Checking Out All that Glitters at #GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia!

Action. Adventure. Heartbreak. Upheaval. All of these themes are on display at GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia at the Canadian Museum of History. Created by the Roya BC Museum, Gold Rush displays the transformation of a colony near the Pacific Ocean during the Gold Rush as it broke down the barriers of class and race in the pursuit of golden new beginnings. I got a chance to check o, ut all that glittered at this exhibit to share with you! Gold Rush! will be on display from April 8, 2016, until January 15, 2017.

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Visitors can see such items as the Turnagain Nugget, the largest existing gold nugget from British Columbia, as well as more than 280 objects on display from this era! Made up of five linked galleries, Gold Rush! aims to recreate the gold rush, getting visitors up close with the real history of gold in British Columbia.

During my visit to Gold Rush!, there was so much to discover! I was able to learn about this era from the first shouts of excitement over finding gold to it has impacted the histories of many nations all over the world.

 

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There are also gold pieces on display from distant lands where gold had been discovered years before that began to spur the search for golden riches in Canada.

 

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I then ventured to look at the tools of the trade during the gold rush. It was fun to see that an actual stagecoach that is on loan for this exhibit from the Historic O’Keefe Ranch up close, and all of the items a treasure seeker would use to try and strike it rich.

 

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I thought that Gold Rush! did an excellent job of sharing various integrating interactive methods for its visitors to learn more about this era.  There are screening areas, tablets with added information about certain aspects of the exhibit, and stations where visitors can learn hands-on about this time period and about gold. They were all interesting to take in and to try.

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I could not leave out the fashion of this era out this post! I know these pieces were designed over 150 years ago, but to see them in such great condition and still vibrant with colour was a sight to see! I especially loved the dress and parasol outfit. It was hard to shoot, but it was fun to have a snapshot of the time through fashion.

 

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A favourite part of the exhibit was seeing how much I was worth in gold. Based on the price of an ounce of gold, it converts your weight into a dollar amount. Based on my weight that day, I could go on a holiday somewhere or on a fun shopping spree!

 

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There was so much to take in at Gold Rush! Learning how this period shaped Canadian history was a great way to spend a visit at the Canadian Museum of History. Having so many artefacts from this time also brought what I learned more to life. An added bonus was seeing everything that glittered and made out of this precious metal! Gold Rush! is a fantastic exhibit for visitors to experience!

 

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For more information about GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia, you can connect with the Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages!

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History to visit GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

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Make #HorsePower: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection a Mane Exhibit to Attend!

As a history buff, I love being able to visit exhibits where I can be taken back in time to see how people lived. It is also amazing to see how people traveled short and long distances without the aid of an engine. This is why I was excited to take in Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection at The Canadian Museum of History . This exhibit will be showing from March 23, 2016, to January 7, 2018, for visitors to view and make it a mane part of their visit!

 

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Paul Bienvenu has been collecting horse-drawn vehicles that have been made or used in Quebec for over 50 years. Bienvenu has extensive experience in the world of Canadian horses, and it has allowed him to gain an in-depth knowledge in this area of collecting. He has traveled all over Quebec and North America to cultivate his collection.

Developed by the Musée de la civilisation in Québec City, Horse Power is a collection of 18 of the 213+ horse-drawn vehicles Bienvenu has in his collection that illustrates what land transportation was like in Québec spanning a period of almost 200 years, from 1770 to 1950. These vehicles let visitors take a look back at what land travel was like for those who were able to travel by carriage.

It was such a treat to have been invited to view this exhibit. Some of these carriages helped to bring to life some of the Canadian history and culture I learned about in my studies.

One of my favourite carriages on display is the first one on display within the exhibit. The Park Ride Drag Coach was used in the late 1800s by Rothschild & fils. It was used for country and racetrack outings.

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When brought to race meets, the coaches would be grouped together on the infield. Owners and guests would have a bird’s eye view of the action while seated on top of the carriage while enjoying the food they brought to feast on in comfort. There is also a second trunk at the back of the coach to hold metal ice boxes to keep food and drinks cool. It is so gorgeous! The craftsmanship can really be seen in the doors, the wheel and the other features found all over this vehicle.

