WINNIPEG, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Irena Szpak, Hyman Yanofsky and Adam
Leclerc's lives are all open books, literally. Irena, Hyman and Adam
have joined nineteen other people from the Ottawa region to volunteer
as 'living books', sharing with the public their personal stories as
they relate to conflict.
At age 14, Irena trained with the Polish Resistance and was later taken
by cattle train to a work camp in Germany. She survived to have a
family and emigrate to Canada; Hyman joined the Canadian army to fight
Hitler by intercepting messages from the enemy as he travelled through
Europe; and Reservist Adam Leclerc spent seven months with the POMLT
(Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team) training Afghan police
to deal with security issues.
The Canadian War Museum, in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library
and CBC, brought the Human Library program to Ottawa. The Museum featured one-on-one conversations with
individuals who have fascinating personal life experiences and stories.
For their innovative and inspirational project that redefined the
meaning of the term "living history", the Canadian War Museum for "Human Library" is the recipient of the 2012
Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History
Alive! presented by the Canadian Museums Association.
"We are extremely honoured to be the recipients of this prestigious
award," said Mark O'Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of
Civilization Corporation which operates the Canadian War Museum. "The
Human Library concept was a dynamic and engaging way to help our
visitors understand the personal stories that have shaped and continue
to shape Canada's military history."
Two projects received the Museum Association's honourable mention, they
Le Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec for Les arts en Nouvelle-France. This exhibition proposes a rereading
of art in New France - from the founding of Quebec City to the taking
of the capital by the British in 1759 - in order to evaluate its impact
on later artistic development and on the evolution of the concept of
cultural heritage. Every form of art is represented - painting,
sculpture, prints, drawings, fancy metal ware, furniture, textiles and
decorative arts - in order to represent the civil and religious
spheres. This project has been made possible by an association between
the Musée and a vast research project on the topic led by professor
Laurier Lacroix of the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Le Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines for Défi Asbestos Hill : première mine du Nunavik. This exhibition
looks at the experience of miners who worked in Northern Quebec between
1970 and 1984. The Museum invites visitors to explore their encounter
with the land and its people through testimonials, anecdotes,
photographs, everyday objects, tools, minerals or naturalized
specimens. The public can also admire the beautiful sculptures and
other Inuit objects from national or private collections, showing
contact between miners and Nunavimmiuts (Inuit from Nunavik).
On December 10, 2012, His Excellency the Right Honourable David
Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will honour the Canadian War
Museum for their achievements and contributions to furthering interest
in and understanding of our history and heritage. Representatives from
Le Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and Le Musée minéralogique
et minier do Thetford Mines will also travel to Ottawa to take part in
the events around the Governor General's History Awards.
"The Canadian War Museum has created a unique and memorable experience
with its Human Library program, truly bringing our country's history to
life," said John G. McAvity, Executive Director of the Canadian Museums
Association. "We are honoured to present them with this year's History
Alive! Award, and to recognize the exceptional work of the Musée
national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Musée minéralogique et minier
de Thetford Mines. All three projects demonstrate the important
contributions of museums to a better understanding of our history, our
culture and our society."
Announcements continue throughout the coming week and profiles of all
the recipients, will be available at www.CanadasHistory.ca/GGAwards.
The Governor General's History Awards bring together museums and
community organizations, students, teachers, historians, writers and
media producers to celebrate as well as learn from each other. The day
prior to the award ceremonies, recipients will participate in a public
history forum at the Canadian War Museum. This year's forum, "How
Should the Great War Be Remembered?" is open to the public to attend
onsite or online by registering at www.CanadasHistory.ca/HistoryForum.
About Canada's History Society
Canada's History Society is a Winnipeg-based charitable organization
devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to publishing Canada's History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces a number of awards and programs to encourage
more discovery, celebrations and understanding about our rich history
and culture. More details can be found at www.CanadasHistory.ca.
About the Canadian Museums Association
The Canadian Museums Association is the national organization for the
advancement of Canada's museum community. The CMA works for the
recognition, growth and stability of museums and galleries. Canada's
2,500 museums and related institutions preserve our collective memory,
shape our national identity and promote tolerance and understanding.
Learn more at www.museums.ca
About Ecclesiastical Insurance
Ecclesiastical Insurance is the insurer of choice for Canada's places of
worship, retirement communities, education facilities, registered
charities, non-profit organizations and associations, arts and culture
organizations, and heritage properties. The company was established in
the United Kingdom in 1887. Ecclesiastical is owned by a charitable
trust and is committed to serving the needs of its customers, broker
partners and the larger community.
SOURCE: Canada's History
For further information:
Or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Maverick Media Solutions
Canada's History Society
Office: 204-988-9300 ext. 222
Canadian War Museum