By Darren Lum
Published March 7 2017
Bring an open mind and get in touch with the past and unleash your creative side for this year’s March Break at the Minden Cultural Centre.
The centre is offering Childrens’ Day Camp a full week of daily programming split into morning art lessons and afternoon experience of the 19th Century from March 13 to 17.
The centre’s curatorial assistant Ruth O’Connell who is organizing activities related to the Victorian Time Travellers invites children and youth to gain perspective and have fun.
They will visit the heritage village’s buildings such as the Bowron House and the old school house and learn about the past with the experiential learning about food preparation such as churning butter or learning the type of games children played in the Victorian era including a wide array of activities such as soap carving.
“I hope to help develop their appreciation of heritage and Minden Hills history. I think it’s always great to teach the different elements of history whether that is the social or economic or homestead history” she said.
The programming she is offering aims to give participants perspective highlighting the differences between now and then.
“There is a real disconnect in terms of the effort and the place something comes from. The effort in harvesting vegetables making sure they get to market and make sure they are prepared for a meal cut shredded or whatever. Nowadays we see so much food that’s microwaved or pre-made” she said. “I think it is really good in educating people about maybe what they’re eating and the value of something they own. Even with looking at games and toys back then. They would have fixed them if they broke.”
She adds sewing was a necessary skill to enable mending of clothing.
Among O’Connell’s favourite aspects of this coming week is getting to teach the games children would have played during a break from school now known as recess. She appreciates the themes of competition and camaraderie in those games such as the commonly known three-legged races and potato sack races. A few unique ones she said will be revealed on the day.
Inclement weather will not cancel programming but will influence the venue particular activity she said.
The art component of programming will be in the mornings starting at 9:30 a.m.
It includes the creation of scratch art which teaches about negative and positive space on Monday; clay pendants using a fibre self-drying clay and touched up with paint on Tuesday; intaglio printmaking where participants will create prints with their original designs on Wednesday; production of a paper mosaic on Thursday and concluding with mask design and making which will include a lesson about masks around the world and its significance in story-telling on Friday.
The centre’s curator Laurie Carmount said taking into account that some children will be taking more than one class the effort was to offer a variety of art subjects. With a possibility of a wide range of ages represented it was important to be able to augment the programming to suit the appropriate age and skill levels present whether it is for a six-year-old child to an adolescent.
The main focus on the programming offered at the centre is to educate she adds.
“Every part of what we’re looking at is for kids to gain a broader appreciation of culture” she said.
The cost is $5 per child six and up per class. Participants can sign up for one session or multiple sessions. Pre-register for the Agnes Jamieson Gallery offerings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. by calling (705) 286-3763. Pre-register for the Victorian Time Travellers from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. by calling (705) 286-3154.