Friday, April 11, 2014

The Waters Rise Again

Since Peace River Crossing was given village status in 1914, floods have been a frequent visitor. Coincidentally, Tuesday night’s flood occurred exactly one hundred years after Pat’s Creek flooded in 1914, killing a team of bay horses in the process. In addition to the floods of the 2000s, Peace River also flooded several times throughout the 20th Century. The following photos, from the archives, illustrate some of those occasions when Peace River has found itself under the rising waters.
A Bay Team
 Pat's Creek Flood
x87.1521.35 : Gift of the Alexander [Mackenzie?] Historical Society

Eric Piggott's Family
Possible Heart River Flood 
79.1075.19 : Gift of Barbara Crawford

The Filling Station, Near Current CKYL Building
Pat's Creek Flood
77.801.56 : Gift of William Plaizier

Building a Sandbag Barrier on Main Street
Pat's Creek Flood
87.1536.6 : Gift of the Peace River Record Gazette

West Peace River Home in Flood Waters
Peace River Flood
72.482.f : Gift of Mrs. J. Mitchell

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Artifact of the Week - HBC Fur Press

Our featured artifact this week is the Hudson's Bay Company fur press, used in Peace River until 1955. After that, Leonard McArthur, a former fur buyer for the Hudson's Bay Company, kept it on his farm. When Bruce McPhail bought the McArthur farm, he decided to donate the press to the Peace River Museum and Archives.

This fur press was made in the 1880s in England and sent to Canada for use in the Peace River Hudson's Bay Company Store. It was used to press fur from various animals into bundles (sometimes called 'packs') that were sent out of the Peace Country and all the way to England. Someone would have to climb up on top of the press and turn the top bar of the screw mechanism. Turning that top bar pushed a plate down on top of the furs, compressing them into 90 pound bails. 

In the 80 years that the furs were transported out of this area, 47 million pelts made their way from the Peace Country to England. Beaver was the most desirable of the pelts, though fox and marten were also trapped. Beaver pelts were made into fashionable hats in England, while fox and marten furs were made into fashion accessories. 

PRMA 68.11 - The fur press set up with furs in the Mackenzie Gallery.  
The fur press is on display in the Mackenzie Gallery at the Peace River Museum and Archives. Near the fur press lurk several animals that trappers would have been keen to capture during the days of the fur trade.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Artist of the Month - Rhonda-Lynne Lanctot

Featured this month on our art wall is Rhonda-Lynne Lanctot. She has installed a photography exhibition, specifically featuring close-ups and macro shots of flowers.

While Rhonda-Lynne's favourite subject for photography is flowers, she also enjoys photographing her children, her dog and horses, wildlife and landscapes. Photography was always an interest of Rhonda-Lynne's but it became a serious love in 2009 when she received her first DSLR camera for Christmas. Since then she has completed 3 years worth of 365 day photo challenges on the internet and is currently embarking on a professional course offered through The New York Institute of Photography.

Before getting into photography, Rhonda-Lynne was known for the teddy bears she designed under the name "Lanctot's Loveables Teddy Bears". Those bears can now be found in many magazines, books, homes and museums, world-wide.

Although Rhonda-Lynne was born and raised in Calgary, she and her husband Rob decided to settle in Peace River to raise their family.

This exhibit sets us up perfectly to welcome Spring and the flowers it will bring.

Rhonda-Lynne's work will be on display until April 30th and is free to view.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thank you to our speakers!

The Museum hosted three stimulating local speakers in March, who presented on topics relevant to our current exhibit, "A Sense of the Land and its People: A Personal Collection".

Archbishop John Clarke spoke of growing up in Moose Factory, James Bay, Ontario and the 18 years he spent as a clergyman in the diocese of Moosonee. He worked with the community to develop education and training  opportunities for residents in this northern region. He brought cultural objects from these early years and fondly spoke of the people who created them. Some were given as gifts or, like the pair of Inuit dolls, gifted to his father in much earlier times.
Archbishop Clarke shows the audience some of the First Nations artifacts he has from his years in Ontario. 
Lyle Fullerton, of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, began with an historical overview of the buffalo in northern Alberta. He then described the current status of the population in and around Wood Buffalo National Park. His work monitoring the health and the habitat of these herds over the past 22 years makes him a most informative and engaging speaker. He even brought a leg bone from a buffalo recently killed by a wolf to demonstrate the shear size of these animals. Lyle has been asked to return for an update presentation this fall.
Lyle Fullerton speaks about buffalo herds with YL, the Museum's buffalo head, in the background. 
Roger spoke to an appreciative crowd, mainly artists themselves, about how his Cree culture influences the imagery he uses in his paintings. His years of work includes designing the current Northern Lakes College logo, 12 murals in the town of McLennan and works regularly featured in Alberta Native News. You can still see a selection of Roger's paintings at the Museum until April 17th, 2014. He calls the exhibit "My Cree People - the Sacred Circle". These works are for sale.
Roger Noskiye speaking about his art. Photo courtesy of Sharon Krushel. 
The Museum extends a very big thank you to all of our speakers and all those who attended the presentations.

