Join us on Tuesday, February 22 at 12:00 pm for a virtual Heritage Day celebration!
Celebrate Heritage Day on February 22, 2022 with the theme We grow from our roots – our heritage and histories. As lockdowns and physical distancing measures continued to impact our communities in heritage groups, museums, and archives, all have dug deeper to connect people with their heritage and histories. Whether they were providing research support for family genealogy projects or showcasing the connections between our present and our past in a virtual exhibition, Ottawa’s heritage community was there to engage and inspire.
This year, Mayor Watson will recognize the importance of the theme Growing from our roots – our heritage and histories by offering the proclamation to the Goulbourn Museum.
Situated in the city’s west end, Goulbourn Museum shares stories of the former Goulbourn Township, including the history of Richmond – the oldest military settlement in Ottawa. While many families have been separated due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Museum has acted as a pillar of support and engagement for the community by developing ways to meaningfully connect with heritage and history.
Over the past year, the Museum has used genealogical research, artefacts, and settler experiences to develop reflective and engaging programs that encouraged community members to explore how the past has influenced the present day. The idea of growing from our roots is exemplified through initiatives such as Summer Seekers, the My Family Is… exhibit contest, and Transcribing Goulbourn. To learn more about Goulbourn Museum and their initiatives, visit goulbournmuseum.ca.
My Family Is Exhibit Contest
The Museum launched a contest to inspire children to stay connected to and learn about their family roots. “My Family Is…” was an online exhibit competition which encouraged children to call extended family members, research their heritage, create a family tree, and explore family
heirlooms. The Hambly family of Stittsville were the contest winners. Jack and Lucy Hambly, along with their parents, created a beautifully detailed exhibit which even included a video Q&A with “Nana Shirley” from England!
Transcribing Goulbourn Project
The Goulbourn team strengthened our roots by digitizing and improving access to information stored in the physical collections with the “Transcribing Goulbourn Project.” Community volunteers transcribed handwritten manuscripts remotely as a means to stay positive and connected. With digitization of a collection of First World War letters completed in 2021, the “Transcribing Goulbourn Project” then focused on improving access to family history records, land deeds and vital statistics records. These materials are significant primary sources for public research and those reconnecting with their roots in the former Goulbourn Township.
Summer Seekers is a series of web-facilitated learning modules that share local history with children through hands-on, outdoor learning activities. The modules allow children to grow from their roots by discovering how the past has shaped their present, and about how history ties into their everyday lives. Learning outcomes include the agrarian past of the area, traditional food and baking, the ecology of the land, and maker skills that were required to produce items essential to life during colonization and settlement.
By sharing local history with our youngest population, Goulbourn Museum preserves the history of the former Goulbourn Township and shares cultural knowledge with future generations. Activities like bird-watching, butter-making, nature-walks, and planting victory gardens impart knowledge, but also help develop skills the children could build on, while cultivating enjoyment and stimulating creativity.
Statement from Councillor Scott Moffatt
I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the team at the Goulbourn Museum for everything that they do to promote and preserve the cherished history of the communities within the former Goulbourn Township. The Goulbourn Museum is an integral part of our community and their work and dedication are appreciated by all residents. Keep up the great work!
Scott Moffatt Councillor, City of Ottawa
Why celebrate Heritage Day? Canada’s collective story is told through our special places, whether they are historic buildings or sites, archives, libraries, museums, commercial mainstreets or districts, places of faith, industrial areas, or natural or cultural landscapes.
Our shared heritage and histories in all forms has the power to bring people together and create a sense of belonging. Gathering places like town squares, and pow wow grounds, and cultural objects such as artefacts, regalia and family memorabilia are tangible touchstones with the past that can root us in place and nourish the spirit. Intangible heritage – languages, traditional rituals, music, dance, storytelling and more – is at the heart of family and community.
Heritage Day is also a chance to recognize the contributions of the many dedicated staff and volunteers promoting heritage conservation and educating the public about our city’s history. Gathering places like museums, and cultural objects such as artefacts and memorabilia are tangible touchstones with the past that can root us in place and nourish the spirit; and intangible heritage – such as traditions, storytelling and more – is at the heart of family and community.
In celebration of our past and our future, we encourage all – young and old, deeply rooted or new to Canada and its Capital – to visit heritage destinations, cultural landscapes and centres, and connect with traditional knowledge keepers, educators, parents and grandparents to experience heritage on Heritage Day and beyond. Find out how heritage is being celebrated in your community; and learn about services offered by local heritage organizations, public programs and special initiatives, as well as professional development and volunteer opportunities.
Join Capital Heritage Connexion in partnership with the City of Ottawa Cultural and Heritage Programs and Spaces Branch and embrace, explore and enjoy your heritage places and experiences in Canada’s Capital during Heritage Week February 21 to 27, 2022 and throughout the year!
Check out photos and videos from past Heritage Days below:
Heritage Day 2021
In addition, in order to recognize the tenacity and true grit exhibited by Capital Heritage Connexion Members during these COVID challenged times at Heritage Day 2021, we gathered a collection of their Stories of Resiliency.