Museum display pops up at City Hall for Canada 150

By Jill Sperling
December 21, 2016 - 3:45pm Updated: December 21, 2016 - 7:09pm

KAMLOOPS — As the nation prepares to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary next year, staff at the Kamloops Museum and Archives are digging through their extensive collections of photographs and artefacts to create a historical display at City Hall. 

The Talking Walls Project is beginning to take shape in City Hall's main lobby, celebrating the people and events that have shaped Kamloops. 

"This year knowing that Canada 150 is coming and it's an entire celebration of Canada's 150th birthday for the whole year of 2017, we decided to have a pop-up museum here at City Hall, to commemorate that, to mark that at the very beginning of the year, and mark it at the end," said Kamloops Museum Supervisor Julia Cyr.

The museum has been working on a commemorative wall for the past two and a half months, and it's now beginning to take shape.

"The main themes for Canada 150 are truth and reconciliation, it's about youth, diversity, and the environment, and so the themes that we've connected to draw back on that, and it's also about our local city and it talks about things that Kamloops is really known for," Cyr said.

That includes such hallmarks as the railway, the economy, and a passion for sport, all reflected on the wall in large-scale photographs. 

For museum archivist Scott Owens, narrowing down a selection of photographs for the City Hall display was quite the challenge.

"At the Kamloops Museum and Archives we have about 10,000 images in what we call our KMA photograph collection," Owens said, "and so a lot of the process for developing this exhibit came from going through these images and selecting images that were visually striking." 

The museum also has an extensive collection of artefacts, some of which will be added to display boxes mounted to the wall. 

"We have a really exhaustive fly fishing display at our museum," said Kamloops Museum Curator Matt Macintosh, "so we're going to draw on that and show some small artefacts from the fly fishing collection, as well as in consultation with the Secwepemc Museum and Archives we have a few artefacts from Indigenous culture around the area as well." 

The pop-up museum at City Hall is just a taste of what will be on display at the Kamloops Museum itself in the new year, celebrating what has defined our city and nation over the past 150  years. 

"It's a really important moment for Canada to celebrate and to look at what has been our past and our history in the past 150 years, and what will it be in 150 years from now?" Cyr said. "So it gives us that opportunity to take pause and think about those topics."

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