Reese Speaks Horse Power Park Drag Coach Collage Photo

The Three-Seat Phaeton was considered a “station wagon” for the affluent crowd as they were used to carry travelers and their luggage to and from the railway station. It was built by The Ledoux Carriage Co. (Bruno Ledoux) in Montréal, QC in the late 1800s. I like how there are vis-à-vis seats (seats that face each other) so travelers can talk and have fun while beginning or ending their journey. And that it the natural wood is visible.

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Carriages were also built to travel through the snowy Québec winters as well! I was able to hear the Christmas carols playing in my head as I viewed this Carriole. It was built by Wilbrod Jacob around 1935.

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It was used to carry travelers to events through the snow-covered Richelieu Valley. The details and artwork are visible from front to back on this vehicle. The carvings and the curled runners are gorgeous, and the seats looked so comfortable. I can only imagine how much fun winter revelers had when traveling in this sleigh.

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There were also interactive tablets throughout the exhibit to help educate visitors about the various carriages. It was great to be able to learn different bits and pieces about the history of these vehicles.

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There was so much to see and learn at Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection. It was fascinating to discover all of the different types of carriages used by Canadians and to learn all about the history behind them. It was also amazing to see the craftsmanship put into these vehicles. It was a beautiful exhibit to visit! Plan a visit with your family to take in all that Horse Power has in store!

Reese Speaks Horse Power Carriage Signs and Statue Collage Photo

For more information about Horse Power you can connect with The Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook , Twitter and Instagram pages!

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History to view Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

Go Back in Time with Vikings at The Canadian Museum of History!

The Vikings have been putting their mark on various different societies for centuries, and now you can learn all about it! The Museum of Canadian History is showing the exhibit Vikings to help display who this famous group of people were and to set the record straight about certain aspects of their lives while they lived. When asked to visit this exhibit, the history buff in me jumped all over this opportunity. I had studied this group of people while in high school and university because I found them so fascinating, and could not wait to see what this exhibit has in store for me.

 

Vikings Feature Photo Reese Speaks

 

Vikings were not the bearded barbarians with horned helmets we have come to think they were through literature and film. Vikings features a beautiful array of interactive displays and 500 amazing artifacts from The Swedish History Museum, with some of these pieces rarely being displayed outside of Sweden. In this acclaimed international exhibition, Vikings shows visitors a fabled Scandinavian culture that was refined, complex and was able to achieve much while they existed.

Once inside of the exhibit, it felt as though I had entered a mythical realm while being in a very modern space. There are prints on the walls of various Scandinavian landscapes to give visitors a feel of where the Vikings lived.

 

Vikings Scandinavian Landscape Photo Reese Speaks

 

From there, you are directed towards seeing different aspects of Viking life and what the major groups of people were like with some of the artifacts in display cases found in their graves. Fun fact: women of the Viking Age were on more of an equal level to men than in later times as long as they were not slaves.

 

 

It was also fun to see what farm life was like for the Vikings. This exhibit displayed a taste of what it was like in video wall/artifact displays that I thought was done in a clever way. On the other side of this displays was a section, visitors could also touch some of the artifacts such as sheepskin and other materials. My kids really enjoyed getting to be able to sit down and feel for themselves what some of these pieces felt like. They really enjoyed this part of Vikings.

Fashion lovers, rejoice! Besides all of the lovely pieces of jewellery in this exhibit, there is a section where some Viking clothing is featured. My daughter, the mini fashionista she is, spent some time admiring some of the pieces on display.

 

Vikings Fashion Reese Speaks

 

Another part of Vikings I found interesting was their interactive touch screen showing how the Vikings believed the world was created. Visitors are able to touch the screen and see the different areas of the world the Vikings lived and the realms where the various Norse gods ruled.

 

Vikings Touch Screen Collage

 

I left one of the most important aspects of Viking life, and this exhibit, for last: boats! The Vikings are known for being a sea-faring people. A large part of this exhibit is dedicated to these vessels. From travel to burial, boats were at the heart of Viking life. I loved seeing the rivet display and the row boat for all to see and admire.

 

Vikings Boat Collage Photo Reese Speaks - Copy

 

Whether you have a love for history, food, fashion or transportation, Vikings is an exhibit to visit. Audiences of all ages will find something to marvel on their visit back in time, and will be able to take something away from it. Vikings will be at the Canadian Museum of History until April 17, 2016.

