February 20, 2023
At this year’s Society Breakfast event held on January 6, the Niagara Peninsula Society was honored with the 2023 Lecture Flyer Award. Society President R. Angus K. Smith and Society Program Coordinator Jazz Demetrioff share more about the lecture, its striking flyer, and how they celebrated International Archaeology Day 2022.
“As we continue to transition from purely virtual to in-person events, this year the Niagara Peninsula Society focused on alternating between the two for variety and safety. In November, Dr. Branko van Oppen, Curator of Antiquities at the Tampa Museum of Art, joined us virtually and discussed his endeavour to reinstall the museum’s permanent Greco-Roman collection, which is now open to the public. The online format allowed guests from various hubs in North America to hear about Dr. van Oppen’s process for the exhibition titled Life & Death in the Ancient World. We would like to thank Dr. van Oppen for the flyer’s image, an original mock-up of the floor plan designed during the planning phase, that envisions his ideas of an exhibition that is accessible and provides a storyline for the museum’s antiquity collection.
In addition to our online talks, we have also held a number of in-person events. A highlight of these was the International Archaeology Day Canal Walk we sponsored to our local museum, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, where we heard about local history and a different kind of excavation: the digging and engineering of the Welland Canal, a vital trade route started 200 years ago between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. This event allowed us to watch as one of the huge cargo ships that regularly traverse the canal was lowered in one of the lock systems that allow ships to descend the almost 100 m difference in elevations between Lake Erie and Ontario (without having to go over Niagara Falls!). We also learned about the workmen – mostly recent immigrants to Canada – who helped to build the canal and we saw a poignant memorial erected to 137 of them who died on the job. “Field trips” like this that have our members meet outside of the lecture hall are a great way to engage our local Society members – we also noticed a lot of new faces! – and we plan to visit more local monuments and historical sites in the future.”
Congratulations again to the Niagara Peninsula Society for winning this year’s Lecture Flyer Award and we wish them the best for their spring season of events!