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Lady Diana and Trudeau get the Royal Treatment at the Canadian Canoe Museum

Canoeing is quintessentially Canadian. Pierre Berton, one of our great national historians and storytellers once quipped that  “a Canadian is someone who can have sex in canoe”. While it didn’t come to that, looking for something unique to do last year on July 1st, our national holiday, I enlisted an old boyfriend to come along […]

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Medalta: Canada’s Internationally Renowned Ceramics Arts Centre, the Gem of Medicine Hat

Medalta is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. Nestled against the red cliffs of the South Saskatchewan River in Medicine Hat, this beautiful, old brick factory and clay works has become one of the premiere ceramic arts centres in the world. Occupying over 40 acres, the setting is a unique combination of bucolic and dramatic; the […]

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Little Synagogue on the Prairie: the amazing story of how Alberta’s oldest synagogue was lost and then found

For a pioneer village junkie like myself, Heritage Park beckoned. With over 180 attractions and exhibits, this Calgary based theme park bills itself as “one of North America’s largest and most successful living history museums”. A veritable cornucopia of ‘all things heritage’ it has something for all ages and stages, including an operational early 20th century […]

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The Sands of Time: Eztikom and Alberta’s Vanishing Towns

Though I am a big fan of the hustle and bustle of city life, the flip side of our increasingly urbanized world, is that small towns are not only being depopulated but they are also simply disappearing. In Canada, perhaps nowhere is this more visible than on the prairies. In his 1962 autobiography Wolf Willow, […]

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The Things We Hold Dear

Last year, I spent a spell working at Medicine Hat College. Though founded in 1965 and thus a relative newcomer on the academic scene, the college laid claim to some history. Proudly displayed outside the C-Suites on the 2nd floor, was an old painted glass pitcher with several matching glasses. Bequeathed to the college by […]

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Mystery at the Meaford Museum

Friends, who know me, will attest that I am unable to resist a small museum or a good visitors’ centre. It is often in these out of the way and unexpected places that I find anomalies and treasures – objects that give me profound delight, not the least because they are housed in such unassuming […]

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Motion Pictures Potency

TIFF is currently in full swing and while there are many, many great films to screen, I recently came across a perfect gem of a movie on DVD, Electric Edwardians: The Lost Films of Mitchell and Kenyon. Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon travelled through Edwardian Britain filming ordinary local people in the morning and then […]

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At the Steinbeck Museum, Small is Beautiful

I found these two tiny leather bound Dust Bowl migrants diaries incredibly touching. I don’t know if these men were interviewed by Steinbeck when he wrote his 1936  journalistic account of the plight of migrants for the The San Francisco News (his fictional masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath came three years later). But reading the handwritten notes […]

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Random California

Just came back from a brief visit to San Francisco, hanging with Cousin Tom and family. What’s not to love?! Left a cold Canadian winter behind only to find myself a few short hours later wearing nothing but a sundress and shades. Spring is in the air, flowers blooming, and everyone was out and about […]

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