History

Escape the cold at Museum of History's snow exhibition

  • Jan 01, 2014
  • 323 words
  • 2 minutes
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Whether it’s shovelling heaps of snow off your driveway at 6 a.m. in -20 C weather or waiting for a chronically late bus in the middle of a blizzard, most Canadians have an appreciation for snow.

Now, the Canadian Museum of History, formerly the Museum of Civilization, has gone cold with a new focus on the fluffy white matter that both plagues and defines the daily lives of most Canadians.

This winter, the snow exhibition at the Gatineau, Que. museum highlights the innovations, adaptations and creativity that snow has given Canadians.

“I think it’s a wonderful presentation of the ways which snow has affected culture, identity and history in Canada,” says the museum’s CEO and president Mark O’Neill.

In choosing the exhibits to include, he says that they looked for objects representative of how snow has impacted Canadians in things such as creativity or lifestyle.

Hand-built winter vehicle from around 1950 (Photo: Steven Darby, Courtesy of the Canadian Museum of History)

Many familiar objects are in the exhibit, like snowboards, snowshoes and different kinds of winter boots that were popular throughout the years. But there are also older artifacts, such as Inuit and Thule snow goggles — some dating back to the 14th century — and old snowmobile prototypes from the 1950s, provided through the museum’s partnership with the Armand Bombardier Museum. There are even tasseled moose hide leggings from 1924 that could easily pass as modern hipster fashion.

Interactive features include movie snippets, such as the Inuit legend-based Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, as well as the Quebec classic The Dog Who Stopped the War. Meanwhile, a game asks people to identify a picture based on sound clips, like the clang of a snowball hitting a stop sign.

It all makes for a great place to enjoy the snow while escaping the outdoor cold that tends to go along with it.

The exhibition runs until Sept. 28, 2014.

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