Submitted by Ian McKechnie
The Victoria County Historical Society continues to embrace the possibilities afforded by ongoing community outreach and collaboration, which were evident in three significant projects undertaken by the VCHS this past autumn.
The rich Christmas in Lindsay was celebrated with the spectacular Christmas House Tour organized by volunteers at St. Paul's Anglican Church and the Victoria County Historical Society. The tour featured six historical and contemporary homes in Lindsay, along with three additional sites of cultural and historical significance: Celebrations (formerly Queen Street United Church), the Olde Gaol Museum, and St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. Almost 400 tickets were sold for the Tour, which occurred on December 1st and generated funds for both St. Paul's Church and the Victoria County Historical Society.
The centennial of the end of the First World War was marked on Sunday November 11th 2018 with a moving commemorative Service at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Lindsay. Organized by the Victoria County Historical Society in collaboration with I.E. Weldon Secondary School's Writer's Guild and several local churches, the service saw nearly 230 people in attendance to remember through dramatic reading and music provided by guest and local musicians alike (courtesy of funding from Veterans' Affairs Canada). Special guests Joey, Natasha, and Sophia Mackey -- familiar names to the performing arts community in Lindsay -- graced the evening with various musical selections including a bilingual (German and English) setting of the Lord's Prayer, as well as the Remembrance Day standard, Let There Be Peace On Earth. The collection taken up during the evening went to support the work carried out by the VCHS in Kawartha Lakes.
September 19th-23rd saw the Victoria County Historical Society participating in the 164th Lindsay Central Exhibition with a display about life during the Great Depression, focusing on the good works carried out by the Lindsay Citizen's Relief Association in 1931 and 1932. Period games and other interactive activities were a highlight of the exhibit, which had as its centerpiece a period vehicle and related artefacts depicting farm life as experienced during the Depression years. This exhibit, called Hard Times & Hope, was developed in partnership with the Kawartha Hand Weavers & Spinners guild, and was inspired in part by the recently-cancelled Basic Income pilot project and its place in the ongoing story of local citizens helping those in need.
Plans for 2019 will bring more exciting opportunities for collaboration and community engagement in the cultural sector across Kawartha Lakes, not least through the 15th Doors Open Kawartha Lakes in September. This year's theme is "Communications," and all of us in the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network and its member organizations look forward to sharing our rich cultural heritage with our friends and neighbours.