Just in case you need convincing, we’re sharing this blog post which gives you ten reasons to visit a museum – ours or any other museum!
Today is International Museum Day so we hope you’ll plan to visit our – or any museum today or any time this weekend!
Over the past few months we’ve received two corporate donations which we’d like to publicly acknowledge.
A conversation I was having with a colleague at work about repainting one of our exhibit rooms was overhead by another colleague which led to her father and eventually to the head office of Benjamin Moore Canada. The end result of “one thing leading to another” was some very expert advice on the most durable but also low VOC paints that would be most practical for our needs AND a donation of eight gallons of the said paint via one of their local retailers (Maples Paints on St Clair West.) Like most museums with limited operating budgets, donation of items in kind – like paint – can mean a big difference to what we can accomplish!
Pretty much every historical museum uses mannequins to display costumes – historical clothing or in our case uniforms. But like many museum supplies, mannequins can be expensive – up to hundreds of dollars. The Queen’s Own Rifles Museum is no exception and although we have a large number of uniforms on display, we still have a closet full that aren’t!
Since my day job office is located at Queen and Bay (on top of the Queen Street Hudson Bay store), I arranged to have coffee about a month ago with Richard Montgomery, Chief Adventurer (a.k.a. Vice President and General Manager) of the Queen Street store. After reminiscing about my first job as a teenager at the Robert Simpson’s Queen Street Store (before it was bought by the Bay) and finding out that Robert had a degree in history, we talked mannequins. Richard said he’d be happy to help us out if he could and promised to check what they might be available. Almost four weeks later, staff delivered 2 full mannequins and 2 “busts” on stands to my office on the 18th floor!
In the picture above, your’s truly is the one with the head, and a couple of the others have been clothed with fig leafs for modesty’s sake. We’ve also undertaken a mannequin naming contest since they may be there a while until I can arrange transportation to their new home at Casa Loma.
Thank you to both Benjamin Moore Paints Canada and The Hudson Bay Company for their generous gift in kind donations!
We’re looking for a few work-from-home volunteers to help us prepare information for posting on our Historical Timeline. The task requires reading through Lieutenant Colonel W. T. Barnard’s The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, 19860-1960: One hundred years of Canada to find “significant events” that we haven’t yet posted to our timelines listed below:
- Timeline: 1856-1899 (much of this has already been done but still needs a re-check)
- Timeline: 1900-1924
- Timeline: 1925-1949
- Timeline: 1950-1974 (only a small portion of this period is covered by Barnard’s book)
- Timeline: Uniforms
- Timeline: Weapons
Note that we have two “specialty” timelines for uniforms and weapons which we’re also trying to populate.
Information can be submitted in the body of an email or in a WORD attachment and each date/event (following the format already being used including a  at the end of each entry as the reference to this source). Research should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
If you’re interested in assisting with this project, you can indicate below which time period you would like to research (it can be a portion of the periods shown above) and we’ll confirm with you before you start just some we don’t end up with any overlap. Questions can also be posted in the comments below!
Thanks in advance!
This week is National Volunteer Week in Canada so we want to take this opportunity to thank and recognize our 15 volunteers who have provided 256 hours of volunteer service to the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada’s Regimental Museum in the past 6 months:
- Cpl Jonathan Chan
- Mathew Cutler
- Clay Downes
- Nancy Downes
- Phil Escayola
- Capt (Ret) Larry Hicks
- Cpl Graham Humphrey
- Cpl Katherine Jessome
- Cpl Tommy Jun
- Katherine Kelly
- CWO (Ret) Shaun Kelly
- Lydia Radewych
- Anne Root
- Rfn Alex Sonatin
Volunteers are critical to the successful operation of our museum and we greatly appreciate the time, the skills, the knowledge and the effort of each and every one!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals
December isn’t over yet but we want to provide both an update and to ask for you support before we all get wrapped up in the holiday hustle and bustle.
Cleaning and Cataloging Photos
Two volunteers – former Regular Force Rifleman Clay Downes and his wife Nancy of Georgetown, Ontario – have been busy over the last several weeks, cleaning and cataloging framed photographs in the museums collection. Cleaning off several layers of dust is pretty self explanatory but cataloging requires recording detailed information about each photo including a description of the photos content, and as much about the people included, location, date, occasion, photographer or studio, dimensions, framing, etc. that we can determine. All of this information is being entered into our new collections management software and will help us with taking future inventories, sourcing photos for future exhibitions, and providing resources for research projects. Between them they have provided 61 hours of volunteer service and deserve a large thanks!
Today Curator Major John Stephens, Assistant Curator CWO Shaun Kelly and Clay, removed some older shelving that had been built with whatever materials had been at hand and installed new metal shelving (see photos at right). These new shelves will provide much better storage for all our photos, now well organized by their object number. The team was very pleased with the results and once the cataloged photos were moved into the new shelving, Nancy had room to continue the very large project!
