ALMAGUIN – History is set to come alive this month.
EMBRACE YOUR ROOTS.
“You don’t really know where you’re going until you know where you come from,” said summer curator Tom Wyatt.
A Lake Cecebe cottager, Wyatt is currently overseeing the organization of Heritage Day celebrations at the Magnetawan Heritage Centre.
There will be celebrations of local heritage held at museums in Burk’s Falls, Commanda, Magnetawan and Nipissing in August in honour of the day.
The two-day event kicks off on Aug. 11 at 9:30 a.m. The Magnetawan Heritage Centre is located on Highway 520 near the locks.
“It’s a great chance to come out and support the community and maybe learn something you didn’t know about the area. I certainly have,” said Wyatt.
One of the historical events Wyatt says he can now add to his knowledge of the area is a famous painting by A.J. Casson, one of the later Group of Seven Canadian painters, entitled The Anglican Church at Magnetawan depicts Saint George the Martyr Anglican Church.
On Sunday, Aug. 12 a plaque is being unveiled at the church on Sparks Street to commemorate the painting, which hangs in the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. A reception will follow at the community centre.
The church is the focus of a new display at the Heritage Centre, as well as another on the Ahmic Lake Cottagers Association.
Beginning at 10 a.m. the library is hosting a book sale and children’s craft table, as well as horse and carriage rides being offered in the Village Green.
At 11:30 a.m. a barbecue of corn on the cob, sausages and burgers is available followed by a fish hatchery display just beneath the Heritage Centre hosted by Almaguin Fish Improvement Association beginning at noon.
The celebration runs into the night with a square dance at the community centre beginning at 8:30 p.m.
In nearby Burk’s Falls, the local museum is hosting a heritage celebration of their own.
The festivities include a classic car show, live musical performances, cake and barbecue.
The event begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. at the museum located at 112 Midlothian Rd.
The Commanda General Store Museum is taking the early-bird approach by holding its heritage day event on Aug. 5.
“We hope the community will come out and support the local heritage,” said Rose Haufe, noting the General Store is more than just a museum. “We have a tea room and gift shop as well.”
The gift shop features local wares including quilts, jewellery, maple syrup, and honey.
The museum has added a new exhibit in time for the event.
“It’s called The War of 1812 and Beyond,” said Haufe, explaining the exhibit features all aspects of life during the war.
The museum is located on Highway 522 in Commanda. Festivities kick off at noon, and include a barbecue and museum tours.
If you’re an avid collector of just about anything, you’re encouraged to join the Nipissing Museum in its Heritage Day celebration.
“Our theme this year is collectibles, so we’re asking anyone with an old collection, like cards, dishes, or toys, to come in and display them,” explained Liz Smith, who sits on the museum board of directors.
The celebration is being held on Aug. 19, with a live musical performance by Cameron Good, as well as a barbecue lunch. The event runs from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
If you’re interested in displaying your personal artifacts at the event, you can contact the museum by calling 705-724-2938.