By Gordon Lambie
The Christmas season has returned to Mhist, Sherbrooke’s history museum.
From now until Jan. 9, visitors of all ages, and families in particular, are invited to come visit a new exhibit entitled ‘Christmas stories’ to learn about the history of treasured holiday traditions and get a look at how they may have taken place locally.
“We cover the tree, the music, the folklore, the characters,” said David Lacoste, the museum’s Executive Director. “We tried to look at a little bit of everything.”
Marie-Ève Gingras, coordinator of the exhibition, said that the space has been created with fun and family in mind.
“We worked hard on the visuals, but also to create ways that children could be independent during their visit,” Gingras said, explaining that the exhibit has activities suited to a range of ages, and features a return of some of the more hands-on aspects of museum displays that have been missing for the last 18 months.
In addition to photo and bilingual text displays built off of the museum’s own archives, the exhibit hall is filled with displays of colourful toys and games drawn from the collections of other nearby museums, like the Beaulne and Colby-Curtis museums. These displays, while interesting on their own, also make up part of several scavenger hunt activities that have been planned.
The coordinator also pointed out the presence of Falala the arctic fox, who stands near several of the more significant displays to offer a little information to younger visitors in the form of a French audio recording.
“We tried to be as varied and dynamic as possible,” she said.
Over the course of the next month and a half, Lacoste said that a full slate of school groups is set to come visit the space. Because of that fact he encouraged families interested in visiting to call ahead and make sure that they are coming at a good time.
On Dec. 4, the Museum will be offering a special ‘children’s’ day’ where families who sign up in advance will be able to visit free of charge and participate in special activities and crafting only available on that day.
‘Christmas stories’ has been set up in the museum’s American-Biltrite hall, on the second floor of the building. The museum itself is located at 275 Dufferin Street, next door to the city’s fine arts museum. For more information or to register for a visit, go to www.mhist.org or call 819 821-5406.
By Gordon Lambie