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Christmas treasures at the Galt on Sunday

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The Galt Museum is getting into the Christmas spirit by offering special tours behind behind the scenes this Sunday. They will be able to take a look at some of the 20,000 artifacts stored in the Galt Museum archives, in particular the historical Christmas treasures people have donated to the Galt over the years. there will be  both store bough and hand made tree ornaments, strings of lights, wreathes, a nutcracker set a corsage plus favourite toys received at Christmas including a wartime gift to soldiers from Princess Mary and a wooden crate that once held an annual treat - mandarin oranges. Registration for each tour is limited to 15  people.  Payment will be required at time of registration and includes admission to the Discovery Hall.  Cost for adults is $5, Seniors 65+ and Students pay $4, Youth 7-17 pay $3, and the Family rate is $12 [for 2 adults and 2 children]. One person from each tour will be given the opportunity to choose a favourite object from the collection for the upcoming exhibit “Treasures & Curiosities” opening Feb. 20.
To register, call 403.320-3954, stop by the information desk or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


This week— remember the veterans (Go to the Galt)

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Remembrance Day is one day of the year set aside to remember  our veterans who fought for freedom and against tyranny.
 One way to do that is by attending  the Remembrance Day ceremony at Exhibition Park South Pavilion at 9:45 a.m. or the cenotaph ceremony at noon, Nov. 11.
Afterwards, the Legion will be open at 1 p.m. and feature the music of Silk and Steel.
The Galt Museum also has a special Remembrance Day exhibit featuring the works of 37 LCI students and  six teachers who commemorate D-Day at Juno Beach, June 6, 1944 which was a major turning point in the Second World War as allied troops, including 14,000 Canadians along with British and American troops landed on the coast of Normandy to take back Europe from  the Nazis.
The works include  albums, drawings, posters and shadow boxes honouring the lives of Canadian soldiers. The exhibit is  the culmination of a year long project by the students, each of whom received the name and service record of one of the Southern Albertan Canadian soldiers who died during Operation Overlord, researched their lives and deaths and created memorials for them.Juno Beach cost 340 Canadian lives and left another 540 injured.“ With a teacher’s guidance, students were invited to choose a soldier from a list of people from this area. These particular soldiers were  involved with D-Day. They were asked to do some research so they were able to find out first  hand what happened to a young man,” said curator Wendy Aitkens.
“We hear the numbers talk about the strategy of days like that. Students were able to ‘meet’ one of these individuals who were there and who died, she continued adding they tried to interview family members and where they could they did interview them. She said  she hopes  some of the family members  will see the exhibit and get in touch with the students. There are 10 pieces to the exhibit including posters, poetry and albums designed to honour these young men.


Curator presents dinosaur talk at the Galt

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If you are interested in the dinosaurs which used to roam southern Alberta several million years ago, you will want to check out the Galt Museum’s guest speaker this Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m..
Donald Henderson, the curator of  dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller who will be the featured speaker at The Curator Presents.  Henderson will lead a tour of the Galt Museum’s new exhibit Dinosaurs & Company and lead a thought-provoking discussion on New Fossils, New Ideas - Our changing views of dinosaurs and how they lived.
The past 30 years, and the last 10 years in particular, have seen great changes in our ideas about dinosaurs and their ways of life. An average of 15 new dinosaur genera are now being described every year, and each year there are more and more people working in the field and in the laboratory studying dinosaurs.
"These new discoveries have, at the very least, increased our knowledge of the range of body sizes represented by dinosaurs," according to Dr.Henderson in a press release, "from tiny carnivores like Microraptor gui with a body and tail length of just 50 centimeters to giant herbivores like Paralatitan stromeri with an upper arm bone 1.69 meters long!"
"Dinosaur fossils are known from all the world's continents, including Antarctica and Greenland, and we now realize that dinosaurs rapidly spread across the world soon after their first appearance in the Late Triassic about 230 million years ago. The dinosaur fossil record is much more than just skeletons. We have trackways, skin impression, nests with eggs and brooding adults, eggs with embryos, eggs inside bodies, bite marks made by one dinosaur on another while they were still alive, evidence of cannibalism, and even some internal organs preserved in an exceptional specimen of a small carnivore from Italy."
He will also be discussing how fossil evidence points to dinosaurs  being related to birds
Dr. Donald Henderson holds a B.Sc. In Geology and Physics from the University of Toronto, 1992 and a Ph.D. In Vertebrate Palaeontology & Biomechanics from the University of Bristol, 1999.  Current research projects include estimating body masses of pterosaurs and numbers of dinosaur skeletons lost to erosion in Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Upcoming research includes working with researchers from Natural History Museum in London on locomotion in armoured dinosaurs (stegosaurs and ankylosaurs); revising a walking pterosaur computer model; and studying the large Lethbridge/Korite elasmosaur collected in 2007.  This year,his expected fieldwork includes collecting a large hadrosaur from the Horseshoe Formation; collecting a small tyrannosaur from DinosaurProvincial Park; and dealing with the usual fossil surprises that appear yearly.
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 related exhibit Dinosaurs & Company on display at the Galt Museum & Archives until January 31.

