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Plans underway to celebrate Heritage Week in the County

Community groups and volunteers will join a province-wide celebration of heritage in February, with a lively week of activities designed to chase away the winter blahs.

The Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee, the Prince Edward Historical Society, The County Museums, the Prince Edward County Library and Archives, the Friends of Sandbanks, History Lives Here and the Regent Theatre have teamed up to organize Flashback February during Ontario Heritage Week Feb. 19-25.

The inaugural Flashback February will include hands-on learning opportunities, live demonstrations, talks, culinary offerings, film screenings and stories – all exploring the relationships of past, present, and future in Prince Edward County. Talented chefs, experts, curators, artists, and innovators will be on hand to spark conversation, lead activities, and dig into our rich history.

“We often think of heritage in terms of conservation, but it is just as important that we take the time to recognize and celebrate our many cultural, natural, architectural, and archaeological resources that we strive to protect,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. “Heritage might be our past, but it still informs who we are today. I look forward to a fun and active exploration of that history throughout Flashback February.”

Jennifer Lyons, head curator for the County’s museums, says Prince Edward County is a crossroads of history.

“This area has been an epi-centre of the development of Eastern Ontario and Canada’s 150 years of social, economic, and cultural achievements. That history is all around us in street names, historic properties, and the cultural landscapes that make this a special place. We hope to create some history ourselves by making this an annual celebration of who we are.”

Flashback February kicks off with a launch event on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 2-5 pm at Parsons Brewing Company in Picton, one of a number of local companies pioneering the development of the craft brewing industry in the area.

Sunday night features a County-themed Trivia Night hosted by the Museums at the Wellington Legion.

On Monday, Feb. 19 starting at noon, the Friends of Sandbanks Park will host Family Day outdoor activities at Maple Rest Heritage House at West Lake. As an indoor option that day, Suzanne Pasternak presents County History, Legends & Music, an event for kids and grownups. Also on Family Day, the Friends of the Wellington Heritage Museum will host a pancake breakfast at the Wellington and District Community Centre.

Two afternoon lectures at Macaulay Heritage Park anchor the mid-week events – one by Peter May of Research Casting International in Trenton, one of three companies in the world making replica dinosaurs for world museums. The second lecture highlights the work of artist Gesina Laird-Buchanan of Napanee who creates life-size models of iconic historical figures like Mohawk leader Molly Brant and artist Tom Thomson, from wool.

The museums and the libraries will also team up for a series of demonstrations replicating historical objects through 3-D printing processes, with sessions for children and general audiences.

A mini Film Fest will be held at the Regent Theatre on Friday, Feb. 23 presenting films on County history.

Heritage–inspired dinners, prepared by local chefs Lee Arden Lewis and Michael Hoy, will be held in the evening on Thursday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 24.

During the day on Saturday, Feb. 24, expert Moe Johnson will offer a presentation about the pottery of early Ontario, including the Hart-Lazier earthenware that was unique to the Bay of Quinte area.

The week-long celebration concludes Sunday, Feb. 25 with an all-day Victorian culinary workshop at Macaulay House in Picton, where a multi-course period dinner will be prepared.

For more information visit the County’s website; the Regent Theatre website;  and the Prince Edward County Public Library website

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