Please stay tuned to our blog for information about our upcoming Speakers Series in May. We are in the process of firming up plans now and will bring that information to you soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Speaker Series - Roger Noskiye speaks this Saturday about his art

Roger Noskiye makes his home on the Whitefish Lake first Nation 459 at Atikameg in northern Alberta. He started drawing and whittling as a child and his interest in art was supported at the Northland Elementary School in Atikameg.  He says he ‘drew his way through middle school’ and carried on with his schooling at Grande Prairie Regional College where he finished a visual arts program and from there transferred to New Mexico where he received a scholarship of $75,000 through his art in 1992. Unfortunately, in those days the Band was unable to help him stay and study further so he returned home and today continues to work with his art and his culture.  The Town of McLennan commissioned Roger to paint 12 murals on town buildings and he created a mural for the Lakeland Eagles Hockey club too.

The Alberta Native News featured Roger’s art on the cover in December, 2011 and included a story about his work and his journey as an artist.

Roger will be at the Museum, Saturday, March 22, 2014 between 2 and 4pm painting and talking about his work and how his culture inspires the images he uses.  He will have some works on exhibit and for sale.

This painting, by Roger Noskiye, is titled "Tea Dance". 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Artist of the Month - Dianne Ireland

This month at the Museum, we are featuring the works of Dianne Ireland on the Art Wall. Her acrylic and raw hide works range in topic from scenery to sports to dancing to portraits.

Dianne was born in Peace River and grew up on a farm east of Grimshaw. She and Jim married in 1968 and have children and grand-children to fill their lives.

Dianne has always been interested in art and drawing; she added to that passion for art in the 1970s when she first started painting with acrylic on raw hide. Since then she has taken various Bob Ross oil painting classes and more recently watercolours with Willie Wong.

Having used the mediums of oils, acrylics and watercolours, Dianne can conclusively say that working with oils are her favourites.

The Museum is open from 10 am - 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, there is no fee to view Dianne's work.

March Museum Speaker Series: Lyle Fullerton talks about buffalo this Saturday

Continuing on with our March speaker series, we bring you Lyle Fullerton this Saturday (March 15, 2014) at 2 pm. Lyle is the Special Projects Coordinator, Fish and Wildlife, with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

Lyle will be talking to us about buffalo: their history, herd management, herd health, and Wood Buffalo National Park. This park was classified in 1983 as a UNESCO world heritage site and further classified as a Dark Sky Preserve in 2013. This promises to be an engaging and interesting presentation from a speaker who is both passionate and knowledgeable about his subject.

The second of three talks in our March speaker series, Lyle's subject relates to our current exhibit "A Sense of the Land and its People - A Personal Collection". This collection, composed entirely of Plains and Northwest Coast First Nations objects from Dr. David Welch, tells the story of the environments that helped and hindered the lives of First Nations peoples. The buffalo played an essential role in the Plains First Nations' lifestyle, providing them with meat, bone tools, hide, furs and many other resources.

Join us this Saturday, March 15th at 2 pm for an engaging afternoon of talk and discussion. 
A buffalo partial skull on display at the Museum. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March speaker series at the Museum: Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the first in the Museum's March speaker series. This series supports our current exhibit entitled "A Sense of the Land and its People - A Personal Collection". This exhibit is a collection of Plains and Northwest Coast First Nations objects collected by Dr. David Welch over the last 50 years.

The first in the series features Archbishop John Clarke, a local theologian, who will speak of his childhood in Moose Factory, on James Bay in Ontario as well as his 18 years in the diocese of Moosonee. Archbishop Clarke joins us at 7 pm tomorrow night (Thursday, March 6) at the Museum.

This event is free for all to attend. Please join us.

St. James Cathedral, the congregation of which is one of 33 congregations in the Diocese of Athabasca. The diocese, for which Archbishop John Clarke was responsible, is scattered over an area more than 317, 000 square kilometres. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Archbishop John Clarke: First in the Museum's Speaker Series on Thursday March 6, 7 pm

After 45 years in church ministry, Anglican Archbishop John Clarke was, in his words, “put out to pasture” the end of April 2009, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Although retired, Archbishop Clarke continues to be active in the workings of the Anglican Church, especially in the Diocese of Athabasca of which St. James Cathedral is part and in which he ministered for 25 years.

As the first speaker in the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre’s March Speakers Series, Archbishop Clarke will share his early years in Moose Factory, Ontario (on James Bay) and his pride in being involved in the community of Moosonee across the Moose River. There, he took part in the construction of the James Bay Education Centre and the first high school on James Bay. “Because I really believe education is the key in the North,” he told a reporter for the Anglican Journal prior to his retirement.

The construction of the centre and high school “gave local inhabitants the opportunity to take their rightful place in the development of their communities. Young graduates became social workers, plumbers, electricians, nurses etc. Previously, all skilled trades and professions were imported from the south.”

He added, “having been sent away from Moose factory when I was 10 years old for a year at a residential school, I made a promise to my wife (Nadia) that we would not send our children away from home to go to school.”

Come to the Museum, Thursday March 6, 2014, 7 p.m. to hear the rest of the story told by Archbishop John Clarke, as engaging a speaker as one could ever find. His approach has been described as “folksy”. Come, hear for yourself. This event is free for all to attend.