For more details about Vikings, you can connect with The Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook and Twitter pages!

Disclaimer: I was compensated admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to conduct this review. The opinions I shared are all my own.

Fun for Kids of All Ages at Canadian Museum of History’s Canadian Children’s Museum!

Hey Readers!

The ”Bosses” and I have had some amazing adventures this summer, some were big and others were small. Throughout each journey, I felt that they were able to take away something from it, and I am so happy about it! One of the excursions my entourage and I went on was to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. This was their first visit to a museum, so I was anxious to see how they would do in an environment like this, but I also want them to learn beyond what they are used to, and this Museum has so much to offer and teach them! Since two of my VPs are still toddlers, I limited our visit. I shared our visit to the Museum’s exhibit on Terry Fox that they loved (yes, even my little ones!), then we made our way to the Canadian Children’s Museum. Let me tell you, this is one of their favourite places to go!

It was a bit of a challenge to keep my kids at bay as we entered this exhibit to grab this shot! They saw the pillars and the stamps and wanted to see more!

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The Canadian Children’s Museum allows children to travel the world and explore other cultures through exhibitions, props costumes and hands-on objects. There really is something for every child, big or small, to experience and enjoy at this Museum and allow them to learn from everything around them.

When we entered the Canadian Children’s Museum, we received passports for my younger children from the Travel Bureau so they can collect stamps from each exhibit they explore. My eldest helped her siblings place each stamp into their passports to make sure they had a memory of each exhibit they visited. The kids love looking at their passports and reliving all of the fun we had!

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Our first stop, Destination: Imagination, was a favourite for my younger daughter. The theme of this exhibit was the theatre and she loves drama and the theatre! The ‘’Diva’’ and I fell in love with everything here from the ticket booth at the entrance, to the backstage area to the stage itself. We had to tear ourselves away because we could have stayed and played here for our whole visit!

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We then found our way to Crossroads where cultures come together in one area. They were able to see what it would be like to ride a Pakistani Bus, pretend to pull a rickshaw or get information from another country. My kids loved riding on the bus, learning information about different countries, and making calls in the London telephone booth!

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We got a bit of a break to recharge by spending time in the Studio. My kids were able to sit down and create bead bracelets while taking in the fun décor. My favourite part of the room had to be the ceiling! The fish and the bubbles gave me so many ideas of what I would like to try for fun birthday party ideas or for decorating their bedrooms.

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My daughter’s masterpiece! She was extremely proud of her work!

The kids found their way to Kaleidoscope. It is an area designated to special exhibitions by the Canadian Children’s Museum. During our visit, my son was elated to see that Lego was being featured! There were certain areas set up for visitors to build structures to their heart’s content, a wagon and wheel barrels to help transport Lego pieces around the room if there just were not enough at your station, and a large Adirondack chair so anyone could feel like a big kids while they sat in it!

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While my eldest took my younger daughter for a sneak peek of the rest of the Museum, my son and I popped into Lucy’s Bookstore. This was another great rest stop for me. I fell in love with how it is in a quiet spot so visitors can kick back and relax with a fun storybook on their comfy cushioned bench or poke around the bookstore. My son loved the check-out area because he could play with the cash register and pretend to be an employee.

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Our final stop was to the International Village. There was so much to do and see! My kids were able to ‘’create’’ a meal at the Kids, Café, drive a van and work on a cargo ship at Port of Entry, learn about ancient Egypt in Secrets in the Sand, barter for goods at the Market Bazaar, and see how different homes look around the world. They really got a kick out of being able to pop in and out of areas and see how different cultures live and communicate.

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There are parts of the Canadian Children’s Museum that we did not get to visit because there was SOOOOOO much to see and do! This is a good thing because these will be the first places we will go to on our next visit! For my younger kids, there were a few tear as we had to say goodbye. They really did not want to leave. For them, it was like having a super doper playroom with countless rooms full of discovery! The best part about this Museum is that the ”No Touching” Rule does not apply here! In fact, not getting to interact with the exhibits would take away from the experience! The ”Bosses” cannot wait to return and have another fun day of learning and exploration. If you are ever hard pressed for an idea for a family fun day, I would always point you in the direction of the Canadian Children’s Museum at the Canadian Museum of History. You and your mini entourage will not be disappointed!

