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Galt celebrates ‘eggstravagant’ Easter this weekend

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The Galt Museum and Archives invites parents and children to enjoy this year's Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  with admission to the Discovery Hall for the must-see exhibit Treasures & Curiosities, photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny, and activities and demonstrations from around the world.
 "Along with the usual Easter and spring crafts, the kids will be making a small Mexican piñata and a Kwanzaa candle with a hidden treat," said Lori Harasem, Special Events Coordinator at the Galt Museum & Archives in a press release.
 Japanese sand art and African drumming demonstrations will also be held, and Southern Alberta resident Chelsea Areshenko will be on hand to paint names on grains of rice, available for purchase.  Funds raised will support programs at the Galt.  Each individualized grain takes just a few minutes to complete. Devil's Coulee will be on hand with their program information, and the Canadian Parents for French are looking after the face painting stations.
 Admission to Eggstravaganza is free for adults and $4 per child over the age of one, or $3 for children of annual passholders.
Upcoming 2010 Galt special programs and events include the UPCycling Show & Sale on Earth Day, April 22;  Taste of Downtown on May 5 and a 1940s Dance Hall Party on May 8 [part of Historic Lethbridge Week running May 1-9];  the Fort Macleod International Festival: Concert 1 on May 27;
Museum Community Days on June 5, July 1 and September 26; Galt Beer Tasting on September 10; Flashlight Cemetery Tours starting October 1;  Movie Madness October 28-30; and Adopt-an-Artifact from November 1-30.
 The Treasures & Curiosities and related exhibits close Sunday, May 20.  For more information, please call 403.320-3954, or check

— Special To L.A. Beat

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Explore the unusual at the Galt this Saturday

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If you enjoyed The Galt Museum’s new exhibit ‘ Treasures and Curiosities, looked at  things like the old police robot and wondered what other weird, unusual and bizarre items they have in their collection, they are offering a rare opportunity to look behind the scenes this Saturday, March 20.Nicole Hembroff examines a few unusual items in the Galt Museum Collection. Photo by Richard Amery
 The museum is taking part in Obscura Day, an  international celebration of wonderous, curious and esoteric places.
“Atlas Obscura has picked March 20 as  the day for people around the world to visit  esoteric  places in their own community,” enthused Anine Vonkeman, Galt Museum  marketing and communications  officer.
“While the Galt isn’t obscure, we do have a lot of artifacts  which are pretty obscure,” she said.
The Atlas Obscura  ( is a collaborative project with the goal of cataloging all of the singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist.


Sonis McAllister and the Barracuda Orchestra perform weird show at SAAG

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Happy hours at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery are becoming a popular Friday afternoon attraction. So a good sized crowd  came, Feb. 26 to enjoy an especially weird afternoon with Sonis McAllister  and the Sonis McAllister and some of the Barracuda Orchestra. Photo by Richard AmeryBarracuda Orchestra and to check out the last week of  Manon De Pauw’s exhibit ‘Intrigues.’

 Sonis McAllister and the Barracuda Orchestras dressed all in white and played an array of instruments and percussion  including an accordion, megaphone, saw, a bicycle wheel and a variety of cans and things to hit .

Sonis McAllister started out playing organ and reciting his unusual beatnik style poetry, which I couldn’t understand due to an echoing room, though that may have been the point. It was a fun show anyway, definitely unusual.


The Curator Presents offers extra insight into exhibit

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Get the inside scoop about some of the cool new artifacts which are part of the Galt Museum’s latest exhibit with “The Curator Presents ...” Feb. 24.This old police robot is one of the object included in the  Treasures and Curiosities exhibit. Photo by Richard Amery
Wendy Aitkens, Curator at the Galt Museum & Archives, will present some remarkable connections she has discovered while developing the exhibit Treasures & Curiosities at The Curator Presents....
Almost 100 members of the community were invited to choose their favourite artifacts from the Galt Collections, and to provide a write-up on why they chose them. These stories are included in the exhibit.  
“The fascination of historic objects is the foundation for museum collections,” said Aitkens in a press release.
“Stories about the people who owned, made, or treasured an artifact enough to keep it, are what many respond to.  Others respond to an object because of a personal memory or activity with something similar. Others spark our imaginations — we wonder about their owners, time period, their use.”  
Aitkens will lead a tour of the recently opened exhibit starting at 7 pm and highlight some of the remarkable reasons people have provided for choosing the objects.
“These stories provide the human face and connection we find so fascinating,” said Aitkens.
The Curator Presents... is free with admission and for annual pass holders, and includes refreshments and exhibit access.  The Curator Presents... is one of several programs and events offered in conjunction with the exhibit Treasures & Curiosities on display at the Galt Museum & Archives until May 20. A full listing of the
programs and events offered in conjunction with this exhibit is available at

The Curator Presents... takes place Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.  Doors open at 6 p.m. for exhibit viewing.

—Special to L.A. Beat

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Galt premieres curiosities and treasures

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Everybody has their own “treasures and curiosities” — items which hold special significance or trigger a pleasant memory.
That is the subject of the Galt Museum’s latest exhibit which opens Feb. 20 and runs until May 20.

Curator Wendy Aitkens shows off some curiosities and treasures. Photo by Richard AmeryClose to 100 Galt Museum staff and volunteers ranging from students to seniors chose a variety of their favourite items from the Galt Museum archives and wrote down their stories about them for the new exhibit.

There are a variety of objects from the ominous (like a Second World War Nazi sniper’s helmet and a piece of rope used in a hangman’s noose) to the humourous (like a pink toy rabbit) there is also an old mayor’s chair from the 1930s and a beautiful selection of hockey memorabilia including a jersey from 1951 and the World Championship cup from that same era. There is a ’60s insta-matic camera chosen by Lethbridge Herald photographer David Rossiter. There are also several paintings  on the walls including a beautiful one of the Archangel Michael  by an anonymous artist which used to hang in the Galt when it was a hospital. A police robot used for safety and informational classroom demonstrations from the 1980s is among the more unusual pieces featured. The exhibit is laid out like  the items are being taken out of storage, hence most of the display cases look like crates.

 Some of them, like a scrapbook made by a German prisoner of war, are not only touching, but thought provoking too.

“ On the surface it looks very simple,” observed University of Lethbridge sociology professor Bill Ramp, who chose the scrapbook  featuring photos of buildings and beautiful, tranquil landscapes out of several thousand items from the Galt’s collection, which the prisoner must have chosen because they reminded him of home in a simpler time.

“There aren’t any political pictures. These are photos of a Germany which no longer exists, first because of the Nazis then because of the bombings. These pictures lend an air of romanticism,” said Ramp, who also chose an old medicine bottle because it lists ingredients which you could never get over the counter today like laudanum, alcohol, opium derivatives and cocaine.

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