Places and Traces Opens at the Galt

Curator Aimee Benoit with a 1909 map of Lethbridge.

Lethbridge— Did you know that west Lethbridge was once known as “The Bend” and had its own red brick school? That Whoop-Up Drive follows a river crossing long used by Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot People)? Or that some Northside homes still had outhouses in 1950? Places and Traces, the new exhibit opening on May 23 at the Galt, in collaboration with the Lethbridge Historical Society, explores the stories of the growth and development of our neighborhoods in Lethbridge.

“With our partners, the Lethbridge Historical Society, we wanted to share the histories of some of the neighbourhoods in Lethbridge, including the ways in which residents have shaped those places,” says Aimee Benoit, Curator. “The exhibit recognizes the rich layers of history that build up over time, which make places unique and interesting.”

Despite the best laid plans, cities are complex places and people have a way of making them their own. Grid plans and concrete roads may overlay ancient trails or wagon ruts—but traces of the past always remain, just as new shortcuts and footpaths defy the logic of the city. This exhibition is a story of those tensions in Lethbridge. We present formal histories of local neighbourhoods alongside some unexpected, surprising ways in which residents have also shaped the places where they live.

Places and Traces offers a chance for both visitors and local residents to get to know this city better,” explains Benoit. “We hope it will encourage them to look around and notice details they’ve never seen before, to get curious about how things got there and why, and to think about what makes their own neighbourhood special.”

Places and Traces will be open to the public from May 23 to September 8, 2019.