I would like to let each of you know that I will be leaving my position with the York-Sunbury Historical Society this month.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working at the Fredericton Region Museum, and I appreciate having had the opportunity to work in such a meaningful way with our community.  Thank you for the support and encouragement you have provided me over the last nine years.

The time I have spent immersed in the museum’s collection and sharing its stories has been glorious.  There are so many aspects of the job that I have enjoyed including the summers spent with talented students, misdirected squirrels and terrorizing spiders!  The frigid winter temperatures , the bats that came to visit …. power outages … floodwaters … so much water, so many memories!

I have had days when excited visitors dropped by the office at the end of their visit to tell me that they found their ancestor in our exhibit.  One patron, just the other day found her grandmother!  There were also times when visitors have been so moved by our displays that they have cried.  Discovering your history can be a powerful experience.

Every gallery in the museum has been redone, some more than once, over a span of nine years’ worth of Exhibits Committees!  For a small volunteer based museum, exhibit projects can be a big commitment.  Nevertheless, we never shied away from the challenge.  I have enjoyed working with many curators researching, writing, editing and selecting artefacts.  Many hours were spent installing panels on walls that would not cooperate and trying to make things level in a building where everything is crooked.  I pretty much gave up on making things level.

I have spent countless hours examining artefacts with volunteers, interns and students as we re-organized the storage rooms.  The collection is wonderful and it has been an honour accepting artefacts on behalf of the society.  Being entrusted with precious pieces of the past is a tremendous responsibility, which was not lost on me.  To provide the best care possible, I have worked with the Collections Committee to overhaul the museum’s policies, procedures, health and safety as well as the emergency plan.  The unfortunate members of the committee spent a great amount of time reviewing documents as we edited for several months, if not years!

A great deal of effort has been placed on ensuring that the museum is welcoming for our younger community members.  The youth are the future and if we want the museum to be here 20, 30 and 100 years from now, we need to consider them in our planning.  My daughter has been a tremendous help from the moment I started.  She set up games and even ran a tearoom on the balcony for several years.  Since then, we started a day camp program and now have interactives in every gallery.  Some are simpler than others are because, frankly, interactives do not have to be complicated to be entertaining.

When I mention family, I should acknowledge the many members of my family who have assisted me.  My husband has installed many exhibits, edited countless documents, designed exhibit components, helped develop programs and run more errands than I could count.  My children, parents, siblings and extended family have all played a role in the many projects that I have undertaken.  My mother passed away a few years ago but through her art and interest in history, she left a wonderful and enduring legacy at the museum.

Even though I will miss my colleagues, visitors, partners, the board, committees and the museum, I am looking forward to starting a new adventure and phase of my career.

Thanks again.  It has been a pleasure working with you.

Best Regards,
Ruth

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New Exhibition on Multiculturalism at Fredericton Region Museum

The York-Sunbury Historical Society Ltd. is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition highlighting the past, present, and future of immigration, settlement, and multiculturalism in Fredericton and New Brunswick. The exhibition will open on Sunday August 20th from 1-5pm. The opening coincides with the Fredericton Region Museum’s annual Open House when the Museum offers free entry to the public.

Entitled “Multicultural New Brunswick: Equality, Appreciation, Preservation, Participation”, the exhibition displays the history of immigration and multiculturalism in New Brunswick, examining early instances of immigration such as the Black Loyalists and Refugees, the impact of the 1971 multiculturalism policy, and the future role of multiculturalism in New Brunswick. The exhibition also features interviews with members of different multicultural communities in Fredericton, and encourage visitors to participate by sharing their own stories and reflections. The Museum hopes that the new gallery will both make visitors aware of New Brunswick’s multicultural history and highlight the important role that diversity plays in the community today. Ian Andrews, President of the Museum’s governing body, the York-Sunbury Historical Society, Ltd., encouraged both Frederictonians and tourists to visit the new gallery: “We invite everyone to attend and enjoy this exhibition that explores the history and interrelationships of the many groups who have contributed to our local area.”

The Fredericton Region Museum was founded in 1934 by the York Sunbury Historical Society. 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 who work tirelessly to create informative exhibits based on the history of Fredericton and surrounding areas, as well as publish a local history periodical, The Officers’ Quarters. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 1pm-4pm in June and September, and Monday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, in July and August.

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For more information on this story or to schedule an interview, please contact Alan Sheppard (Project Manager, Fredericton Region Museum) at 506-455-6041, or email ajrsheppard@gmail.com.

2017 Fredericton Region Museum Artist-in-Residence Program

For the 6th consecutive year, this July and August the Fredericton Region Museum is set to open a gallery as a studio for a local artist. The museum’s artist-in-residence program is run annually as a collaboration with artists to encourage a relationship between historical institutions and the art industry.

