May is Museum Month in Ontario, and museums across Brantford and area are celebrating with open houses, new exhibitions, and special events.
Museums are important in our community, and do much more than preserve local artifacts and history. Our local museums help to better our understanding of who we are as individuals and as a community through facilitating both self-reflection and conversations. Guided tours are a great way to learn behind-the-scenes stories from museum staff and volunteers; special events, lectures and workshops will give you the opportunity to develop new skills, meet like-minded people, and learn more about a particular topic; and exhibitions will teach you about your community’s history and how our past is relevant today.
We are lucky to have no shortage of cultural treasures in Brantford and area, and the museums are as diverse as the community. Each museum focuses on regional art, culture or heritage; many have permanent collections; and most host travelling exhibitions as well as diverse programming for children, adults and families. Some of the exciting new events and exhibitions taking place this Museum Month include:
Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead National Historic Site is featuring a brand new exhibition, The Empty Crib: Legacy After Loss. The exhibition is a transformative new look at Adelaide Hoodless’ story of loss, resilience and legacy. Staff has been working diligently to reveal exciting new research about Adelaide that is sure to surprise you. The Empty Crib opens on Sun, May 3 with an opening reception from 1-3pm; it will run through Oct 31, 2015.
Chiefswood National Historic Site will be opening for the season on May 16. This mansion is the former home of poet E. Pauline Johnson, and features exhibitions, tours and programs all season. On the same day, Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks National Historic Site will open its doors. Mohawk Chapel, originally called St. Paul’s, was the first Protestant church in Upper Canada and is the oldest surviving church in Ontario.
The Bell Homestead National Historic Site is celebrating May is Museum Month with a number of special events throughout the month. On May 18, which is International Museum Day, the museum is hosting its annual May is Museum Month Open House. Guests will enjoy free admission and a guided tour of the home that inspired the invention of the telephone. Drop into the Homestead Café for lunch to complete your day. For a full list of events coming up at the Homestead, including more information about their 20th annual Barn Sale on Sat, May 23, visit their event calendar on MyBrantford.ca
Woodland Cultural Centre has two brand new exhibitions opening on May 15. The First Nations Art exhibition celebrates its 40th year at the Woodland Cultural Centre. This juried exhibition is the longest running exhibition of works by First Nations artists who work in all visual mediums, including painting, beadwork, installation, pottery, photography, basketry and more.
The second exhibition to open this month at the Woodland Cultural Centre is Aksohta’neha, The Art of Peace, Eenda noohu`maya wiikiit, which highlights the works of Six Nations’ artist Elizabeth Doxtater. Using the ancient medium of cornhusk, Doxtater explores contemporary issues of dissimilation revillagizing and reverse colonialism. The opening reception for these new exhibitions, with live entertainment and light refreshments, will be on Fri, May 17 at 7pm. Everyone is welcome.
For up to date information about upcoming arts, culture and heritage events in Brantford, Brant and Six Nations during Museum Month, “like” the City of Brantford Arts & Culture Facebook page.