Galt Looking for Whirligigs & Weathervanes for Upcoming Summer Exhibit and New Summer Festival

Lethbridge – The Galt Museum & Archives is looking for loans of pre-1980s whirligigs from southwestern Alberta to include in “Wind Work, Wind Play: Weathervanes and Whirligigs” — a travelling exhibit on loan from the Canadian Museum of Civilization [CMC] from June 1-September 2 — as well as Alberta-made whirligigs and weathervanes for the August 31 Whirligigs & Weathervanes Family Festival on the Prairies, held in conjunction with the exhibit.

According to exhibit organizers at the CMC, “weathervanes have been part of the European and North American landscape for centuries, perched atop every community’s tallest buildings—on barn roofs, and church steeples. Many are now considered icons of folk art. Whirligigs, on the other hand, are created to amuse and entertain. These wind-driven lawn ornaments are generally small figurative creations, which, when placed outdoors, engage in frantic movements as they ceaselessly accomplish nothing.” The artifacts included in Wind Work, Wind Play date from the 1870s to the 1970s, and come from across Canada.

“We would like to supplement the exhibit with examples from this area,” says Galt Museum & Archives Curator Wendy Aitkens. “Do you have a handmade, heritage whirligig in your garden or stored away that you would loan to the museum for this exhibit? These pieces need to be handmade prior to the 1980s. They should be reasonably complete and not recently touched up; we would like them in the condition they are in, although dusted off is fine!” laughs Aitkens.

If you would like your whirligig to be considered for inclusion in the exhibit, please send a photograph along with its dimensions, and any information you have about where it came from, who used it, who made it, and approximately how old it is, no later than May 10, 2013 to Curator Wendy Aitkens by email: OR drop off or mail the photo (not the whirligig itself) and related information to the Galt Museum & Archives at 502 – 1 Street South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 1Y4.

“In addition to this great exhibit, we’re also celebrating our wacky west wind by hosting the day-long Whirligigs & Weathervanes Family Festival on the Prairies featuring a contest of recent Alberta-made whirligigs and weathervanes,” says Leslie Hall, the Galt’s Community Programs Coordinator. “The entries will be considered for Best of Show, Best Historical and People’s Choice categories. Registration for our call for entries is now open: please go to our website for all the details (follow the gopher), spread the word, and wish for wind!”

The festival is scheduled for Saturday, August 31, and will also include wind crafts and games, poetry and photography contests, and Festival Foods. For updates and details visit, call 403.320-3954, or email

Anine VonkemanComment