This summer, the museum will be welcoming two artists, each joining the program for 3 weeks. Beginning her residency on July 3rd is Melissa Kennedy, and Mary Grant will begin on August 7th.  During their respective residencies they will complete a series of works that is tied to and inspired by history.

Melissa is working on a small scale sculpture in clay based on a poem written by New Brunswick poet, Charles G. D. Roberts (1860-1943).  In “Philander’s Song”, Charles describes himself reading when his eye is caught by a charming woman as she passes by.

Philander’s Song
(from “The Sprightly Pilgrim”)
I sat and read Anacreon.
Moved by the gay, delicious measure
I mused that lips were made for love,
And love to charm a poet’s leisure.
And as I mused a maid came by
With something in her look that caught me.
Forgotten was Anacreon’s line,
But not the lesson he had taught me

Melissa is excited about this project because it combines aspects from all of her post-secondary education.  She studied poetry while at the University of New Brunswick, costume design at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence in Italy (where she now teaches).

Mary will be using traditional rug hooking techniques to create a montage of the Ingraham family’s flight from the eastern seaboard, their arrival in New Brunswick by boat in late September, survival through the first winter and settlement of farms, etc.

Mary is a Certified Rug Hooking Instructor with the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia.  She began rug hooking in 2002 and is currently the President of the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia (RHGNS).  She also has a Master’s Degree in Industrial and Vocational Education focusing on teaching skills to adults.  She is a member of the Heritage Rug Hooking Guild of New Brunswick – Fredericton, the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists, the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Fibre Artists’ Network.

We are excited to welcome Melissa and Mary to the museum and look forward to seeing to results of their hard work.  We are thankful to the city of Fredericton for the funding for this project.

A reception will be held at the museum on Wednesday, July 26th at 7pm.  We welcome all guests, however, we ask that you let us know that you will be joining us in advance so that we can put out enough chairs.

Edna Hill’s Centennial Quilt

Edna Hill's Quilt

The Fredericton Region Museum is pleased to display the quilt that Florence Pond’s late mother, Edna Hill, made in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s centennial.

Last month, the York-Sunbury Historical Society hosted its annual show and tell at the museum.  Show and tell night is always fun because you never know who will be there and what they will bring.  For instance, I had no idea when I welcomed guests that I would be learning about Poland’s role in the Second World War and that I would be planning a new Centennial display.

That night, I had the honour of meeting Florence Pond and learning about her mother’s quilt.  Several people attended the show and tell because the Gleaner printed an article about the quilt that same day!  This incredible piece was made by Florence’s mother, Edna Hill, in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s Centennial.  You can tell that she put a lot of thought and consideration into the piece and that she cared for it very much.

Each province is represented with the name of its Premier at the time along with their province’s flower.  The quilt is in incredible condition because up until now, it has spent most of the last fifty years tucked away in a closet.  As Florence told us about Edna’s quilt, she expressed an interest in having it displayed where the public can appreciate it.  Well, it didn’t take long for the Chair of the Exhibitions Committee and me to offer a space on the wall just outside the Confederation exhibit!  It just happened that the space was empty and needed to be filled.

After our volunteer, Elaine, sewed a rod pocket in the top so that we could hang it in a way that would cause as little stress on the artefact as possible, we had pictures of Edna enlarged and we framed the article that the Daily Gleaner printed and hung them on either side.  Florence dropped by to visit her Mother’s quilt yesterday and she seemed very pleased with the display.

We hope that Edna is pleased too.

A Fabulous Welcome!

 

FAB Fredericton Artist Boutique

There is so many cool items that can be found at the shop. It’s a must stop in while downtown Fredericton.  Located on the bottom floor of the Fredericton Region Museum, 571 Queen St.

The Fredericton Region Museum is excited to welcome our summer neighbours, the FAB Fredericton Artist Boutique!  They are a wonderful little craft store that has taken up residence on the other end of the ground floor of our building.

I went down to explore and they are packed full of hand crafted treasures from Atlantic Pewter, Kvh Jensen, Voluptuous Designs, Born Again Purses, Andrew Scott (Writer/Photographer), Nick Bartlett (Pinzilla Buttons), Ange Fuller (Creative Pursuits) and Carrie Allen-Golding (Rebel Needles).

We hope you plan to stop by the shop!

May 2017 Newsletter

May 2017 (PDF):  June Program Show & Tell; YSHS Members Annual Art Exhibition; Support Your Organization; Summer Day Camps

March 2017 Newsletter

March 2017 (PDF):  Call for Nominations; Historical Society Programs; YSHS Annual General Meeting; Volunteers; Summer Day Camps