It’s been said Canada is a nation of immigrants.
Waves of immigrants have settled in Canada over the years, including the Barr Colonists who founded what would become Lloydminster.
Immigration is the theme of Canada: Day 1, a large travelling exhibit at the Lloydminster Cultural & Science Centre that explores the first day of a newcomer to Canada.
“It documents newcomers’ arrivals to Canada from 1867 to today in varied experiences,” said Shawna Maurice, manager of LCSC.
“So I think Canadians have a lot to draw on the settlement experience; a lot of people have a settlement history.”
The exhibit was produced by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 as a legacy project to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and is supported by RBC Foundation.
More than one million immigrants came to Canada through Halifax’s Pier 21, an ocean liner terminal and immigration depot from 1928 to 1971.
Visitors to the exhibit will be transported back to their first day in Canada and inspired to imagine themselves in a newcomer’s shoes.
“I think it’s particularly important to Lloydminster because we are very newcomer oriented community,” said Maurice.
“We have a large demographic of immigrants, not only internationally, but nationally as well coming from other provinces.
Maurice said she’s not from Lloydminster originally and she knows a lot of other people are not from Lloydminster, and believes there’s a story to be told there as well.
She says the settlement history of Lloydminster would have been the Barr Colonists in 1903 as the first immigrants to this area.
“Canada: Day 1 is about providing new perspectives and supporting a greater understanding of what newcomers to Canada experienced during their first moments in a new world,” said Maurice.
The exhibit will be at LCSC until March 25, and includes oral histories, interactive displays and audio visual attractions.
Visitors can write their own immigration story on a luggage tag and attach it a piece of luggage on display.
“There is a three-month minimum booking,” said Maurice, who notes the display has been travelling throughout Canada since 2013.
The Canada Day 1 exhibit opened at LCSC on Dec. 17 with a positive reaction.
“I hope we see a lot of teachers and students bringing their classes here—I think they can tie directly into the curriculum,” said Maurice.
It takes awhile to go through it all of the displays.
“It’s the biggest one we’ve had so far, so it does a little bit of time depending on how much you want to read,” said Maurice.
Maurice said the display was delivered by two large semi trucks.
The LCSC is closed for the holidays Dec. 24-26 and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1., but open the rest of the time during regular business hours Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.