Café Galt examines living history at Wally’s Beach

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The Galt Museum has lined up some fascinating programs to support their brand new exhibit on Southern Alberta dinosaurs, beginning with the first Café Galt presentation this Wednesday (Oct. 21) featuring Cardston teacher Shayne Tolman.
Tolman discovered the Wally’s Beach  archeological site in the lake bed of  St. Mary Reservoir, located just outside of Lethbridge while on a family outing in 1996.
In doing so, he uncovered a veritable treasure trove of fossils and  archaeological knowledge.
“They have uncovered some incredible stuff there,” Tolman enthused.
“Every time the wind blows, it uncovers something new,”  Tolman said, who has been exploring the site for 11 years. There are all kinds of rare, one-of-a-kind fossils as well as woolly mammoth, camel  and saber tooth tiger tracks.
“Those are just in the dirt, they aren’t fossilized. Because of the wind, there  are  layers up on layers of them.
 And that’s living history, when you look at bones, that’s dead history, if you can call it that, but here you can actually see how the animals interacted with each other,” he said, emphasizing it is illegal to explore and remove artifacts from sites without  the proper permits.
“And you can see human tracks  interacting with these extinct animals,” he said adding a couple years ago, some high school students were recruited to help create a 80  square metre cast of some of these tracks.
“That’s a story in itself,” he said adding he will be speaking about  the background, discovery and scientific investigation of one of North America’s most significant prehistorical sites.
“ It’s great to get these students  involved  in local heritage, not just archeology or paleontology,” he said. Because  the site is so fragile, the only time Tolman can explore it is during the winter and that’s only when it isn’t covered with snow.


Massive exhibit puts dinosaurs on display

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Believe it or not, about 75 million years ago, Lethbridge was a tropical paradise covered in tropical flora like ferns, fig trees, magnolias and even palm trees, over which where birds flew free and where dinosaurs like the hypacrosaurus and  other members of the hadrosaur (duck billed dinosaur) herbivore family roamed. This is the scene at the Galt Museum, where a new exhibit on southern Albertan dinosaurs opens , Saturday, Oct. 17.Wendy Aitkens shows off a mock dinosaur egg. Photo by Richard Amery
 The family focused exhibit, on loan from the Museum of Nature and Science in Sherbrooke , Quebec, is at the Galt Museum until Jan. 31.
It includes fossils and casts of fossils and plenty of interactive exhibits which examine dinosaurs  living in southern Alberta during the Cretaceous period, approximately 75 million years ago which is about 10 million years before they became extinct.
“It was much different then,” enthused Galt Museum curator Wendy Aitkens adding the exhibit examines the environmental impact as well as extinction theories and dinosaurs’ interactions with early mammals.
“There’s lots of  things for people  to explore,” she said adding there are lots of programs lined up including  guest speakers and other activities related to the exhibit as well. The exhibit also includes a section on  the process of paleontology — all of the procedures used to uncover dinosaur bones. Another part of the exhibit focuses on how dinosaurs may be related to birds.
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