Past Exhibits

Iron Willed: Women in STEM

July 2022 - August 2022

Women have made significant contributions to STEM – and continue to do so – but their stories are often untold. Why is that? This travelling display shared some of these stories and provided recognition for the crucial role of women in STEM.

Through text and images, this exhibit from Ingenium-Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation told the stories of historical and contemporary women in STEM, their scientific contributions as well as their challenges in the face of persistent systemic barriers.

 

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This exhibit was made possible through funding by the Government of Canada.


 

They didn't know we were seeds

November 2021 - February 2022

In April 2016, artist Carol Wylie attended the Saskatoon Holocaust Memorial service. As survivor Nate Leipciger spoke of his horrifying experiences in a Nazi death camp, and his ongoing efforts to educate and shed light on these atrocities, she was struck anew by the extent of abuse a human being can endure at the hand of another. Several events followed that service, and Carol was reminded of the residential school experience of 150,000 Indigenous children.

Indian Affairs Superintendent Duncan Campbell Scott, in 1910, called residential schools “The Final Solution,” preceding Hitler’s similar pronouncement regarding the “Jewish problem.”  Separating families, cutting hair, taking away names and assigning numbers were oppressive methods of dehumanizing and othering. Interestingly, both groups of survivors have connected around strategies of survival and healing. Holocaust Survivor Robert Waisman, who meets with Indigenous Survivors and talks about his experience at Buchenwald, speaks of “a sacred duty and responsibility” toward helping residential school survivors heal. He states, “we cannot, and we should not, compare sufferings. Each suffering is unique…I don’t compare my sufferings or the holocaust to what happened in residential schools. We did it [survived] – so can you.” Both Indigenous Survivors and Jewish Survivors speak of a solidarity forged from the shared need to find ways of healing personal and generational trauma in the wake of horrendous abuse and attempted genocide, and to educate.

This exhibition consists of eighteen portraits of Jewish Holocaust and Indigenous Residential School Survivors. In Jewish tradition, eighteen represents the word 'chai', which means life. Themes including trauma, ongoing recovery, shared pain, and the indomitable human spirit, are central to this work. With numbers of Holocaust Survivors dwindling, and the same eventual loss of Residential School Survivors, these portraits remain and continue to reflect the strength and courage of these individuals.

*L: Carol Wylie, "Robbie," 2018, oil on canvas, 36" x 48" R: Carol Wylie, "Eugene Arcand #781," 2017, oil on canvas, 36" x 48"


 

Cipher Decipher

July 2021 - September 2021

This interactive exhibition from Ingenium - Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovationdeveloped in partnership with the Communications Security Establishment, explored the past and present of communications cryptology—what it is, how it works, and how it affects our lives. Visitors saw an authentic Enigma cipher machine, and tried their hand at logic puzzles and games to see if they had what it takes to work in the field of cryptology!

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This exciting exhibit was made possible in part through a contribution from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

Government of Canada


 

Fakes & Forgeries: Yesterday and Today

July 2019 - October 2019

Can you tell the true object from the fake? This interactive exhibition presents 115 real and fake objects that run the gamut from historical specimens and cultural artifacts to household items and designer name brands. Visitors of all ages are invited to guess which objects are real and which are clever fakes. Learn how to tell authentic pieces from sly forgeries and discover the fascinating lengths forgers will take to hoodwink the unwary.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

This exhibit provides hints on how to tell the real from the fraudulent and provides the visitor with a chance to guess an authentic artifact or specimen from an almost identical forgery. Fakes and Forgeries features items from the Royal Ontario Museum’s collection, spanning the Museum’s dual mandate of Natural History and World Cultures.

Displays include modern knock-offs ranging from black market DVDs, to designer brand clothing and accessories, to counterfeit computer software, to counterfeiting currency and an array of counterfeit bank notes.

This exciting project has been made possible thanks to the exhibition’s Presenting Sponsor Microsoft Canada, Education Partner the Bank of Canada and in part through a contribution from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

Royal Ontario Museum  Government of Canada

Presenting Sponsor | Microsoft
Educational Partner | Bank of Canada
Contributors | Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP
Government Partner | Canadian Heritage 
Funded by | Government of Canada


 

China Through Saskatchewan Eyes: Evelyn Potter’s 1971 Journey

March 2019 - June 2019

China Through Saskatchewan Eyes: Evelyn Potter’s 1971 Journey featured a sampling of more than 1,150 photographs taken by Evelyn Potter in 1971, when she travelled to China as a member of a historically significant delegation. Co-curated by Evelyn Potter, Dr. Liang Zhao (PhD), a professor from Sichuan University (China), and Dr. Keith Thor Carlson (PhD), a University of Saskatchewan history professor, the exhibit’s evocative pictures of city, farm, school, family and factory life provide an intimate view of Chinese society at the mid-way point of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

In 1971, following the opening of formal diplomatic relations, the first Canadian delegation (led by University of British Columbia faculty) travelled to China to promote cultural exchange and understanding. However, a mere month before, the trip had almost been cancelled when the Chinese government discovered that there were no farmers in the group. The Chinese demanded that a “peasant” representative be included, and the delegation’s organizers turned to Evelyn Potter, the first women’s president of the recently created National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Potter agreed to join the delegation, and her participation was significant in motivating a series of subsequent Canada/China farmer-peasant exchanges organized through the NFU and the Canadian co-operative movement.

This exhibit offered glimpses into Potter's experiences and perspectives, as revealed in the images captured through her camera lens. Further, these pictures serve to remind us of the on-going importance of Canada’s farm communities and agricultural sector in opening and shaping modern relations with the People’s Republic of China.

While the photos in the exhibit are of China, in many ways the story is about Potter, a Saskatchewan farmer who had only been partially aware of the significant role she was playing in building awareness and understanding between the politically divided East and West.

Funded by:

  • Keith Thor Carlson, Research Chair in Indigenous and Community Engaged History, University of Saskatchewan
  • The College of Arts & Science, University of Saskatchewan
  • The Confucius Institute at the University of Saskatchewan
  • “From the Ground Up”: Buddhism and East Asian Religions (FROGBEAR), Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

 

Grand Theft Terra Firma

The Great Land Sale, Sandra Shields and David Campion, 2016 (detail)

December 2018 - March 2019

An exhibit of artwork created by David Campion and Sandra Shields. Produced and circulated by The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford. Curated by Laura Schneider.

Grand Theft Terra Firma is an unflinching redress of Canada’s colonial narrative. By combining contemporary popular culture with historical source material, artists David Campion and Sandra Shields disrupt the celebratory mythology of nation building and invite us to critically evaluate our own continued and complicated relationship to colonial practices. As the title suggests, the exhibition appropriates the language of digital gaming to reframe the settlement of Canada as a complex heist. Specifically, the title refers to Grand Theft Auto, a series of popular video games considered highly controversial, in part because they require players to commit violent and immoral acts to achieve gaming success. Borrowing from this, the exhibition unfolds as a strategy guide to an imaginary video game based on historical events occurring within S’ólh Téméxw, now more commonly known as British Columbia's Fraser Valley.

The artists’ use of gaming, satire, and humour provides entry points into difficult knowledge. These strategies encourage us to consider how history can become mythologized in its telling. The exhibition thus supports discussions around emergent notions of personal awareness and responsibility in the process of decolonization, and emphasizes the potential for art to promote critical discourse in divided societies.

The Diefenbaker Canada Centre would also like to recognize and thank the University of Saskatchewan's departments of History and Indigenous Studies for their financial and in-kind support of the exhibit. 

The Reach Gallery Museum