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KAM and COVID-19 Statement

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Explorers

Explorers

We have 35+ art galleries, museums and historic sites for you to visit! Check them out here.

Welcome to the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries & Historic Sites!

We are a not-for-profit professional network and collaborative resource hub supporting the Kingston region's cultural heritage sector. 

The Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites, otherwise known as KAM, first emerged 40 years ago as a community-initiated, professional support network to promote public awareness and increase engagement across Kingston’s cultural heritage sites through collective promotional and programming initiatives. KAM is also engaged in supporting its membership through the dissemination of information, sector best practices, and professional development opportunities.

Our members range from federally owned sites with professional staff, to sites which are member-owned and volunteer operated. Some operate seasonally; others are open year round.  Many have specialist collections that tell the stories and histories of our communities from local, regional and national perspectives. From its inception, KAM was driven by the ideal that by working collaboratively, despite differences in size, mandates and resources, cultural heritage sites and organizations could quite simply; do better together, improving practice and strengthening their connections within and across communities.

2020 marks our 40th anniversary and we have much to celebrate. As the professional network and resource hub within Kingston’s cultural heritage landscape, KAM is committed to facilitating a resilient, innovative and responsive cultural heritage sector within the Kingston and area community.

 

We recognize that our work, and the work of our members, takes place on Indigenous territories across Eastern Ontario.

As a city slicker, I can’t carry on much of a conversation about farming, but after a recent visit to the South Frontenac Museum, I now know what a farmerette is. I’ve also learned something about educational toys, wartime nurses and Sunday dinners. These seemingly diverse topics all make sense once you know that the museum has chosen this year’s...

As a city slicker, I can’t carry on much of a conversation about farming, but after a recent visit to the South Frontenac Museum, I now know what a farmerette is. I’ve also learned something about educational toys, wartime nurses and Sunday dinners. These seemingly diverse topics all make sense once you know that the museum has chosen this year’s exhibits around the theme of local life during World War I. The unusual term farmerette dates to World War I. With farm hands serving abroad in the war, rural areas faced a shortage of people to milk the cows, feed the chickens, harvest the produce and do any number of other chores. The government started a program to address the problem by encouraging women to sign up as farm workers and assigning them to farms that had requested help. These farmerettes usually had no experience in farming. This is where it gets interesting. Credit: South Frontenac Museum Not everyone was sure that young women from cities should be doing farm labour or would be able to handle it. At the South Frontenac Museum, I read that fathers occasionally stormed into government offices trying to “find out what their crazy daughters were doing”. In the same Belleville newspaper, there was a quote from a new farmerette working in Frontenac Country. “I am actually becoming a good milker—not that I have milked more than three cows as yet, but I am quicker than I was.” I encourage you to visit the museum and look for the third interesting comment about the farmerettes. As you walk in the museum, you’ll notice how bright and inviting it is. It is at first surprising that a stone building constructed in 1903 would have so many large windows given that windows were very costly at the time. I soon learned that it was built as a schoolhouse and was designed to let in lots of natural light. The light would have helped the students focus on their lessons, which was critical since they didn’t have the educational toys we have today. The theory of education at the time was that work and play were two separate activities: schoolwork in the schoolhouse and playtime in the schoolyard. The volunteer committee that overseas the museum has ensured that the property is well maintained and restored to exacting standards. When the old windows had to be replaced, they engaged David White, a local graduate of Algonquin College’s Heritage Program who could replicate the millwork exactly and was able to source old pieces of glass to ensure authenticity. Credit: South Frontenac Museum Pride in the museum also stems from a deep-rooted respect for the local men and women who served in previous wars. This summer the museum has an exhibit on the World War I Expeditionary Force that drew recruits from the three local counties: Lennox, Frontenac, and Addington. In all, 1041 young men joined the 146th Battalion, trained in their local communities, went on to 43 days of training in Barriefield near Kingston and concluded with 82 days of training in Valcartier. From there, a train took these patriotic young men to Halifax where they paraded through the streets before boarding a ship to Liverpool and onward to the battlefields of France and Belgium. Credit: Helen Cutts The nurses of World War I are also featured. The museum’s curator showed me a leather belt that belonged to a local nurse who had served overseas. As she cared for each soldier, she got into the habit of asking each one if he would give her his battalion badge as a way of remembering him. She attached the badges to her belt and it’s now in the display case at the centre of the World War I exhibit.  Credit: Helen Cutts The domestic world during the war is brought to life with a small display of a dining room: the table set with the family’s best china for Sunday dinner. On the accompanying sideboard, a helpful sign tells us what would have been different about this dinner compared to one in the pre-war years. The family would have eaten game more often and would have relied more on preserves. There was an effort during the war to make sure that a good portion of Canada’s meat and other produce was available for the soldiers. In another part of the museum, I had seen an interesting government promotional poster encouraging families to eat locally caught fish, leaving more meat for the soldiers. Credit: Helen Cutts The South Frontenac Museum, opened in 2015, is fortunate that the township has been extremely supportive. With the huge number of donated artifacts from the local community, it quickly became clear that additional storage space was needed so that the items could be rotated each year according to themes. South Frontenac Township found the space and now we can benefit from an attractive and well-curated museum. If you’d like to see what’s on display this year, come out on any Saturday or Sunday from 10am to 2pm or on a Wednesday from 1pm to 4pm. The museum is open these hours until Labour Day weekend; after that, it is open by appointment or for special events. You’ll find it on Highway 38, less than a 20-minute drive north of the 401. Credit for cover photo: South Frontenac Museum Helen Cutts, KAM Visitor in Residence, Writer

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30-5 today come visit the Love Kingston Marketplace and the Pumphouse!...

From 9:30-5 today come visit the Love Kingston Marketplace and the Pumphouse!

As we await the days our sites can fully open again, we're excited to have this opportunity to share a bit of museum magic with Kingston.

Make sure you tag us in your photos with #KingstonMuseums
#VisitLocal @VisitKingstonCA
This week, why not take a step back into the past?...

This week, why not take a step back into the past?

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard of historic Fort Henry, but have you taken the time to experience all it has to offer?
Once you’re inside the gates you’re transported to 19th-century military life.

Experience the Fort Henry Guard, meet with the civilians of the fort, experience one of the many ceremonies and events, and more. Fort Henry is a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and a fantastic way to learn Kingston and Canada’s history by being thrown into it.

After Fort Henry, why not take the drive to Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg and continue your journey into the past. Experience the authentic buildings of the village and learn from the costumed interpreters who live and work there.

The village has everything from authentic farming, social life, music, work, schooling, and more from life in the 1860s. By the end of this time-travelling adventure, we’re sure you’ll have a new appreciation for generations of the past, but still grateful for the ways of living today.

Tag someone you’d love to time travel to the past with! #KingstonMuseums #VisitLocal
30-5 today come visit the Love Kingston Marketplace and the RMC Museum!...

From 9:30-5 today come visit the Love Kingston Marketplace and the RMC Museum!

As we await the days our sites can fully open again, we're excited to have this opportunity to share a bit of museum magic with Kingston.

Make sure you tag us in your photos with #KingstonMuseums
#VisitLocal
  • Kingston
  • The Great Waterway
  • KEDCO
  • Tourism Kingston
  • Ontario Heritage Trust