Residents in this area will have an opportunity to learn more about Ontario’s environmental history while supporting an important international cause this Friday. In response to the devastation caused by the recent cyclone.
The Ontario Historical Society, along with the Guelph Historical Society, Guelph Civic Museums, and the History Department at the University of Guelph, will be donating 50 per cent of profits from the coming gala to Save the Children Canada’s Myanmar and Burma disaster relief fund.
The gala, Celebrating Ontario’s Environmental Heritage, is at 8pm at War Memorial Hall. Peter Kelly, of the University of Guelph, will provide an illustrated talk about the ancient trees of the Niagara Escarpment based on The Last Stand: A Journey through the Ancient Cliff-Face Forest of the Niagara Escarpment, co-authored by colleague and ecosystems expert Doug Larson and entertainer Sarah Harmer.
Guelph Museum’s Spirit Walk artists will perform as figures from Guelph’s history, including opera star Edward Johnson. Local songwriter and activist James Gordon will round out the evening, giving the audience an early look at Doug Larson’s handmade Guelph guitar, built of materials related to research, innovation, and creativity at the University of Guelph and the history of the city of Guelph.
Former Guelph Mayor and broadcaster Norm Jary is the evening’s emcee.
Advance tickets are available through the River Run Centre box office for $25, and $20 for seniors and students. The box office can be contacted at 519-763-3000, toll free at 1-877-520-2408, or online at www.riverrun.ca. Tickets purchased at the door of the event will be $30.
The gala kicks off the Ontario Historical Society’s 120th anniversary conference, From Nature to Ecology, Landscape to Ecosystems: A Historical View of Ontario Environments, taking place June 13 and June 14. Participants will be able to take part in a variety of tours, events, papers and presentations, all focused on the theme of Ontario’s environmental history. The keynote speaker is Dr. Gilbert Stelter, Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph and one of the founders of the field of urban history in Canada. The OHS annual general meeting and awards ceremony will take place in conjunction with the conference. The public is encouraged to attend the conference. Registration begins at 1pm June 13 at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. For more information and registration details, please see the OHS website, www.ontariohistoricalsociety.ca.
Debra Nash-Chambers, president of the Guelph Historical Society, said, “Guelph was specifically chosen to host this year’s event due to the city’s notoriety as a frontrunner in the implementation of environmental policies and programs, the university’s position at the forefront of environmental research, and our people’s commitment to historical conservation.”