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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 http://www.galtmuseum.com/.

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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New Galt museum programs focus on seniors

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Get ready Lethbridge and area seniors. You are invited to experience southwestern Alberta history and culture at a new weekly program developed by the Galt Museum & Archives with a diversity of entertaining topics, including presentations by special guests, lectures, hands-on learning activities, and behind-the-scenes tours commencing Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.
"One of the things I think is amazing about the program is the number of people who have volunteered to lead the topics, from dance groups to professors at the University of Lethbridge," said the Galt's Community Program Coordinator, Leslie Hall in a press release.
The Feb. 3 - May 26 schedule is as follows:
Feb. 3 — Artifact Bingo Get a sneak preview of artifacts featured in our upcoming exhibit Treasures & Curiosities, and other treasures from the Collection.  
10 — Archives 101 Learn the basics of archives during this behind-the-scenes tour. 
17 — Into the Past: Blackfoot History and Culture with Blanche Bruisedhead.  
24 — Lethbridge History Album Celebrate Lethbridge's history by creating an art piece using photos and articles from the Archives.  Learn techniques you can use tomake your own digital or paper memory albums at home.  
March 3 — Museums 101 Learn the basics of museums and their collections in this behind-the-scenes tour.  
10 — Métis History: A Blast from the Past Join Jacqueline Guest, author of 16 novels, to discover how the history of the Métis people in Canada continues to be a source of inspiration. Learning and laughing are guaranteed as we recreate the past. An interactive session involving artifacts and actual facts.  
17 — Line Dancing Show and Lesson Watch a line dancing show and then learn some dances, or cheer others along as they try out the steps.  Brought to you by the YuTuKanDanz group.  
24 — Coming of Age During the Great Depression In this talk, Professor Heidi Macdonald will use excerpts from 1930s diaries to examine how Canadian youth experienced the Great Depression
31— Fibre Art and the Art of Card Making Experiment with card making techniques and embellishments to make a one-of-a-kind greeting card with the Textile Surface Design Guild.
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The Galt celebrates Robbie Burns' birthday

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The Galt Museum is  celebrating the life of  renown Scottish poet and musician, Robbie Burns with a special celebration, Jan. 22 in the Galt Museum atrium.alt
“We’ve been doing this  practically since Robbie Burns died,” joked Lori Harasem, Galt Museum special events and volunteer coordinator who has been organizing the event  for the past seven years.
 The event, which begins at 7 p.m. (though doors open at 6 p.m.)  features  a group of young Scottish dancers called the Lethbridge Highland Dancers, , the Lethbridge Scottish  Country Dance Club and 23 pounds of haggis including a three pound haggis  which will be piped in by  the Legion Pipe and Drums band. Plus there will be Scotch sampling with  Kyle Baines of Andrew Hilton, toasts and singing from Sheena Lawson.
“It’s a chance to learn more  about  Robbie Burns’ music and poetry and to get to know  a bit more about Scottish culture,” Harasem continued adding  it is also a tribute to to Stewart  Christie, a Scotland aficionado and a big part of previous Robbie Burns day celebrations, who passed away earlier this month.
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Café Galt ends series this week

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The final Café Galt of the Galt Museum’s dinosaur exhibit features the movie ‘the Lost World’ and speaker Cory Grosse, Jan. 20.alt
The four Café Galt sessions, which feature special guest speaker speaking about topics related to the museum’s dinosaur exhibit, which closes, Jan. 31, have been very successful.
“It’s been awesome,” said the Galt Museum’s marketing and communication officer Anine Vonkeman, adding  most of the programs have attracted  capacity audiences of approximately 50 people each night.
 The last one features  Cory Gross who will be talking about the original film ‘the Lost World,’ which is based on  Arthur Conan Doyle’s  earth shaking 1912 dinosaur adventure novel, which was originally brought to to silver screen in 1925.
Grosse received his BA in Museum and Heritage Studies from the University of Calgary in 2005 and has great interest in  paleontology, archaeology, Western Canadian history, natural history and travel as well as scientific romances and  early cinema. He also is webmaster for http://silentmoviemonsters.tripod.com/TheLostWorld/, which is dedicated to Silent Movie Monsters.
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