Behind the Scenes at the Avon River Heritage Museum

By Tacha Reed

The Avon River Heritage Museum may not have its doors open this season, but we’ve certainly kept busy behind the scenes, making the most of the unexpected, as we look ahead and adapt for the future. We recently reached a tremendous milestone, earning accreditation status with the Association of Nova Scotian Museums. One major perk that comes with this status is that we are now able to share our entire collection of artifacts and photos online through Novamuse.ca.

Throughout the summer two students have been working behind the scenes photographing, scanning, and entering each artifact into the database. This winter our volunteers will pick away, adding context to each piece, while creating online lesson plans for teachers, parents, and those curious to learn more.

Being unable to engage with visitors and community members this summer has inspired us to look for new ways to reach out and connect. In June the Full Circle Festival hosted a series of online performances, which they livestreamed in celebration of the solstice. These performances connected the festival with a brand new audience, inspiring many new ideas for next year’s event.

In July we started an interview series to get to know our neighbours a little bit better. Whether you’re a ninth generation descendant of the Planters who landed here in 1760, or you just moved onto the Avon Peninsula recently, or perhaps you’ve attended one of our many events over the years. If you have a memorable story about the area to share, we want to hear from you!

To date, “Meet the People in our Neighbourhood” has revealed itself to be a wonderful treasure hunt, where each week a new nugget of local history is unveiled, preserving these memorable moments for all to enjoy for years to come. If you have a story to share about Avondale or a memory of time spent along the Avon River, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at infoavonriver@gmail.com or call (902) 757-1718 to schedule an interview.

If you are like us and are missing all of the art, history and cultural events, then we have some good news! Starting August 29 you will find us at Avondale Sky Winery each weekend for a month-long series of pop-up markets celebrating all of our beloved annual community events, like the Garlic Festival, the Great Little Art Show, the Honey Harvest Festival, Artisans in Action, the North Along the Shore Jamboree, Culture Days, and the Full Circle Festival. For a full schedule of vendors and musical performances, follow along at facebook.com/AvonRiverHeritage.

Photo: When exploring the Newport Landing Waterfront Park be sure to check out the new interpretative panels and the Spawning Fish of the Avon River art installation.