Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Last Vantages Inside The Museum

Picking up where I left off yesterday, here are more of the display cases featuring First Nations creativity.

This colourful ceremonial attire is displayed prominently. Amanda Laroque, a Mi'kmaq woman from Quebec, has worn attire like this for formal powwow ceremonies, including at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. This particular one of hers now resides here.

Other thematic areas are examined before things wrap up. That includes the perpetual Quebec question, with the occasional referendum on sovereignty (a movement that now seems past its day, as Quebec sovereignists are getting older and dying while there is no new blood coming into the movement from young people). In 1995 the sovereigntists came as close as they ever got in a narrow referendum with both sides urgently vying for the result they wanted. The displays about that period include two puppets depicting two key figures on opposing sides of the dispute. The first is the Parti Quebecois premier at the time, Jacques Parizeau, who infamously blasted "money and ethnic votes" for the defeat in a speech on referendum night, a night in which he was almost certainly completely hammered.

The other puppet depicts our Prime Minister at the time, Jean Chretien, who managed to rally enough support to stave off the separatist movement in the referendum.

"Keep calm, there are Francophones outside Quebec" is the wry remark on this recent t-shirt which does speak truth. Francophone communities can be found in each province and territory.

Contemporary issues are examined here, particularly in terms of race and religion, such as the question of whether or not a Sikh could wear a turban as a Mountie, or the story of Viola Desmond, an African-Canadian woman whose quiet defiance of a movie theatre's segregation rules preceded Rosa Parks by a decade. Her image is to be on new currency this year.

These Mounties on a display screen caught my eye.

Here we have a view looking out over the rooftop of St. Onuphrius, the church I showed you the other day.

Departing from the permanent galleries, I stopped first to take in this plaster cast. Chief Of The Undersea World is by the Haida artist Bill Reid, and resides one level above the main entrance. The bronze version of this one is at the Vancouver Aquarium.

I finish this tour of the Museum, as well as this Canada Day series, with one more view of the Grand Hall from above.


  1. I think the ceremonial attire is an interesting exhibit. The Grand Hall is big and with beautiful designs.

  2. Fabulous museum, love that amazing Grand Hall.

  3. ...last night I watched The Antique Roadshow, native artifacts sell for amazing amounts of money!

  4. Looks very interesting this museum and there are even things in French !

  5. Mi'kmaq attire is so lovely. Today's photos were my favorite in this series.


  6. This has been a fabulous tour around the museum William, I would definitely visit on the strength of it✨

  7. @Nancy: the redesign was done in the right way.

    @Sami: it is a spectacular space.

    @Tom: I can see that.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Gattina: yes, English and French are our official languages, though the French we have here will have evolved in different ways from the continental French.

    @Janis: thank you!

    @Grace: I've enjoyed showing it.

  8. Thank you for the wonderful series. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And I am also glad that the separatist movement failed in Quebec and Canada is one country. :-)

  9. Love that last photo and the Mi’kmaq dress!

  10. Hello, wonderful exhibit. I love the ceremonial attire and the whale sculpture. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  11. Let's hope the separatist movement is gone.

  12. gorgeous attire ... those colors so vibrant. awesome! ( ;

  13. Your exhibit photos are wonderful, full of history. I particularly enjoyed Amanda Laroque's traditional clothing. Gorgeous!

  14. You show some very interesting things about Canada. It's too bad more people don't get an opportunity to see this museum. There is always a separatist organization in the west... all of it from ignorance.

  15. I love that beautiful native coat.

  16. Great displays. A beautiful museum.
    I remember those referendums. I am confident the new generations will want a united Canada.

  17. @DJan: I just wonder what American audiences must have thought that night- television reporters they're used to filing reports from Montreal and Quebec and saying, 'oh, by the way, Canada might not be a whole country tomorrow morning.'

    @Marie: it is quite a dazzling robe.

    @Eileen: thank you!

    @RedPat: I suspect it is, that even the die-hards know it's done. You don't get any young people coming in, that means in the long run you're in trouble. Of course, every once in awhile I see a comment on social media, like at Facebook, from a nitwit who despises the French language. It's crap like that which gives fuel to sovereigntists, and you just know that someone like that probably never goes more than a few hours from his home, let alone bothers to see the rest of the country.

    @Beth: the cultures of First Nations peoples is something to be treasured.

    @Denise: her clothing really stands out.

    @Red: yes, there are Albertans who seem a bit out there with their world view.

    @Sharon: I knew it would be popular.

    @Catarina: young Quebecers see the advantages of staying in Canada. The Levesque and Parizeau generations of the sovereignty movement are passing on.

  18. Well-presented dipplays. I like the puppets...and the t-shirt. ;)

  19. Puppets are an interesting way to depict that dispute.

    Also couldn't help seeing the comments above about Albertans, I suppose there are 2 sides to that as some Albertans would say the same about other parts of Canada.

  20. Great photos of historical displays ~ thing we 'fight over' ~ eh?

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  21. That is a weird looking fish. I thought it was a helmet at first!

    Interesting reading about Quebec. I wonder if they will ever get their wish? I wish I could ask that in French!

    Love the hallway-corridor-huge room at the end.

  22. The colourful ceremonial piece in the second photo is gorgeous.

  23. @Pat: I wouldn't mind having a shirt like that!

    @Jenn: that is true. There are people who tend to view every Albertan with the same lens- Texas north. I think the best thing for all of us is to travel, to get to know our country.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Sandi: in this case it's a killer whale. Well, the separatist movement is pretty much on its way out, but who knows? There just isn't the appetite for it in the province anymore.

    @Bill: I think so too.

  24. First Nations art is always so colorful--I love it!

  25. I love this series. Gorgeous!

  26. Like that picture over the roof top.

  27. All so interesting and well presented (both in real and by you in blogging it) .... but it sure makes me realize how little I know about your history (partly my fault, but not all ... I didn't sleep through all my history/ classes and I really don't feel like enough is taught). Your posts are a fun and painless way to learn. Lovely to know about Ms Desmond and that she will honored with a coin.... I don't imagine much good will happen on this side of the border for a while. (Any room up there? ... asked only partly facetiously.)

  28. Sallie's comment is amusing and I agree with her. I'd not heard of Viola Desmond, but then I was pretty young even when Rosa Parks was becoming famous. I love "Chief of the Undersea World." It's really beautiful.

  29. @Norma: so do I.

    @Michelle: thanks!

    @Haddock: I did too.

    @Sallie: actually she's getting the ten dollar bill. I haven't seen one yet.

    @Kay: it is quite a sculpture.

  30. My favourites, in a pow wow, are the shawl dancers! Great coverage, as usual.

  31. The ceremonial attire is so colourful.

    All the best Jan

  32. I think if I saw the Restez Calme tshirt in a shop, I'd buy it!

  33. Great series of photos. Thank you for the tour.