Category Archives: General

Warm wishes for the Holiday Season

Trust Fund Christmas Card 2013

National Philanthropy Day and Charitable Giving

“They who give have all the things.  They who withhold have nothing.”
(Hindu Proverb)

Did you know November 15 is National Philanthropy Day? 

NPD.Sig.Hor.ColorThis special day is set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—have made to our lives, our communities and our world.

What makes philanthropy so special is that no one is required to give of themselves. There are no national laws or regulations which mandate that you must volunteer or get involved. Philanthropy is so powerful and inspiring precisely because it is voluntary—that through the goodness of our hearts, through our need to connect, through our desire to see a better world, we come together to improve the quality of life for all people.

Through your generosity, billions of dollars and volunteer hours are given every year to countless nonprofits and charities around the world. Millions and millions of programs—from feeding the hungry and clothing the needy, curing the sick, saving the environment—happen every day because of you and your commitment to your favorite causes.

On National Philanthropy Day®, charities around the world thank you for your support. Your involvement—whether it’s mentoring, volunteering, giving, staffing an event or showing your support on social media—makes philanthropy possible, and makes National Philanthropy Day so special and meaningful.

Philanthropy and our Regimental Museum

In 2013 we’ve been very thankful for the many generous volunteers who have assisted us in a whole variety of ways at the Regimental Museum. So far this year we’ve seen 43 volunteers provide over 675 hours of service – from cataloging and photography to construction  and painting to exhibit planning and event support! And aside  from these recorded hours, are many many more where are supporters have helped connect with us and share our Museum and the history we tell, through their social media outlets.

Volunteers are really priceless but if we did chose to put a monetary value to their time and effort, even at minimum wage that amount would exceed our annual operating budget – and the year still has a month and a half to go!

We have also been the recipient of gifts in kind from four corporate donors in 2013:

  • The Hudson Bay Company (Flagship Store)- Mannequins
  • Benjamin Moore Paints – Paint
  • Pegasus Catering – Food vouchers
  • Vifloor Canada Ltd – Computers

The Museum’s operating funding (for day to day expenses), rent and  insurance is provided by the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Trust Fund – to which many of your already contribute financially. Together the Trust, our dedicated volunteers and generous corporate donors form a pretty formidable combination.

But we’d also ask you to consider a special financial donation, particularly in recognition of National Philanthropy Day, to help us move closer to creating a museum of the 21st century – one that will help us tell the very important story of our Regiment and our Rifleman in the most engaging and effective manner we can.

You can mail a cheque to (note your donation is for the Museum Fund:

QORofC Trust Fund
Box 250, Unit 12A
4981 Highway 7 East
Markham, ON L3R 1N1

You can also make a donation online via our Trust Fund’s CanadaHelps page (under Fund/Designation select “Museum Fund”.)

We are most grateful for both your volunteer and financial contributions.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
(Theodore Roosevelt)

Ten Reasons to Visit a Museum

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!

International Museum Day

Today is International Museum Day so we hope you’ll plan to visit our – or any museum today or any time this weekend!

Paint, Mannequins and Thank You’s

Over the past few months we’ve received two corporate donations which we’d like to publicly acknowledge.


Benjamin Moore

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!


hudsons-bay-co-logoPretty 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!

mannequinsIn 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

Thank you to both Benjamin Moore Paints Canada and The Hudson Bay Company for their generous gift in kind donations!


WANTED: Volunteer Historical Timeline Researchers

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:

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 [2] at the end of each entry as the reference to this source). Research should be emailed to 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!

National Volunteer Week 2013

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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
  • Hayden
  • 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!

John Stephens

2012 in review

The 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

Click here to see the complete report.

Museum Update December 2012

New photos storage shelving installed December 2012.
New photos storage shelving installed December 2012.

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 IMG-20121216-00187providing 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 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!

Future of Casa Loma Public Meeting

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.

Ontario Teachers + Project CONNECTIONS!

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  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!

Visit of the Colonel in Chief, the Duchess of Cornwall

The Colonel in Chief, the Duchess of Cornwall visits Moss Park Armoury on May 22, 2012.

The Encampment Project

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.

To learn more please visit their website at or contact submission deadline has been extended.

Sitrep Needs Young Writers

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


“The last invasion and Canada’s forgotten first casualties”

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

Enemies at the Front, Comrades of the Soil – Institut Historica Dominion Institute

Interesting article from the Dominion Institute on how perception of the enemy changes over time and circumstances:

Enemies at the Front, Comrades of the Soil – Institut Historica Dominion Institute.