Museum Planning Truth & Reconciliation Day Activities and Culture Days

Next week, the City of Guelph, it’s people, and people in communities across Canada will mark the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We might have already heard about a number of activities being hosted by the Rotary Club of Guelph, but the City is also planning some events through the Guelph Civic Museum.

On the day itself, Thursday September 30, Guelph resident, Anishinaabe elder, and residential school survivor Rene Andre Meshake will demonstrate the Anishinaabe Oral Tradition that combines written and oral storytelling as well as music in a family friendly event. You do have to book your ticket in advance though by visiting Eventbrite.

The Museum will also be launching the Where the Rivers Meet exhibit next week on Tuesday September 28 in the City Gallery. According to a media release from the Museum, the exhibit “centres the Original Peoples who have been on this land since time immemorial,” and discusses their migration, land relationship, treaties, impacts of colonization, and past and present-day perspectives while also considering “the founding story of Guelph within the context of a longer history lens.”

“This is a living exhibition that reflects the truth as we understand it today,” said museum manager Tammy Adkin in a statement. “We still have much to learn from our treaty partner, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and from Indigenous people who call Guelph home today. We continue to listen and learn, and we will update the material presented in the Museum as our knowledge grows.”

Access to the exhibit comes with the standard admission to the Guelph Civic Museum.

Finally, the Museum will reveal a new installation by Métis artist Tracey-Mae Chambers called Hope and Healing. The project is described as a “simultaneous interior and exterior art experience” using red-coloured yard to “make connections between people, communities, and the environment. With this work, the artist responds to experiences of the pandemic, and discoveries of the remains of Indigenous children buried at former residential schools, through a decolonial art intervention.”

The outdoor portion of the installation will be available to view until October 24, and after that, the installation will be available in the glass entrance to the Museum until February 27.

The Hope and Healing art installation is well-timed to also take advantage of Culture Days starting this weekend. Culture Days is a national celebration of the arts, and typically it all unfolds over the last weekend in September. Due to obvious circumstances though, this year’s Culture Days events will be spread over a one-month period from September 24 and October 24.

The first event begins Friday at the Civic Museum with country-folk artist Jiggity James, and while all the tickets are sold out to attend the live performance, you will still be able to enjoy it on the Museum’s Facebook page. Since it’s the Fourth Friday, access to the Guelph Civic Museum and its exhibits are admission-free between 5 and 9 pm.

Elsewhere, the Artists in Residence from the last two years, Jenny Mitchell and Anita Cazzola, will be talking part in a virtual artist talk together on October 10. As to her own current project, Botanical Reclamation, Cazzola will be hosting an in-person artist talk on October 6 in Market Square, a temporary textile art installation at the Ontario Reformatory property on October 23 and 24, and a round table called “On plants, resilience, and craft” on October 24. You can find all the details on Eventbrite where you can reserve a spot because there are capacity limits.

Finally, the City of Guelph will be releasing a six-part video series about the creation of all the murals in the Main Street Mural Project starting on October 6. A new video will be released on Wednesdays and Fridays at noon throughout October on the Main Street Mural Project webpage.

In addition to Culture Days events sponsored by the City of Guelph, there are also activities and events planned at Guelph Black Heritage Society, Silence Sounds, Guelph Public Library, Guelph Arts Council, Bumaroo and Otherwise Studios. For all the details about Culture Days, visit the City’s website here.

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