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Galt Museum celebrating harvest with new festival

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 The Galt Museum is celebrating Fall this Saturday with their first annual Harvest Festival.Pete Watson and Joel Bryant paying word on the Street. They play the Galt Museum’s Harvest Festival this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
 There will be an assortment of crafts, live music, hayrides and lots of fun for everyone.
“We try to do community events. The last one we did was Canada Day. This time we thought a harvest themed event would be perfect,” said Galt Museum Community events co-ordinator Leslie Hall.
 Coincidentally their harvest festival coincides with the actual harvest moon, Sept. 29.

“So we’ll be able to watch the moon rise,” she enthused.

But while that is happening, so will a variety of harvest themed activities.

 Fort Whoop-Up which is still closed to flooding in the summer, will be bringing up their hay rides, there will be food. The Windy Rafter Barn Dancers will be coming from their Fort Macleod area base to teach line dancing.


Galt Museum examines community bands

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Lethbridge has a long history of community band, so Galt Museum archives assistant Trish Purkis wanted to bring that history to life as part of the Archives Exposed program.

“I wanted to showcase unfamiliar anTrish Purkis examines the community bands display. Photo by Richard Ameryd not seen photographs,” Purkis said adding sometimes the Archives Exposed program is connected to the main display in the main gallery, other times, like this time, it is a labour of love.

“ I actually started it because I wanted to find out when I started playing in the Lethbridge Kiwanis Band in the 1960s,” said Purkis, who plays clarinet in the Lethbridge Community band, which turns 25 this year.

After finding out she joined the band in 1963, she was surprised how little information was available about community bands in Lethbridge, so she started making a file by going through newspaper clippings and exploring the archives.

“I started playing clarinet with the band in 1963 and like most people I gave it up while I pursued my career, until 1987 when I dusted off the clarinet to see if I could still play,” she said.


Author Will Ferguson entertains with anecdotes and jokes

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Canadian humourist  Will Ferguson, enraptured a good sized crowd at the Galt Museum, Sunday, May 20 during the museum’s Will Ferguson speaking at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard AmeryDiamond Jubilee celebrations which also featured Project Muse.

 There wasn’t a lot of talk about the Queen at the Queen’s Jubilee, however Ferguson has a million stories about having adventures travelling around Canada and told a few of, them punctuating them with his self-deprecating humour, which had the enraptured audience chuckling along with him.

 He joked about being asked to  show a South American delegation a “Canadian dance.”

“There isn’t one. They think we can all square dance, so we just made one up,” he related.

He spoke briefly about living in Japan and moving to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the cradle of Confederation.

He noted his first job was as a translator. He laughed as he recalled asking a group of Japanese businessmen/ tourists to not tell his boss that he wasn’t as fluent in Japanese as he said to get the job.

He reminisced about breaking into  writing by writing a column in Charlottetown about Japanese customs and getting let go  after asking his boss for a raise as his boss didn’t know  Ferguson was being paid for his column in the first place.

 He observed things worked out in the end as he ended up getting a job writing a travel/ adventure column for Macleans magazine.

“ They told me to write it from the perspective of a tourist to Canada, which is how I always kind of felt anyway,” he said.
 Then he laughed he had an expense account, covering “all reasonable expenses,” and put a helicopter ride on it so he could see a historic fort near Churchill, Manitoba.
“They asked me about it and I said ‘all reasonable expenses.’ They said ‘It‘s a helicopter ride.’ So I don’t work at Macleans anymore,” he laughed. However that lead to a gig with Flare Magazine, which lead to  memorable trips all across the country including Moose Jaw.

Once that ended, he started compiling  his columns into a books.

 He wound up his presentation by joking about Cracker Jacks, laughing “ You used to get a toy in them which you put together, now it comes in a bag and all you get is a piece of paper with a quote on it,” he said.
 The  Project Muse chamber music group ended the afternoon with a set of pretty classical music.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Author Will Ferguson makes a career out of curiosity

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Calgary based writer Will Ferguson has made a career out of curiosity.
Ferguson, who was born in Fort Vermillion in Northern Alberta, has travelled all over the world from hitchhiking around the backwoods of Japan to Moose Jaw.Will Ferguson
“I find both of them equally fascinating,” he said. He is very familiar with Lethbridge and Southern Alberta, having dedicated two chapters to Lethbridge in one of his books.

 For now he is looking forward to coming to Lethbridge, May 27 to visit the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens and to participate in the Queen’s Jubilee celebration at  the Galt Museum.

“My wife is Japanese, so when she gets homesick, she likes to come to the Japanese Gardens because it is so authentic. Even though the plants are Canadian, the design is Japanese. So we’ll come down on the Saturday to see it,” he continued.
 He travelled in Northern Ireland after the troubles just to see the effect on the people and in July  will be going to Rwanda to do the research for a book on the twentieth anniversary of the genocides.

 “I’ll be concentrating on my Canadian travels, seeing the polar bears in Churchill and Moose Jaw,” he said.
“ Travel writing is probably the easiest thing to get into because it’s always your story. If you go to a resort in Guadalajara, then that’s your story and your experience,” he advised to prospective travel writers. The most important thing  is to have  a sense of adventure and curiosity, though enough common sense not to get into dangerous situations.
“Start out in newspapers, because newspapers are always looking for travel stories, then work your way up to magazines and books.”

He started his career as a travel writer while hitch-hiking in Japan, where he spent several years teaching English.
“I was living in Japan, teaching and they have very poor bus service in Japan, so I started hitch-hiking, and nobody hitch-hikes in Japan, so I had people inviting me over for dinner and I thought that was pretty cool. Then I thought I’d pitch the idea of writing about hitch-hiking to a Japanese newspaper. They passed on it, but it planted the bug in me,” he said adding he moved to PEI and decided to write an article about Japanese customs.


Galt Museum answers quilt queries with Alberta Quilt Project

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There is a lot more to quilting than one might think — they provide a peek into the past. So the Galt Museum has been presenting a special series geared towards quilting aficionados, or to satiate curiosity about quilting for those new to it.

The last presentation of the series is May 17 at the Galt Museum featuring  Lucie Heins, assistant  CuratDawn Hunt shows several different quilts. Photo by Richard Ameryor of the Royal Alberta  Museum. She  will be bringing the Alberta Quilt project to Lethbridge, which  examines heritage quilts made in Alberta or brought to the province by immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and examines quilting in the twenty-first century.
The project began by documenting contemporary quilters to capture the current trends in quilting and surveyed Alberta quilting guilds, groups and individuals. The project, presented with the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild, takes place May 17 at 7 p.m. at the Galt Museum.

“I’m here to unravel some of the mysteries of the quilt world,” said Dawn Hunt, who hosted the first two seminars. The first one covered the overall history of quilting, the second, CSI Quilt, went into more depth about how quilts can be a conduit into history over two sessions, April 5 and April 7.

“Women weren’t allowed to take classes or go to school, so quilting was how they expressed themselves,” she said.
“‘Some are passed down from daughter to daughter,” she said.
 She said you can tell a lot about history by examining quilts. Popular patterns, stitching techniques and even the type of dye used can tell a lot about  the era where the quilt came from.

Salesman’s fabric swatches  from the day also tell a lot about a quilt as they often reflect the popular styles of the day.
Sometimes they get lucky and find a date on the quilt, either on the back, or worked into the quilt itself.
“ We do a lot of research so the quilt can tell us the story,” she said.
 Sometime the quilt itself  tells  a story, reflecting the life of it’s creator and their family as they are often passed down through generations

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