Check out Summer at Our Valley Museums
By Wendy Elliott
This summer, museums in the eastern Valley have a wide variety of displays and activities on for the busy summer months. There is truly something for everyone.
At the West Hants Historical Society’s museum on Kings St. in Windsor there is a standing display and a busy research centre. The museum is holding a genealogy fair on Saturday, July 28 with a focus on family history research. On the day of the event the public is invited to come take in the rich ancestral history of this area. There will be a $2 admission fee. A tea is planned for Sunday, August 5, followed by a Ghost Hunt on Thursday, August 16. All ticket holders are welcome to join in as a seasoned ghost hunter aims to locate any ghouls or ghosts the museum may be home to. Admission is $5.
The Dorie and Garnet McDade Heritage Centre in Hantsport profiles the community’s remarkable history in the area of shipbuilding, industry, and sport.
Leland Harvie, who published a book about the Harvie family in Hants County, helped open up the doors of the centre to genealogy. He’s there every Wednesday to lend his expertise.
The National Historic Site at Grand Pre contains a wealth of history related to the Acadian settlers and the deportation of 1755. This year the visitors’ centre also has a wide variety of special programs, including drama, cultural guides, art and cooking. For example, there is a guided hands-on Pop Art workshop where you can create your own dazzling postcard that reinvents the iconic Évangeline Acadian Queen. You can also learn how to cook, and sample, Fring Frang, a traditional mouth-watering Acadian potato dish. Discover how the Peruvian potato became a staple in the Acadian kitchen. History tastes amazing. Cost for the workshops, which are held in both official languages, is $7.30 and reservations are required, 902-542-4040.
Wolfville’s Randall House Museum, beside Willow Park, is holding delicious weekly afternoon teas every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm. There will be an assortment of homemade treats and tea (both hot and cold). After tea, feel free to explore the changing landscape of Wolfville in the new permanent exhibit featuring a model of Wolfville in 1893. The cost for the tea is $5 with all proceeds going towards the upkeep of the museum. For Wolfville’s 125th anniversary, there is also a special photo exhibit featuring downtown buildings then and now. A brand new exhibit celebrates WWII heroine Mona Parsons who was the 2018 Nova Scotia Heritage Day honoree. The museum is open 10am to 5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 1:30pm to 5pm every Sunday.
The Kings County Museum in Kentville, which has prize-winning gardens, is proud of its ‘Wedding Belles Bridal Shop.’ This summer’s display of vintage twentieth century wedding dresses is from the museum’s permanent collection. Visit the museum to see the evolution of styles of wedding dresses over the course of a century. Visit the museum and you may just meet 1867 anti-confederation member of parliament for the County of Kings, William Henry Chipman.
The Charles McDonald Concrete House Museum in Centreville has always got amazing concrete creatures to view. This summer, photographer Mario Cotreau also has his exhibit “Valley” on display there until July 29. It shows a photographic wandering across the Annapolis Valley. He spent most of his life in Quebec City and moved to the Valley five years ago. An educator, he spends most of his free time perfecting his skills as a fine art photographer. Meanwhile outdoors at the museum Kevin West has created another Uncommon Common Art project. It is related to the late Roscoe Fillmore who believed in decent wages, and adequate housing, clothing, and food for families. He was also Canada’s top gardener and lived nearby.
The Macdonald Museum on School St. in Middleton has a new Thursday farm market on its grounds this year. It runs from 4pm to 7pm. The museum has a Nova Scotia Landscape Photography Contest underway. There will be two age categories – up to 18 years, and 18 years and older. Submissions can be made to the museum starting August 27 and the deadline is September 3. Judging will take place on Sept. 6 and winners will be announced on the following day at 7pm at the public exhibit opening.