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For more information about the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian Children’s Museum, you can visit them on their website, or connect with them on their Facebook  and Twitter pages!

Disclousre: I was compensated with admission to the Canadian Museum in order to visit the Children’s Museum. The opinions are all my own as I wanted to share this experience with you!

Journeying with Terry Fox at the Canadian Museum of History #FollowTerry

Vision. Modivation. Determination. Vision . These words describe Terry Fox and what he startedto help benefit Canadians with cancer perfectly. The Canadian Museum of History is marking the 35th anniversary of Fox’s Marathon of Hope Run by presenting an exhibition that focuses on this momentous event as well as the legacy that continues today. Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada opened on April 1, 2015 and runs until January 24, 2016. This exhibit is organized by the Canadian Museum of History in partnership with the Terry Fox Centre.

When I found out about this exhibit, I knew I had to check it out! I have admired Terry Fox since I was a child and became involved with the Terry Fox runs held at my elementary school. I was in awe of someone so young doing what he did. I also wanted my children to learn from Fox’s example and to come into closer contact with pieces of his memorabilia and other items that show how amazing this man was.

My kids did not know what to expect when they saw the entrance of Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada. They liked the banners that stood outside of the exhibit welcoming visitors and my younger kids began asking so many questions about Terry Fox.

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The exhibit is split into four zones. The first one introduces visitors to Fox so they can get a feel for who he was and the all of the energy he put into the Marathon of Hope. The second zone is called ‘’The Runner and the Run,’’ which focuses on why Fox wanted to create the Marathon of Hope Run and what he hoped to achieve. There were also numerous items that let visitors in on Fox’s daily life on the road. The third zone was called ‘’Dear Terry’’ which displays the love and respect that Fox earned from Canadians during and after the Run. An interesting feature of this part of the exhibition is a searchable database that was put together especially for this exhibit of over 60 000 letters and cards from Canadians to Fox letting him know how much they admired him and what he was doing by putting this Run together. It also displays the many honours he received, including his induction into the Order of Canada. The final zone looks at how Canadians have kept Fox in their minds and hearts after the Marathon of Hope and visitors can hear how Fox’s example made a significant impression on them over the past 35 years.

We were all wide-eyed at how well this exhibit was laid out, as well as by all of the information centres you can visit and learn form. My eldest spent most of her visit taking in the information from as many of these stations as she could to hear the information they were sharing. For my younger children, this was their first encounter with Terry Fox, so they were excited to see a lot of the items and the information this exhibit shared. They also listened to some of the information centres and were intrigued by all of the maps and items displayed.

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For me, I was in awe of the whole exhibit. I loved being greeted by the sounds of Fox’s footsteps as he ran as we entered this exhibit, and seeing all of the maps and information displayed easily for visitors to look at. I got a clearer picture of who Fox was and I felt I was going with Fox through is journey throughout the Run.

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I was also able to get a better idea of what it was like for Canadians at this point in time throughout this exhibit. I was very young when the Marathon of Hope took place, so it was amazing to be taken back in time and to see what was happening all over the country and to see the love that they all share for this young man and his mission.

Reese_Speaks_Terry_Fox_Inspire_Collage_PhotoThere were two big thrills for me as we went through this exhibit. The first one encountered was getting to see what it was like during Fox’s daily grind of the Run. Seeing the Marathon of Hope van Fox lived in on the road, looking at snippets of his journals and gazing at his personal effects made me feel as though I could understand some of what he was going through at this time. Another favourite stop in this exhibit was see some of the items Canadians from all walks of life gave to Fox to show their appreciation to him. The letters and cards were also a hit with me. I did not send him a letter, but it was fun to look at these pieces of history and snippets of the hearts of Canadians.

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Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada is an exhibit I will definitely be making a point of visiting again with my family. All of us were captivated by the displays and the information shared, and we got to get a little closer to a remarkable Canadian. No matter your age, this exhibit is one to visit, and is one that will touch your heart.

For more information about Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada, you can connect with the Canadian Museum of History on their website, as well as on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.