ABOYNE – An upcoming exhibit at the Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) highlighting the ongoing history of a small Pride group is part of a shift in direction for the museum to bring more diverse voices and stories to its collection.
Our Small Town PRIDE: A Celebration of 2SLGBTQI+ Stories and History will be on display starting Saturday at the WCMA.
The exhibit is a collaboration with Minto Pride to tell the relatively new history of the committee alongside the history of Pride more generally.
“It tells the story of just regular everyday residents of Wellington County, and especially the lives of rural people of Wellington County are so worth telling,” said Rosie Krul, Minto Pride committee spokesperson.
There’s also a small bio of each committee member and what Pride means to them and an interactive portion where visitors can add their thoughts or story to the Revelation Rainbow which a news release describes as a “colourful, empowering, sometimes sad and often humorous collection of anecdotes.”
Assistant curator Amy Dunlop said in a phone call this exhibit isn’t something the museum has done before and is part of the work she’s doing to build the archives.
“I’ve been expanding it to work with organizations as well in order to bring more diversity, inclusion, for different voices into the process of display and exhibiting material,” Dunlop said.
“This project has been really exciting for me, it’s not just working with a community group like Minto Pride, it’s also talking about issues of inclusion and bringing it into the archives collection.”
With Minto Pride starting in 2019, Krul said the committee was initially unsure if there would be enough material for an exhibit when approached by Dunlop.
The group however was able to pull together enough material from the formation of the group, pictures from pride events, local drag shows and hikes, plus physical items like t-shirts, yard signs and buttons to help tell the story of the group.
“It’s relatively recent history now but if we have a kind of archive at this stage then our story will be easier to tell in the future,” Krul said.
Dunlop sees this exhibit and the work leading up to it as being a part of the county’s strategic plan to support the community and community members.
“It is part of our strategy in community building and relationships and expanding our collection here in the museum and archives, and this supports that,” Dunlop said.
The exhibit will be on display starting Saturday, May 27, and past Pride month to Feb. 4, 2024.