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First World War Events Focus on Cultural Communities

The role of Nova Scotia’s cultural communities in the First World War is receiving an in-depth exploration at upcoming pop-up museums and a symposium.

In May and June, museums and academics will explore the role of Nova Scotia’s Acadians, African Nova Scotians, Gaelic speakers and Jewish soldiers during what was called the Great War.

On May 14 in Pubnico and June 18 in Chéticamp, pop-up museums will be held at local legions. The pop-up museums will be Antiques Roadshow style events focused on the Acadian experience in the conflict. People are encouraged to bring their ancestors’ artifacts, photographs and documents from home to be identified and catalogued.

A free public history and archaeology symposium in Windsor on June 10 and 11 brings together experts to discuss the contributions of Nova Scotia’s cultural communities.

“We are marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War by remembering the contributions of Nova Scotia communities to the conflict and the war’s impact on our communities,” said Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “The pop-up museums and symposium are opportunities to honour and learn more about their contributions.”

While admission is free, people are asked to register for any or all of the three events in advance by email at gorsebrook@smu.ca, by phone at 902-420-5668 or online at www.smu.ca/nsfirstworldwar.

“With pop-up museums, we are trying to create a new kind of event where experts and the public can share stories, research, and knowledge,” said Gregory Kennedy, Université de Moncton. “This will give researchers and the museum a richer understanding of these experiences.”

Cultural communities across Canada were sometimes not included in recruitment efforts or even actively discouraged from participating in the First World War. They persisted and won the right to serve, but their service was sometimes forgotten after the war.

Keynote speakers at the symposium include Jonathan Vance from the University of Western Ontario, a specialist on the memory and commemoration of the First World War in Canada and Sean Cadigan from Memorial University of Newfoundland, who brings a broader Atlantic Canadian perspective to the commemoration and memory of the conflict.

The symposium and pop-up museums involve the work and support of several partners, including the Nova Scotia Museum, Institute of Acadian Studies at the Université de Moncton, Gorsebrook Research Institute of Saint Mary’s University, Army Museum Halifax Citadel and Parks Canada.

Source: Release

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