23 C
Niagara Falls
Monday, May 20, 2024
Museum admission free for the public on May 18
Of the town's heritage homes is the Crooks-Stairs House, located at 280 Dorchester St. It was built circa 1820 after John Crooks bought the half-acre of land two years prior. SUPPLIED

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum is gearing up for a celebration of International Museum Day this Saturday, May 18, when admission will be free for everyone, with the opening of a new exhibition on the history of the town’s heritage homes.

This new exhibition, “The Prettiest Town: Beyond the Bricks and Mortar,” opens to the public on May 17 and will run until Dec. 17.

It explore the stories of the town’s heritage homes, how they reflect the times in which they were built and why their preservation for future generations is important.

“One of the reasons we chose an exhibit on the amazing heritage homes in Niagara-on-the Lake, is that they are not only part of our heritage landscape, but also a major part of our tourism economy,” said Sarah Kaufman, the museum’s managing director, in a media release from the museum.

The new exhibition will feature some of the earliest surviving homes built after the War of 1812.

“We are fortunate here because we have so many examples of this period,” Kaufman said. “The difficulty was choosing homes that have enough pieces in our collection that help tell their stories.” 

In addition, said Kaufman, the provincial government’s amendment to the Ontario Heritage Act, as a result of Bill 23, could negatively affect the cultural landscape of our municipality by endangering undesignated houses that have historical significance.

“This is a critical time for a community to understand the importance of preserving these heritage homes,” she said.

This exhibition is being accompanied by a whole host of events for May, including an evening lecture on Thursday with Adam Shoalts, professional adventurer and explorer-in-residence at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Neighbourhood Walks series, which has three more tours scheduled this month on May 17, 24 and 31.

“Since 1977, the International Council of Museums has organized International Museum Day to highlight the role museums plays worldwide, in communities large and small,” read the media release.

“Each year focuses on different themes. For 2024, the focus is on ‘Museums for Education and Research.’ The Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum is proud to actively support these themes in all their sustainable programming, exhibitions, and community involvement,” it continued.

The Shoalts lecture has already sold out its attendance tickets, but the Neighbourhood Walks tours have lengthy waiting lists people have added their names to: to register or for more information on the tours, email Amy Klassen at aklassen@nhsm.ca.

The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit notlmuseum.ca

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