Wednesday, 22 January 2014

World War I Commemorations: HME Meeting Monday January 20, 2014

HME After Hours Meeting: WW1 Commemorations at Your Institution
January 20, 2014

Teresa Gregorio (MMA)
Sarah Hamilton (Bell Homestead)
Nicole Knibb (MMA)
Paula Whitlow (Woodland Cultural Centre)
Heather George (Hamilton Museum of Steam and Tech, Six Nations Legacy Consortium)
Luke Stempien (Lambton County Museum)
Geoffrey Moyer (researcher Brantford Public Library)

•    Alward Vimy memorial and who has rough drawings and plasters?
•    Brantford has war memorial which was part of beautification project for Brantford as third largest exporter in Ontario (huge factories and millionaire families like Massey Harris)
•    Bell Homestead existed prior to WW1and might not be doing anything to commemorate the anniversary
•    1914 commemorations funding: no funding from federal Government and apparently Australia, France, Canada, etc. is riding coattails of Euro nations especially Britain for funding (not funding on their own)
•    Canadian government now focused on Canada 150 and  tying all anniversaries into this – spent a lot of money on 1812 commemorations
•    Funding for films is happening but only film (NFB and other groups)
•    NFLD has specific projects and province is funding them
•    Make your project unique as ON fights for funding
•    Suggestion: Grade 7 and 8 curriculum target
•    Lots of things planned for Mississauga Museums (Merri Fergusson):
Doors Open Ontario focus for 2014 is the commemoration of WW1. Museums of Mississauga in partnership with History Matters Association and Heritage Mississauga will host the following 3 days
Door Open Saturday September 27th WW1 Experience Day at Benares Historic House for the general public (free)
Culture Day Sunday September 28th WW1 Experience Day at Benares Historic House for the general public (free)
Peel High School Monday September 29th WW1 Experience Day at Benares Historic House free for 350 Grade 10 students
Grants and sponsorship will hopefully cover all costs.
All 3 days will have a series of interactive stations which groups will rotate through on a 15 minute (approx.) schedule. Each participant will be assigned an identity for the day of a Mississauga (Toronto Township) resident who participated in the war effort. At the end of the day students will receive the details of the individual's war time experience on the home front or the war front. Heritage Mississauga will be sharing their work on the World War 1 Mississauga Virtual Cenotaph Project. We are also in discussion with the Great War Flying Museum for a "Fly Over'. Stay tuned for more details...

•    Audience or potential funding from Doors Open or events similar to that?

Great War Centenary Association
•    Working with Brant County, Six Nations, Brant Public Library
•    Using letters they are creating a narrative of the home front
•    Also involves writing for Brantford Expositor
•    Needed to have Six Nations involved WWI as has documented photographs/faces and names to it for the first time in history of Indigenous people
•    Worked with Paula Whitlow at Woodland, groups of museums people, teachers, librarians,
•    Primary objective is commemoration of those people at home and overseas
•    Contextualize it using social aspect of WWI as lesson for living history at the high school level (Brantford CI in particular) which appeals to boys and girls
•    GWCA group is neutral and not dominated by any institutions
•    Laurier Brantford has given space and backing
•    lecture series and movie series in Brantford started a year ago to begin commemorations (7 speakers based in WWI) and this year lecture series continues
•    Film series was problematic -- expensive and movies not current added to the issue of getting people to sit for more than an hour is difficult

Woodland Cultural Centre
•    Paula trying to track down photos of Six Nations soldiers and work done on the home front  (so far only a few)
•    Open house at Woodland to get archival info
•    Six Nations sent the most men of any First Nation and this was voluntary not conscripted
•    Planning an exhibit in August at Woodland

Six Nations Legacy Consortium
•    applying for funding for dance-based performance art to tell WW1 story in a creative way
•    Britain has lots of money for funding especially for Indigenous peoples around the world in order to “bury” imperialist roots
•    Also focus on women’s stories of war effort
•    Can also get funding for untold stories
•    Britain has lots of heritage and arts money

•    Flames of War film TVO

Lambton Museum
•    doing WWI history in Petrolia and oil barons
•    Sarnia becomes city in 1914 and can pair two events possibly?

Comments and Discussion:
Is there more public support for WWI than 1812 commemorations?
•    yes it affected most families and is a more recent, memorable history
•    can relate even to new immigrants as many have family connections to WWI
•    tie into recent boom in genealogy
•    problem with 1812 funding and failed tourism dollars (lots of events that were poorly attended and didn’t have tourist draw hoped for)
•    how much is your community willing to put into it?
•    success will come from communities, especially industrial hubs of Hamilton, Brantford, etc.
•    consider community stories such as the switch from Berlin to Kitchener

How/who can we partner with organizations for events?
•    Great War Flying Museum ( does small community/airfield events
•    groups with military vehicles
•    Empire Days (these countryside events encouraged people to buy Victory
Bonds or enlist
•    McMaster University archive has largest trench map collection and
     WWI collection (
o    honour roll of those who died
•    get media, academics and high schools involved
o    Hamilton Spectator, Gordon Southam (from Southam publishing family) served as a  Major and   killed at The Somme
•    Warplane Heritage and Spectator did 60th anniversary of VE Day
•    Spectator archives
•    Suggestions for art galleries to commemorate WWI?
•    floating exhibitions, G of 7 or war artists
•    Beaverbrook has materials
      History Departments at universities
•    Mohawk Institute had cadet program and lots of photos of boys marching and a gun rifle range
•    Fanshawe has WWI exhibition and living history reenactment resources
•    Ruthven doing lectures and WWI education group (Thompsons combat component)
•    can we partner with other sites?
•    Hamilton Museum of Steam and Tech is having a Steampunk Makers Fair in fall
      with focus on Victorian design and inventions
•    consider Twitter accounts for diaries, letters etc.

Ideas for funding sources?
•    Ruthven has marionettes related to Thompson family in WWI and received  funding through       Veterans Affairs (?)
•    outreach for kids grade 7 and 8 can get funding and suggested/should focus on the
      6 historical principles of curriculum (Luke mentioned there is a webinar on Thursday, January 23  about this)
•    Sarah has the 6 points (and can share with the group on HME site) but focus is learning how to do historical research, using primary resources, critical thinking and skills
•    Service ON to order curriculum
     Community Foundation grant

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