Behind the Scenes by Mariah Lejambe …

This past week was my first week back to school in Ottawa and things are very different than last year. I am taking most of my classes virtually with the exception of one lab that is held in person. When I went to my lab this week it was crazy to see how empty the campus is compared to last year.

This new way of learning is definitely a huge adjustment. Some of my professors have been doing Zoom meetings with 300+ students and other professors have decided to deliver the course as an asynchronous course. This is where they pre-record their lectures and you do the course at your own pace. I have certainly been applying and improving my time management skills to be able to get all my work done.

Because I am back at school, I will finish up my season at the museum by working remotely.

I will be inputting more cards into Past Perfect , doing research and doing translations for upcoming exhibits.

I can’t believe we are already halfway through September and halfway through our Murder Mystery fundraiser. I hope you are all enjoying it. I love to read all the comments about theories you have.

Behind the Scenes by Alex Guscott …

This week …

We completed the painting of the display cases. I think they look really good. While they are still the same cases, the fresh coats of paint on the inside and outside has made them look a little more modern. Painting the inside was most challenging. I am not a professional painter of course, so it took some trial and error. The inside of the cases was a sort of natural linen material that really soaked up the paint we applied to it. We put on many coats of paint to cover it up and sanded it to make it look smoother and then put on another coat of paint for good measure. The outside of the cases was a breeze in comparison and only needed two coats of paint.

Natural linen material inside the display cases
Before …
After …

We are in the midst of changing the lights in the cases. We are switching from fluorescent to LED lighting. For museums, LED lighting is usually the best option for objects on display. LED lighting projects almost no heat and no UV radiation which means the objects on display will be better preserved. They are also very bright and energy efficient so it is well worth the effort and money to make the switch to LED lighting.

Find out more at

I also started taking inventory of a display case on the main level of the museum which is part of our bigger inventory project. I removed all of the items from the case to a table and then cleaned the case. Next week, I will work on photographing each item, recording their accession numbers, and returning the items to the case.

Finally, thank you for your support of our Murder Mystery! I hope those participating are enjoying the content so far.

If you have any questions about the Murder Mystery contact us through one of

Mattawa Museum 2020 FaceBook

Behind the Scenes by Mariah Lejambe …

I hope everyone is having a wonderful long weekend.

This past week was an exciting one at our museum.

Our online Murder Mystery has started!!

This week we sent out a toolkit for everyone signed up for the online game to help solve the puzzles and challenges.

I’m really excited for everyone to see what we’ve been working on and hopefully this will be a fun new challenge. I have never created or even tried playing this type of game however working on this with Mia and Alex was so much fun and has made me want to try one of these games in the future.

Also, this week we continued taking inventory of the lower level of the museum. We have gotten through all 28 cabinets and in all, I have now taken over 200 photos of accessioned items and Alex has taken many more. The next step is to match our photos with the accessioned cards and upload the photos into Past Perfect. This will give us a complete description of our items and make them easier to locate.

Summer has passed by so quickly and I can’t believe September is already here. I can’t wait to see all the leaves start changing colours.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Behind the Scenes by Alex Guscott …

This week…

We worked very hard to finish putting together our interactive online mystery. We have been working on it for around a month. I will not give away details, but it was very fun to create. While it was quite the process, we think that you will enjoy what we have come up with.

To start the process, we identified the need for a fundraiser and something interactive for people to take part in. Since options for events are limited, we wanted to create something online. Mia came up with the idea to create an online mystery game that everyone could play. We kind of tested out if you guys liked puzzles through our Mattawa crossword. The crossword seemed to go over well, so we thought something that was based on puzzles would work well.

Our next step was to research and create a plan. I found a few articles on how museums have presented online mystery games and considered how we could make it work for our museum. The research helped me come up with multiple ideas which made it hard to decide on exactly which direction we should go. Once we had an idea of what we wanted to do, I created a project plan and loose schedule to guide us.

After some brainstorming, we settled on the idea of a Murder Mystery. Naturally, we wanted it to have connections to Mattawa and our museum, but I won’t spoil anything. You can find out how we did that by playing along.

I am a fan of Agatha Christie novels (especially the Poirot novels), so I was completely on board.


I did not think I was a creative person. I’ve never taken part in a murder mystery or created anything along these lines, so I figured I would be very little help in the creation of a story for it. However, during the creation of this murder mystery, I learned that I am much more creative than I thought. Mia, Mariah, and I, were able to bounce ideas around and debate over what would work and what probably wouldn’t. At some points we thought we had the perfect idea, only to realize certain things just wouldn’t work or make sense so we had to adapt and make changes.

When you play,

We want you to be immersed in the story. So, forget that I told you anything about the creation of a fictional murder mystery.

Sign up now and join the fun!

Make sure that you have followed Mattawa Museum 2020 FaceBook , so you can play!

We thank you for your support and all of the money raised will be put back into projects at our museum.

Behind the Scenes by Mia Skelling …

This week we spent lots of time working on and finishing up a few of our bigger projects.

For a vast majority of the week, we focused on painting the final few layers of primer and later a few layers of the new color in our display cabinets. Let us know what you think!

Also, while organizing a few more cabinets downstairs, we’ve come across many different types of items.

This week, we came across this book that was published in the 60’s and was given out to schools.

Teen Horizons at Home and School …

Here’s a fun page we found while looking through it, would you say you rate as a date?

Additionally, we have spent a lot of time finalizing an upcoming interactive fundraiser we’ve been preparing throughout the summer! Keep an eye out on Mattawa Museum 2020 FaceBook and this website on August 28th to see it launch!

Moreover, we have a virtual exhibit coming out this weekend, so stay tuned!

As always, we thank you for your support!

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