The newest travelling exhibit at the Alberni Valley Museum offers “snapshots” of some of Canada’s most unforgettable moments in history.
From the trial of Métis leader Louis Riel to Paul Henderson’s winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series, and from the deportation of Japanese-Canadians after the Second World War to the standoff at Oka, “Snapshots of Canada” pairs 50 powerful photographs with texts by well-known Canadian historians, authors and journalists to paint a picture of Canada’s triumphs, failures and sacrifices.
The travelling exhibit was developed by the Canadian Museum of History, in partnership with Canada’s History Society, and opened at the Alberni Valley Museum in Port Alberni on Jan. 6.
The photographs in the exhibit date from Canada’s Confederation to the early 2000s.
“Some are famous photos,” said Alberni Valley Museum collections curator Kirsten Smith—like the image captured by photographer Claude P. Dettloff of a boy running out of his mother’s grasp to reach for his father, who is leaving for the Second World War. “Some depict famous events.”
Mark Reid, the editor-in-chief of Canada’s History Society, says the 50 images were chosen for their emotional impact, their aesthetic appeal, their uniqueness and the significance of the subject they represent.
“But most of all, we chose them for the way they reflect who we were, who we are today, and who we can aspire to become as Canadians,” said Reid.
The images and accompanying text explore Canada from four perspectives: Building a Country, Living Together, Seeking Justice and Celebrating Culture. Contributors include literary non-fiction writer Charlotte Gray, best-selling novelist Lawrence Hill, historian Desmond Morton, archivist Jim Burant, award-winning military historian Tim Cook and journalist Peter Mansbridge.
The exhibit is on display at the Alberni Valley Museum until April 9, 2022. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests can drop in or reserve a time in advance by calling 250-720-2863.