SNOW: Explore Your Love/Hate Relationship
By David DeRocco
“How can I miss you if you won’t go away” is one of those wonderfully contradictory sentiments you can only find in a country song. However, as Niagara-residents living through one of the greenest winters in recent memory, the question arises: is it possible for us to actually miss the snow that often bonds us together as Canadians?
The love/hate relationship Canadians have with that pesky precipitation is at the heart of a new exhibit called SNOW, running January 26th through April 15th at Niagara Falls Museum. Created by the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau in partnership with the J. Armand Bombadier Museum, SNOW gives visitors a historical and cultural perspective of the effects snow has had on Canadian culture, innovation and adaptability.
“I requested this exhibit over two-and-a-half years ago, so we’re excited it’s finally here,” says Niagara Falls Museum curator Suzanne Moase. “The timing is excellent because it very much talks about the time period of the last 150 years, so it coincides well with the anniversary of Canada’s birthday. All the artifacts are in that time period, crossing that 150 year span. And they’re quintessentially Canadian objects.”
The exhibit draws from the Museum of History’s collections and features more than 40 artifacts, photos and documents that reflect the effects of snow on Canada since Confederation. SNOW allows visitors the chance to see boots made from sealskin and caribou hide, eyeglasses made from walrus ivory made by Nunavut’s Thule Inuit dating back to 1300, sleds with foot warmers, snowshoes for horses and skis from different periods, along with snow-related art and works by Canadian painters and writers. Moase says that regardless of how you feel about snow – or the lack of it – there’s a lot to be enjoyed visiting the exhibit.
“I think people are really going to appreciate how much they can relate to it. I think the museum has done a great job of grouping artifacts that are very relatable to people. There are a lot of objects that will allow people to reminisce about experiences they’ve had with snow. I think I can say so far it’s absolutely my favourite of the travelling exhibits that we’ve rented in the five years since we’ve been open.”
SNOW: Niagara Falls Museum On display from January 26, 2017 until April 15, 2017
ADDITIONAL SNOW-RELATED EVENT:
Given that 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the Blizzard of ’77, there may be many Niagara residents who are just as happy not to see snow falling in the peninsula this year. For those who may want to learn more about that crippling snowstorm, the Fort Erie Public Library will observe the milestone with a visit from Erno Rossi, author of “White Death,” a comprehensive look at the storm that blasted Southern Ontario and Western New York 40 years ago.
Fort Erie Public Library: Crystal Ridge Branch, 89 Ridge Road, Ridgeway 905 894-1281. Time 7:oopm