By Al Beeber on November 25, 2021.
Two more presentations are scheduled this year before the Galt Presents series at the Galt Museum & Archives goes on hiatus until February.
On Dec. 1, the museum will host a presentation called “The Great Depression” which runs from 2-3 p.m. LaRae Smith will discuss how several local families experienced and overcame the challenges of that time.
The Dec. 12 presentation (2-3 p.m.) will be “Geisha in Japanese History and Culture.” Guests will “learn how the concept of Jo-Ha-Kyu has shaped the aesthetic of everything from the non theatre to tea ceremonies and martial arts,” says the Galt’s website. Performing after the presentation will be the Lethbridge Nikkei Cultural Society’s Minyo Dancers.
Program assistant Carolyn Ben said this week that visitor numbers for the free presentations are being capped at 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone entering the museum will have their QR codes scanned before being admitted.
The most recent presentation featured local artist and historian George Kush speaking about the history of the RCMP in Lethbridge.
It recently vacated its headquarters here and moved to Coaldale.
“The Galt Presents talk is a series of lectures we do where we have knowledge experts, professors, artists come in and talk usually about an hour on a subject,” said Ben.
Kush is a well-known artist who has painted a lot of RCMP subjects and is “an acknowledged expert on the subject. He’s an author and we invited him to talk about the history of the RCMP, both good and bad in Lethbridge, because actually this is the first year there won’t be an RCMP station within Lethbridge in a long time, over a century,” said Ben outside the room where Kush was speaking.
“Normally the talks are actually bigger. Right now we’re capping the numbers to keep them smaller so that the rooms don’t get crowded,” added Ben.
While 20 is the normal max for guests, “sometimes we let in 40 Â – it depends on which room we used,” said Ben.
“We’re being a bit stricter than the province wants us to because we’re trying to keep it as safe as possible for our guests, especially our seniors,” she said.
The RCMP departure’s from Lethbridge is an historic occasion, Ben added.
The Galt Presents lectures are popular, she said.
“We’ve been selling out recently. When we started, attendance was very low but as word of mouth kind of got around, we started selling out.
“We’re coming back in February and fingers crossed by February we can ease up restrictions even more. We can have more people in,” Ben said.
Talks usually run three times a month, depending upon availability of speakers.
A calendar for 2022 hasn’t yet been finalized but the Galt will have a few speakers talking during Black History Month, she said.
And a university professor will talk about the history of Filipino immigration “because it’s a really important group in Lethbridge which doesn’t get talked about a lot.”
There will also be a National Film Board of Canada documentary about a famous Alberta black cowboy named John Ware called “John Ware Reclaimed” screening with director Cheryl Foggo talking about it. The film premiered at the Calgary International Film Festival in 2020.
“We have an exciting calendar; it’s not up yet but it will be soon,” said Ben.
The museum “strongly recommends” people book in advance either online or by calling the front desk to attend lectures which are free with a $6 museum admission.
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