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Did you know about the time John A. Macdonald caught on fire during the 1867 Confederation negotiations in London? Or that the Wolford Chapel in Devon England belongs to the province of Ontario?

Adam Bunch, creator of the Toronto Dreams Project is taking Canadian history to the UK - to the places abroad that witnessed interesting moments, people, and events from our past. He's launched a crowd-funding campaign to help get there.

Read more about the project and the new campaign on our awards blog.

Posted: 13/03/2014 11:08:35 AM by JOANNA DAWSON | with 0 comments

Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London has launched a new Virtual Village digital experience to help visitors explore the history of the site. The new mobile friendly site provides visitors with textual information, historic and contemporary photos, guided audio interpretation, maps, and videos.

Marianne Levogiannis told London Community News "It is great; you have a new multi-layered way of seeing the village. You can be here presently, or in front of a building, or be at home, and get to hear all about it."

The Virtual Village is not actually an app but a mobile friendly portion of the Fanshawe Pioneer Village website. This means it works not only in a computer browser, but also on your phone. Try resizing your browser to the width of a cell phone to see what it looks like in action if you don't have access to a phone.

This is a very stylish and nice museum guide that should serve as a great reference point for other museums and historical organizations. The mobile site was developed by London based Digital Echidna.


Posted: 04/03/2014 12:44:23 PM by JOEL RALPH | with 0 comments

This is a bit of an older story but I really like it for two main reasons. The Moose Jaw Public Library is using crowdsourcing to identify photos in their collection. You can read the full story in the Moose Jaw Times here.

[Photo credit: Austin M. Davis]

One it's a great idea and a nice example of a project that lots of libraries, museums and heritage organizations are undertaking across Canada. What's particularly nice about this activity is that it's not just a research project but a public outreach program. It's great when you can involve the public in storytelling and sharing their history.

And two, it's a great example of involving youth through an internship. This is exactly the type of public history and outreach project that an intern can help with and a great demonstration of how to use young volunteers well.

You can learn more about the Moose Jaw Public Library archives on their website. A collection of the photos can be found online through

Posted: 03/03/2014 1:18:45 PM by JOEL RALPH | with 0 comments

One challenge that museums across Canada face is how to reach a wider audience, in particular with young people under the age of 40. Part of solving this solution is getting beyond the walls of the museum and taking exhibits and events out to the public.

One of these events is being organized by the St. Catharines Museum in Ontario. aMuse: Exhbits Unleashed is a pop up exhibit that features history, music, and food. Adrian Petry is a Public Programmer with the St. Catharines Museum and he joined Canada's History to talk about this exciting event taking place May 25th, 2013, at the Mahtay Cafe and Lounge.

"Visitors should definitely expect a lot of fun," describes Petry. "Our first exhibit is titled Bycycles... we have a couple of bikes coming out from the collections. We have some really neat other bike related artifacts that will be on displya. Visitors can grab food and drink, and listen to music, explore the artifacts, and they can calso share their bike memories. One of our interactive activities will feature bike memories from the public. So you can write down your bike memory and then pin it to the spokes of this really cool bike from the 1960s.

"Social Media will also have a really important role in the event. We'll have our live wall display with photos from instagram and facebook and our twitter feed as well, and a copule of youtube videos will be projected on to the wall as well so people can see different photos from the museum's St. Catharines Standard collection."

Posted: 22/05/2013 9:39:49 AM by JOEL RALPH | with 0 comments


During the winter of 1911-1912 there was a desperate struggle by adventures to reach the South Pole. Explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott set out on separate attempts to reach this historic site.

This fascinating story is being told this summer at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria through a new exhibition Race to the End of the Earth which opens May 17th.

Canada’s History spoke with Jana Stefan, an Exhibition Technician and Conservator at the Royal BC Museum, about the project. Stefan spent several months in Antarctica helping to preserve the remains of these incredible expeditions.

“The Explorers went with a sort of bravado and this focus on adventure, exploration, and science. And there was this real spirit of endurance and fraternity and creativity.”

“For the people that work there you feel this kinship with the early explorers,” Stefan described. “The challenges from the geography and the weather… in Antarctica you always say budget how much time you think you need and then add twice as much because it will take that long.”

“I think as Canadians we’re drawn to that spirit of adventure and blazing your own trail. Just being self-sufficient and the strong sense of community that comes out of these little remote enclaves of people alone against the wilderness.”

Race to the End of the Earth runs at the Royal BC Museum from May 17th to October 14th 2013. The exhibition is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, the Royal British Columbia Museum , and Musee des Confluences, Lyon, France

Posted: 16/05/2013 2:59:23 PM by JOEL RALPH | with 0 comments
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