The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) is holding its 5th annual Heritage Fair starting on Oct. 24. Historical organizations, like Musée Lac-brome Museum,
Cowansville Historical Society, Missisquoi County Museum, and Musée Bruck Museum, will be participating in the fair, which will be held virtually for a second year, under the theme “Show and Tell.” The Heritage Fair is an opportunity to be involved and engaged in local history and to learn about the interesting stories and people that make up the fabric of the Eastern Townships.
Under the “Show and Tell” theme, historical organizations across the region will have the opportunity to introduce the public to some of the interesting objects they have come across in their collections. Each group presents an object, a document, or a story they could tell audiences from their living room. Some of the objects, you don’t even think about – like a fishing fly to represent a community or its history. It’s not always something you might think of, it’s not necessarily a Loyalist object.
With museums being forced to close last year due to the pandemic, QAHN hopes that the Heritage Fair will help draw people into the museums and historical societies that are up and running once again. “Last year a lot of the museums were closed so hopefully it will get people to come this year and rediscover the Townships historical societies. There are people here who can answer questions about genealogy, World War One, and World War Two history,” noted Heather Darch.
The objects that come out of the collections are meant to be something that isn’t usually on display. “It’s nice to see what people came across in their collections. It’s meant to be something unusual. It’s good fun for the staff, curators, and volunteers, to go hunting for an object that is meant to be intriguing. It is good for audiences and participants alike.”
Darch explained that the goal of the fair is to change people’s perception on historical organizations. “They are not just dusty buildings with old people in them. People have that perception so we are trying to debunk that and let them know that museums are full of really cool objects.”
QAHN wants people to know that museums are the place to be. “Museums have super cool events, educational programs, and books to read. It has always been an attempt, either in person or online, to get people excited an interested in the history in their region and the historical societies that dot the Townships.”
In terms of what people can expect to see at the fair, Darch gave us a sneak peek. The Bruck Museum will be presenting a painting called “Hills of Bolton Glen” by A. Y. Jackson, one of the Group of Seven, painted while he was staying there in 1910. The Cowansville Historical Society will be showing a scale model of the “Freeport Covered Bridge” in Cowansville by Paul Colette in 2013.
The other objects are kept secret, even to QAHN members. “Part of the fun is that we don’t know what everyone is presenting.”
Last year’s event drew 500 views and the group is hoping to have another successful year. “That’s more than we would have had in an in-person event. It helps puts historical societies on the map which is QAHN’S mission, to network people to their heritage organizations.”
The Heritage Fair will be taking place on Oct. 24 and participation can take place in two ways: by going to QAHN’S Facebook page for a Facebook Live event, there is no need to have a Facebook page as it’s a public site, at https://www. facebook.com/qahncanada/ or by preregistering to Zoom at https://us02web. zoom.us/meeting/register/tzclcivrtwvgncrtgdsndsapi-0hknfxpc4