RENEWING OUR PAST: Supporting the Regimental Museum
The Regimental Museum is undertaking our RENEWING OUR PAST Campaign which consists of two parts:
Preserving Our Past includes efforts to protect and preserve our artifacts to ensure they will continue to be with us for a long time. Installing new storage, purchasing necessary but expensive archival materials, and creating a detailed collections database are all unglamorous but important parts of this phase.
Connecting with the Present includes re-imagining our exhibits, reaching out with social media, creating a volunteer program and providing museum activities and resources. We’ll shortly be creating a new “Soldiers of the Queen’s Own” exhibit in the Tower room which will start with a new coat of paint!
Elements are underway in both phases and with that comes numerous additional costs beyond our usual operating expenses. The Regimental Museum is governed, operated and supported financially by the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Trust Fund. You can help support the Museum and its RENEWING OUR PAST campaign by donating to the Trust through the CanadaHelps.org website. Under Fund/Designation select “Museum Fund” to ensure that your donation can be properly directed to our campaign. Donations received before the end of December, will be issued a 2012 charitable income tax receipt.
Thank you for your support and we wish you all a very happy holiday!
The Future of Casa Loma and a Museum of Toronto Public Meeting
In August 2011, City Council created the Casa Loma Corporation (CLC) for the purpose of managing the continuing operations of Casa Loma on an interim basis until its future ownership and management direction could be determined. The City of Toronto is now moving forward with a plan to ensure the long-term viability of Casa Loma, the Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Museum and the potential for a Museum of Toronto as part of the site’s future. For more information about our progress, click here. You are invited to attend a public meeting to learn about these opportunities and give the City your feedback, vision and guidance.
It is important to note that the QOR Museum’s continued presence at Casa Loma is not guaranteed.
Date: Monday, November 26th
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Location: Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace)
Attendees may arrive at 5:30 p.m. for a site visit of the property prior to the meeting starting at 7:00 p.m.
The City will be seeking feedback from the public in two key areas at this meeting:
1. The future of the main building (south side of Austin Terrace)
The City is seeking qualified proponents with whom to enter into a long term lease to operate Casa Loma as an historic attraction and special event venue. As the Request for Proposal (RFP) is developed and the associated evaluation criteria the Board is interested in hearing from the public about your priorities for the building and opportunities to expand on its role in presenting Toronto’s history. A two stage Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued in mid-December 2012.
2. The future of other buildings (north side of Austin Terrace)
In early 2013 the Board will issue a Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) for a vision and uses for the complex north of Austin Terrace, including the Hunting Lodge, Potting Shed, and Stables. At this public meeting input will be sought on the REOI, where Respondents will be asked to consider the feasibility of including a Museum of Toronto in their proposals.
Each year hundreds of students visit Casa Loma (and our Regimental Museum) as part of school or youth groups or with their families. Casa Loma provides a number of programs and has identified their connections to Ontario’s school curriculum. Unfortunately these programs do not include our exhibits or the extensive 150+ years connection of the Queen’s Own Rifles to the history of Canada and the evolution of our city, our province, our country and our society.
Are you a current or retired Ontario teacher?
Phase I of our Project CONNECTIONS is to identify connections between the stories presented in our museum and all levels of the Ontario Curriculum. Once we’ve done that, Phase II will be developing resource material and activities that will help students make those connections.
If you are interested in helping with either phase of Project CONNECTIONS, please contact at us email@example.com. Please indicate your teaching credentials, your current teaching status, and the level(s) you are able to assist with (primary, intermediate, senior.)
We look forward to hearing from you!
The Colonel in Chief, the Duchess of Cornwall visits Moss Park Armoury on May 22, 2012.
The Encampment Project is looking for stories of individuals who lived through the War of 1812 or any story related to the War of 1812 to be developed into an art installation on the Fort York grounds for this year’s Luminato Festival in June. Hans Bathija, an RCMI Museum Committee member is working with the artists as a Production Collaborator.
Sitrep, the journal of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, is looking for contributions from young Canadian scholars at graduate level in a defence, strategic studies or international relations program at home or abroad. Submissions should be 2500-3500 words in length, on themes related to defence policy, international military involvement, or strategic issues. Submissions may be edited for length or style.
Please send submissions to C. J. Corrigan, Editor, Sitrep at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out this Saturday March 24, 2012 Star Online article (and in Sunday print edition) by Peter Vronksy.
Peter Vronsky is a historian at Ryerson University and author of Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle That Made Canada. His website on the Battle of Ridgeway is www.ridgewaybattle.ca
Interesting article from the Dominion Institute on how perception of the enemy changes over time and circumstances: