Behind the Scenes by Mia Skelling …

Hi! My name is Mia Skelling and I am a 11th grade student at ESCEB here in Mattawa. I enjoy reading, playing video games and learning new things. I am very excited to work with Alex and Mariah at the museum and on new virtual exhibits!

This week we finished cleaning up the workroom in the basement and managed to clear enough room so that we can move around. Here’s a before and after of the room.


We also did a sort of scavenger hunt on Wednesday to try and find artifacts listed on the catalogue cards. We spent most of the day on the 2nd floor finding artifacts and taking pictures of them to document them in Past Perfect, our museum collection management software.

I have also started researching the history of the Champlain Theatre for a virtual exhibit I will be working on! Did you know that Remi Gravelle used to operate his barber shop in the theatre lobby?

Stay tuned for next week to hear more from Alex on what she’s been up to!

Behind the Scenes by Mariah Lejambe …

Hello everyone,  I hope you all spent a wonderful Canada Day and enjoyed the sunshine.

This week at the museum, we continued to clean the exhibits. We also got to go through some storage boxes that were  filled with old documents and pictures!  Once we’ve sorted them, they will be scanned and entered into our Archives as part of the Digitization Project.

I have also started researching more about the carved statues in Mattawa and the area. Did you know there are 22 of them? 

This week the second chapter of the Turcotte’s Chip Stand community exhibit was posted on this website. If you’re having traveling withdrawals (like me), these incredible photos will take you on a fantastic trip from the comfort of your own home. 

As Alex mentioned, we have been working on our social media presence, and this week we have launched our first contest… a chance to win a free gift card for Turcotte’s Chip Stand !!

Check out the Mattawa Museum 2020 FaceBook and Instagram pages for more details.

Stay tuned next week to meet the newest member of our team !!

A New Season…

Hello everyone
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks as we begin a very different season, but one that will introduce you to some fun and interesting types of exhibits.

While COVID-19 still does keep us closed to the public, we are keeping very busy. It is with great pleasure that I introduce your Archival Assistants at the Museum this summer. Mariah and Alex make a great team and I know you will enjoy hearing about their journey this summer.

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful support and enthusiasm. I know you will continue to encourage our team.

And now …. please welcome …

My name is Alex Guscott and I am an emerging museum professional. I am from North Bay, but have also lived in Guelph, Barrie, and Gravenhurst. I graduated from UofG with a B.A in History and a minor in Political Science. After that, I moved to Barrie to attend Georgian College’s postgraduate Museum and Gallery Studies program which prepared me for the wonderful world of museum work. Currently, I am enrolled in Algonquin College’s online postgraduate Human Resources Management program. My main goal is to work in museums to preserve history for future generations which is why I am pleased to now be working with the Mattawa Museum.

I have now experienced my first week working at the Mattawa Museum. From this first week, I’ve already learned many interesting facts about Mattawa and the surrounding area’s history. I am personally interested in learning more about Dr. Monestime and making connections to current times. My main role will be digitizing 35 years of catalogue cards into Past Perfect, a museum software that helps greatly with collection management. However, I will also be writing blog posts, helping with our new Instagram account, coming up with ideas for exhibits, and cleaning.

My first three days were spent at the museum both exploring the collection and cleaning. While cleaning sounds boring, it is giving me a chance to get a closer look at the many artifacts in the museum collection which I find very interesting as an emerging museum professional. On Thursday and Friday, I worked from home which gave me the chance to organize and prioritize my tasks for the coming weeks. As well, I started making a small (very small) dent in my main project to digitize the museum’s collection.

All in all, I find museum work very interesting and am excited for the coming weeks at the Mattawa Museum despite it being closed due to COVID-19. Look out for other “Week at the Museum” blog posts in the coming weeks!

Hi, my name is Mariah Lejambe and I am from Mattawa. I am a second year Biopharmaceutical Science student at the University of Ottawa and currently working as Archival Assistant at the Mattawa Museum. Some of my hobbies include golfing, skiing and reading. The Mattawa Museum is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, work at the museum has not stopped, we have started this blog to let you know what we’ve been up to. Alex and I have just started our new jobs as Archival Assistants. Our first week at the museum was to familiarize ourselves with the exhibits and start cleaning. This summer I will be doing research and working on the Instagram page for the Museum. I look forward to learning more about the incredible history of our town.

They will be part of amazing projects this summer!

Message from your Curator

Dear Friends

This past month, COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in so many ways, it is overwhelming to even list them, even as we live them each and every day. We’ve discovered and continue to discover that there are no easy answers or quick fixes. Social distancing is the big message that we must listen to, our lives and the lives of our loved ones,  depend upon it.

In accordance with all directives, our Museum will remain closed, events and activities postponed – not cancelled, as we are hopeful that, at some point, we will be able to gather, as a community.

Last season was my first with Mattawa Museum as your new Curator.  I arrived in Mattawa for my first day of work, May 15th, smack dab in the middle of the flooding!  I had a professor who told me at graduation, as I was about to embark on this new position, to ‘get my feet wet’ a little at a time! While she was speaking figuratively, turned out, I had to do exactly that! But the community support that I witnessed was so uplifting!  Everyone pulled together and together we were #MattawaStrong.

And now, not even a year later, we find ourselves in a crisis that is unspeakably evil. We do not know when it will end.  And so, again, we look to each other for support, for reassurance, for relief, but most of all for hope.  And this while we stay home and applaud our front-line workers for their incredible devotion and bravery. 

While the museum can’t be ‘open for business’ the way we would like it to be and I can’t launch some of the wonderful programs that were planned, I feel it is important to still be engaged and create some community projects that will, eventually, be a part of the new Community Corner inside the Museum.  This will be a physical place that celebrates our Mattawa Community. 

We are creating our own history right now. Preserving that for our future generations is really what a museum is all about; letting others know who we are as a people and as a community. I invite you to contribute as we come together #stayhome #staystrong #MattawaStrong

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