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Galt Museum explore the Politics of sound through art and artifacts

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Sound is all around, but what it means is in the ear of the beholder.


 That is the concept behind the Galt Museum’s new exhibit Politics of Sound, which runs until May 7, 2023.


“Politics of Sound” is a combination of art from artists from Europe and the U.S. to Southern Alberta and artifacts from the Galt Museum.


Marjie Crop Eared Wolf with her contribution to Politics of Sound. Photo by RichardAmery

Galt Museum Curator Tyler Stewart expanded on a previous version of the exhibit focussing on Maskull Lassere’s sculptures blending musical instruments like trumpets and clarinets with bayonets and rifle scopes, to include a couple interactive exhibits by jamilah malika abu-bakare, Adam Basanta, Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, Maskull Lasserre, Benny Nemer and Jessica Thompson, plus  a few pieces from the Galt Museum archives.


 One of the interactive pieces is by local artist Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, who explores the loss of First Nations language because of residential schools. It features videos of Crop Eared Wolf speaking the language and three pictures featuring  Blackfoot words illustrated in red ink.

Marjie Crop Eared Wolf created her part of the exhibit through the experience of learning her traditional language.


“I was inspired by by my mother who is from the Blackfoot (Niitsi’powahsin) Nation, which is our name and my dad who is Secwepemctsín from Kamloops Shuswap area and dictionaries. There are two streams of leaning, oral, which is how First Nations learned their language and  written. There are three Blackfoot dictionaries I used,” she said, noting the red ink is a deliberate choice.


“When I was learning English, that is how my teachers marked wrong words on my tests and I appreciated that,” she said. The video component features Crop Eared Wolf learning traditional language with a close up of her lips forming the words.


Walk a mile in someone else's moccasins with Galt Museum’s new exhibit

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You can symbolically walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins with the Galt Museum’s new exhibit “ Walk A Mile in my Moccasins.”


Camina Weasel Moccasin  with the Walk a Mile in my Moccasins display. Photo by Richard Amery

 The local museum’s new Indigenous curator Camina Weasel Moccasin asked friends, co-workers and family to share their favourite stories about their favourite pair of moccasins.


 The new exhibit opened at the Galt Museum last week and runs until the end of the calendar year. 


“We had each participant  put on their moccasins and had a  a few words of conversation about hiw  they wanted to be represented,” Weasel Moccasin said, noting all of the particiapants are from the Kainai and Piikani nations.


By placing these stories on the floor of the museum, alongside photos of the participants’ moccasins, visitors are invited to take a few moments to walk alongside their Niitsitapi neighbours and listen to their stories.


Galt Museum celebrates the many aspects of urban forests in new exhibit

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Don’t take your trees for granted.

 That’s the gist of  “Rooted: How Trees Give Us Life,” the new exhibit opening at the Galt Museum, May 28 and running until Sept. 4.


Tyler Stewart talks about The Galt Museum’s new Rooted How Trees Give Us Life exhibit. Photo by Richard Amery

 “ There are a lot of different  aspects to trees. There’s more to them than just shade and cleaning the air,” said Tyler Stewart, the Galt Museum’s new curator.


“So we’re giving people a great opportunity to learn about  the scientific, economic and indigenous perspectives of trees,” Stewart said, emphasizing the playfulness of trees.

“There is something for everyone from a five year old kid to a 95 year old scientist,” Stewart said.


 There are informational panels, an original piece of  a wooden water pipe used in the early days of Lethbridge, multi-media interactive displays, an oral component of First Nations Elders discussing traditional Piikani perspectives about their relationships to trees and nature and a video of Lethbridge people talking about trees. There is even a wooden playhouse and  mini-climbing wall.


“We hope the tree house will give people a sense of nostalgia about their childhood and memories of their own tree houses,” he continued.


 All of the pieces of the exhibit are connected by images created by local artist April Matisz, who has been inspired  by nature since she began creating art. 


Rediscover Downtown with the Galt Museum

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The Galt Museum is excited to present a re-imagined Taste of Downtown, April 20.

Because of Covid restrictions, the Galt Museum opted not to hold a ‘Taste of Downtown’ for the past two years.


“The pandemic gave us the opportunity to re-imagine and redesign some of our events like ‘Taste of Lethbridge,” said Galt Museum Resource  Development and Volunteer Co-ordinator Chris Roedler.


The new event, “Rediscover Downtown’ has a few little changes, but the purpose of the event is still to not only help people  discover everything happening downtown, but also  to raise some money to update the Discovery Hall/ long term exhibit hall.


“We’ve moved the event up a few months to April, we have 20 different businesses participating and  we’ve increased tickets to 300 from 200,” Roedler summarized, adding if it is successful,  the Galt Museum would love to have the event multiple times a year instead of just once.


During Discover Downtown Lethbridge Festival, ticket-holders sample menu items at well-established and new restaurants and cafés, tour businesses and learn about the history of downtown historic buildings. This is a place where street culture will come alive, seeing the sidewalks of downtown teeming with community members of all ages, no matter what the weather has in store. 


“ The idea is not  to go and sit in a business for an hour and eat. People can stop by, see what they have to offer and  get  a free sample,” Roedler said, adding the Galt Museum is also offering their space to businesses who may not have a downtown location, but still want to be part of the event.


Participating businesses include Décor Out the Door, The Slice Bar and Grill, Seyyes Clothing, Purple Hippo Boutique, Mocha Local (and their various local suppliers), Mocha Cabana, Umami/Asian Supermarket, How Sweet Inc., The Sill and Soil, The Penny Coffee House, Naturistas, Urban Apothecary, Arise Coffee House, Infinitea, Downtown BRZ, Tourism Lethbridge, Standout Photography and 4 Elements Massage. Roedler noted there are a lot of businesses returning from previous Taste of Downtown events, but also a lot of new businesses participating,  some of which started during the pandemic.


“ They’re all within walking distance, so you can part at the Galt Museum or downtown and walk to them all,” he said.


 There will also be buskers performing  during the event, which will be happening 5-8 p.m, April 20.



Galt Museum showcases masks with Treaty 7 creativity in Breathe ( Second Wave)

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Masks are probably the last thing anybody wants to think about as the world is well into two years of  Covid 19, but they can be a beautiful thing, especially when they reflect Treaty 7 First Nations culture.

The Galt Museum presents a new travelling exhibit “Breathe (Second Wave),” until  the end of April.


Halli Heavy Shields speaks about the local contributions to Breathe (Second Wave) at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard Amery

“ We have three remarkable exhibitions. They’re all individually crafted by  indigenous artisans,” said Chief Executive Officer / Executive Director Aaká óóhkotoki (Many rocks) Darrin Martens.

“ They’re all traditionally crafted mask demonstrating resilience in the twenty-first century,” Martens continued.


 The  exhibit features 50 masks designed by First Nations artists from all over Canada. There is leatherwork, a lot of traditional  bead work  and different masks including one  made out of Chinese take out menus. there is a quilt made entirely out of cloth masks as well.


Breathe is a travelling exhibit of artistic masks designed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists that explore the experience of navigating changing COVID-19 conditions.


It was inspired by Métis artists and co-curators Lisa Shepherd and Nathalie Bertin, who launched a Facebook group which now has over 2,300 members.

They issued a call for artists to submit artistic masks to the exhibition. The “first wave” of the exhibit has toured across Canada since 2020 and was shown in museums and galleries in Banff, Edmonton, Yellowknife and more. 

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