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.

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.