2020 was likely the most difficult year since the Workers’ History Museum founding on January 11, 2011. COVID-19 restrictions hit us hard in early March 2020 as we had to postpone our Annual General Meeting, Public Service Alliance events we had planned on attending were cancelled and all of our regularly planned events, like our Trivia Nights and storytelling evening were cancelled. We did not want to put any of our members or supporters in a potentially risky situation.
Instead, we decided to take the time and work on redesigning our website to make it better and to digitize all of the products and projects that were not on the website. We were able to do further work on our video about Women at the bargaining table. We continued work on the documentary, Never Forgotten, about the On-to-Ottawa Trek of 1935 with subtitles and a resource guide for teachers prepared by a graduate student at Western University in London Ontario.
Over the summer we hired two students, Candide Uyanze and Jenna Emslie through Young Canada Works to work on two new projects. Candide took the raw footage and created the full-length documentary, ‘What is A Family?’ about the struggle for equal benefits. Jenna begin the research for an online exhibit titled Pandemics, People and Public Health: Stories from the Frontline covering pandemics that affected people in the National Capital Region over the last 130 years. This exhibit will go live later in 2021 and the video -that launched virtually in late November 2020 on YouTube has over 1,000 views to date.
We partnered with the North Lanark Regional Museum in Appleton to highlight Working in the Ottawa Valley for our annual calendar.
Work continues on new projects and determining ways to reach out to our members and supporters as the pandemic is still here.
Here is to 2021 being a better year for all of us.
Photo: ‘What Is A Family?’ Documentary created by Candide Uyanze. Photo: © Workers’ History Museum, 2020.