Preserving Canada 150
Communities across the nation celebrated the sesquicentennial of Canada with a variety of events and promotional materials to mark the occasion. Lori Harasem and Jennie Sudo from the Recreation and Culture Department of the City of Lethbridge made sure that they retained materials that they had developed and used to promote and celebrate Canada 150 in the community.
“We had to find a way to help the community celebrate Canada 150 and to put it in the public’s eye all year-round” said Harasem, ”So, we had a lot of groups and a lot of events. There was 38 events that received funding so there was something every month of the year.” The year-long celebration was bookended by the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden’s Winter Lights festival in 2016 and 2017.
One of the main events of the sesquicentennial year was Canada Day on July 1. Sudo said “Our attendance skyrocketed from about ten thousand people in the Park throughout the day—foot traffic—to almost twenty thousand people.” Added Harasem, “We obviously want people to be active and we want people to use our facilities and we know that costs can be a barrier. So, every month we had at least one free swimming where the first hundred and fifty people were free.”
When asked about the City’s role in the 150 celebrations in general, Harasem responded, “Lethbridge operates very different than most municipalities in that we don’t offer programming in events and activities and we rely on our not-for-profits to do that… I think that our celebrations were probably a little bit different than some others but I think everybody in Lethbridge, probably, was touched in some way in the year between all of the events that received some funding and Canada Day.”
You can find out more about the objects and stories the Galt preserves at collections.galtmuseum.com.