Spectacles Then And Now: A Century of Recreational Activities in Brandon and Western Manitoba

Carousel at Brandon Summer Fair c.1909

Special Canada 150th Exhibit On Now!

October 10, 2017 to February 28, 2018

For many of us, taking a photograph is a fairly common occurrence. In fact, in all likelihood we may snap a photo every day or at least every week. With easy-to-use, accessible technology we have the ability to capture special moments with the gentle touch of a screen. This certainly hasn’t always been the case, however. It almost seems surreal to know that it was just 190 years ago that the first photograph was ever taken. But, it wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century when the art of photography evolved because of smaller cameras and film formats.Photographers were able to make images quickly under difficult lighting conditions, but when you compare to photography in today’s world, it definitely wasn’t just a click of a button.

That’s precisely why it’s so fascinating to explore the images currently on display at the Daly House Museum in their latest exhibit – Spectacles Then and Now: A Century of Recreational Activities in Brandon and Western Manitoba.The exhibit consists of a collection images that were believed to have been taken by J.B. Whitehead around 1909 or 1910. Whitehead was the owner and editor of the Brandon Sun from 1903-1937.

“These one of a kind, historic photographs provide a unique opportunity to explore the social lives of our citizens when Brandon was transforming into a modern city,” said Eileen Trott, Daly House Museum Curator. “What makes these images so remarkable is that J.B. Whitehead was just an amateur photographer. To go out and get such clear pictures at that time is pretty unique,” said Eileen.

In addition to the twentieth century prints, the exhibit also features photographs taken by local community members and professional photographer, Rob Lovatt, of the same activities that we’re still doing in 2017. The intent is to allow the viewer to trace the similarities and the changes in the recreational activities that have remained popular over the past 100 years by showcasing the then and now images side-by-side.

This new exhibit, which opens this November and runs until the end of February, was made possible with funding from the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, an initiative of the Community Foundations of Canada and the Brandon Area Community Foundation (BACF). Grants totaling $33,000 for community projects in Brandon were allocated through BACF. The exhibit was also made possible by a grant from the Manitoba Heritage Grants Program.

“We still play tennis, we still harvest, and attend community fairs. It’s only our beliefs and values in relation to these activities that has changed and that’s why this was the perfect Canada 150 anniversary project. It shows how our country and community has changed over the last 100 years,” said Eileen.

“We support a variety of projects that help to shape our community today and into the future, but as a Community Foundation it’s also important to look back every now and then to remind ourselves of where we’ve come from,” said Laura Kempthorne, BACF General Manager.

The entire collection consists of over 1200 photographs, but the majority have never been seen before. While the task of narrowing down the images was difficult, only twenty-five black and white, historical photographs were chosen to be part of the exhibit along with the modern images.The images are also distinctive because they are mostly action shots that were taken in a day when most images were staged or posed due to the limitation of the technology.

“This exhibit would not have been possible without the support of the Brandon Area Community Foundation. We wouldn’t have been able to produce high quality images to share with the public.We’re so very grateful to have them (BACF) in our community to help support exhibits and projects like this one” said Eileen.

The exhibit opening event will be held on November 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm. The event is free to the public.

We also like to thank our sponsors: Keywest Photo – Images By Design, BDO Canada LLP, Benny’s Restaurant, Branstone Financial Strategies Inc., Dick Agencies Insurance Brokers, Donald Legal Services, Guild Insurance BrokersM. C. DeLandes Monuments & MemorialsSunrise Credit UnionVenture Accounting Group LtdWinburn Orthodontics, and Zeke’s Quality Jewellers for assisting us in creating this exhibit. For further information about our sponsors and the images on exhibit at their locations please visit https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?hl=en&mid=18oCBK36bThmg-8EwcSpzjPv5FgI&ll=49.84834930000001%2C-99.95024849999993&z=14

If you like the images that are hanging at the sponsor locations and would like to see mare archived images in the collection, please visit the online gallery link below where you can order prints and wall decor for your home or office.

http://www.keywestphotoshop.ca/dalyhousemuseum/

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