“Exploring ~ Spotlighting ONTARIO Communities and Events Since 2007″

Living History


Awe, the sweet smell of Spring!

Mother Nature gave us a “taste” of good weather, a then took it away (at least for a while). That’s all changed now (I hope), and we can put away our winter “woolies” and keep out our warm weather “shorts and T-shirts”.

Most of our “visit plans” are now finalized, and we are looking forward to get going. One of the “adventures” we are planning this year, is to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Shaw Festival. The last time we visited both the town and the festival, was 15 years ago. That was for our 25th wedding anniversary. This year we are celebrating 40 years, and we are going to The Shaw and Niagara-on-the-Lake again. We are scheduled to enjoy two plays, The Game of Love and Chance and Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Once we are back, we will tell you all about our experiences. We can’t wait!

In this issue we are celebrating museum month. Over the past 16 years we have experienced both Living History Villages and Re-enactments, and History Museums. Each gives us an “image” of the past and a “glimpse” into the future.

My Car Knows the Way!


Article by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad               Original Artwork by K.C. (Susan) Caron

Desert Nomads ride Camelsright? And, Camels know how to “find water” … right? I’m a “Nomad”, but I don’t ride a Camel! Heck, I don’t even own one! Besides, if I rode a Camel, it would just take “too long” to get to the festivals we visit, and it would be very “uncomfortable”. We would, I think, cause a lot of excitement. Frankly, for the most part, I like to go “under the radar”. Now, back to my ride! It stands to reason, if I don’t go by Camel, I must go by some other means! Yes, my festival going friends, I go by Car! Like a good Camel, my car knows where all the “watering holes” are located along the festival way. I am, of course, referring to “Tims”! Plus, my car knows who is BOSS, because if it didn’t know where the “Tims” were, it would get into trouble with Scoop (Judi)! And Judi, when it comes to passing a “Tims” without stopping, has a “short fuse”! That being said, we make frequent stops during our festival travels. Let me tell you, I like “Tims” coffee as much as anyone, however, I don’t buy “Tims” coffee, I just “rent it” and then, only for a very short time! That means, for you young Nomads, that my body rejects the coffee quite quickly. That’s where my “smart” car comes in for me. It remembers where all the washrooms are located. The only problem is that they are all located at “Tims” … and so, my friends, the “circle of life” goes on!!


Living History vs Historical Museums…

This quote was taken from one of our War of 1812 Celebrations Blog articles.

Dr. Peter MacLeod explains that Pioneer Villages re-create the past, while Museums present historical artifacts. While Pioneer Villages re-enact a merchant store, the Museum will focus on artifacts such as the sales records of the merchants for that period, to learn about all the intricacies of that period.”

Ontario Community Spotlight ~ Bancroft

This month’s Ontario Community Spotlight, presented by Ontario Visited, is the Town of Bancroft.

All have been scenic and, in many cases, breathtaking. Bancroft, itself, is very interesting. In addition to it being the mineral capital of Canada, it has the “Eagle’s Nest Lookout”. (At the lookout, you will be able to overlook the breathtaking views of the York River Valley, and explore more trails to continue the fun!) Egan Chutes Provincial Park is also close by. (A quick 10–20-minute hike will get you to the falls, where you will find a cascading waterfall and scenic views.) In the middle of town, is the Bancroft Millennium Park. A wonderful park for the whole family to enjoy! The York River runs through the town and the park. Visitors can canoe and kayak along the river. The park is also the home of the Heritage Museum. It is a unique “log” building that is filled with Bancroft and area artifacts.

Bancroft is full of history and interesting things to do and see. Of course, part of the “adventure” of visiting Bancroft is getting there!

If you are looking for an interesting place to visit, take a trip to Bancroft and enjoy all if has to offer!

Click HERE for the Google Map of Bancroft.

Read more about this great Ontario community by clicking HERE.

Happy Museum Month!

by Renée Homiak (Curator – Lang Pioneer Village Museum)

A moment of reflection from the Curator at Lang Pioneer Village Museum!

What a fantastic thing to celebrate! It won’t be long now until the buildings are all cleaned and aired out, the exhibits and displays have been updated and refreshed, and our site will be hopping, welcoming the public back for tours.

I love working in Museums! The look of wonder on a visitor’s face after they’ve tried an historic  craft or tool are some of the best parts of my day. Living history is so much fun and allows us to share our heritage in a way you can’t normally in a traditional museum.

After leaving the orientation exhibit Aabnaabin: Looking Back to Where We Come From, it’s like entering a time machine when you step into the Village. The sights, the sounds, and the smells all have you feeling like you’re back in the 19th century. The staff and volunteers add to the magic with their authentic costumes, exceptional knowledge, and my favourite – hands-on demonstrations!

It’s amazing to walk through the village and be able to cut the grass the same way my great grandfather did, see how to cook on the hearth the same way my great-great grandmother did and smell the delicious scents mingled with firewood. Experiencing the back-aching labour of weeding the gardens like the earliest settlers gives you a better appreciation when you enter the General Store and see all the marvels for purchase. As you exit, you’re drawn to the next building when you hear the clang, clang, clang of the blacksmith as he hammers his iron.

I just love being a part of this great Living History experience, with all the sounds, sights, and smells that delight your senses every day! Where else can you play with the same things your ancestors used and learn how they worked?

A whole month dedicated to Museums is worthy of celebration indeed!

I hope that you will read my Memories of Past Times Blog. It’s all about my growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. There are a lot of fun story to enjoy and memories of my childhood both in Toronto and cottage country (Haliburton and Muskoka). Fun stories, like smoking “bumwaddyens” at Camp Sherwood Forest or winning $50 in a poker game from my parents best friends. They thought that they’d teach “the kid” (me, at 12 years old) a lesson! I went to bed “giggling” with my winnings all the way! Good times!

You can click HERE to enjoy my Memories of Past Times Blog.

Historical Museums