Friday, 30 June 2017 08:00

Fort Museum in Fort Macleod goes all out for Canada’s 150th

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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The Fort Macleod Fort Museum is excited to be holding special programs and activities as part of its annual Canada Day celebrations this year to honour Canada’s 150th anniversary. The Fort Macleod Fort Museum is excited to be holding special programs and activities as part of its annual Canada Day celebrations this year to honour Canada’s 150th anniversary. Photo contributed

Sandi Davis, general manager for Fort Macleod’s Fort Museum, says they’re going to hold some special events to honour Canada’s 150th.

The total cost of the day’s events will be about $20,000. Davis explains they received $5,000 from the Lethbridge Community Foundation to be used for the Canada 150 project. The rest of the money needed came from the Fort Museum and the Town of Fort Macleod.
Davis says the Town gives the Fort Museum funding annually to help with Canada Day celebrations.
Their Canada Day 150 project is called ‘Celebrate Canada 150’ and will be hosted on Canada Day.
Celebrations for the day will include children’s games and face painting, storytelling and skits that are performed by staff and volunteers.
First Nations drumming and dancing will be performed by local youth and elders at 10 a.m.
“Opening ceremonies are directed by the president of the Fort Macleod Historical Association and speeches are given by the Town Mayor, MLA and other dignitaries that attend,” adds Davis.
She explains the Sargeant of the Fort Macleod detachment will raise the Canadian flag and will do the honorary inspection of the North West Mounted Patrol and troop.
“Canada Day also signifies the inaugural ride of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) Musical Ride that is performed every day at the Fort in July and August,” says Davis.
The Musical Ride will begin immediately after the opening ceremonies.
Following the Musical Ride, the Museum will host a barbecue and a birthday cake.
In the afternoon of July 1, there will be a play performed by the Fort actors, cannon demonstrations, two more performances of the NWMP Musical Ride, First Nations drumming and dancing and more children’s activities and games.
As well, dignitary speeches will reflect the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
“Thanks to the generous contribution from the Lethbridge Community Foundation, the Fort received $5,000 to extend our Canada Day activities to provide additional programming to reflect our rich history and the events that shaped Canada into what we are today,” says Davis.
Every year, the Fort Museum hosts Canada Day celebrations, but this year is special and therefore they wanted to include some extra activities and programming to help showcase and celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
“We want to invite an all-inclusive atmosphere for our visitors to engage and participate in celebrating this milestone rather than passively watching it happen,” adds Davis.
It was decided a couple of years ago to recognize the Canada 150 anniversary. As soon as the grants were available, they knew they wanted to get started on this project.
Planning began in 2016 for this year’s July 1 celebrations. 
“It’s very important for Canadians … and our visitors to see that national pride and being able to celebrate throughout the year … many different events and venues that are hosting recognition and celebration for such a huge milestone for our nation,” adds Davis. “Fort Macleod holds a significant part of Canadian history and how the west was developed. The Fort Museum would like to highlight that rich heritage on the 150th anniversary.”
Davis says they’re very proud to be able to demonstrate some of that historical significance and expand on their normal Canada Day activities.

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