LGBTQ Museum Exhibit in Moose Jaw a First for Province
Above: Jennifer McRorie, Curator of the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, stands with the new Hidden Histories exhibit.
This Friday, the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery (MJM&AG) will be launching “Hidden Histories: Gender & Sexual Diversity in the Friendly City,” a new exhibit for the museum and the first of its kind in all of Saskatchewan.
The display includes the first rainbow flag flown above City Hall in 2008, photos from Moose Jaw’s first gay and lesbian protest in 1978 and a timeline of significant dates and events in Moose Jaw’s history of gender & sexual diversity.
Joe Wickenhauser, guest research for the exhibit and Chair of Moose Jaw Pride’s board of directors, said it was important for the LGBTQ community to be included in the history of the city: “Gender & sexual diversity has been part of Moose Jaw since before its founding and it is really exciting to see that finally being recognized and even celebrated.”
Jennifer McRorie, curator of the MJM&AG, said she was surprised to learn that their museum would be the first in the province to feature material on gender and sexual diversity in their permanent collection: “The museum aims to include many different stories and narratives that reflect the history of our community. It’s within our mandate to recognize diversity. It just makes sense.”
According to Wickenhauser, the idea for the display grew out of interest in a historical tract he had made for Moose Jaw Pride Week in 2013 and a historical presentation he made at the MJM&AG for Pride Week in 2014. Wickenhauser expressed his gratitude to Heather Smith, past Curator of the MJM&AG, for her progressive thinking and for setting aside funding for him to research the exhibit.
McRorie said it has been very rewarding for the MJM&AG to partner with Moose Jaw Pride on the exhibit launch and encouraged museum staff across the province to be as inclusive and diverse as possible in their collections.
The Hidden Histories exhibit launch features a wine and cheese reception with speeches from Wickenhauser, Dale Hall, President of the Gay & Lesbian Association of Moose Jaw, and Rodney Cirrol Clark, a Vancouver-based artist who grew up in Moose Jaw and took part in the friendly city’s first gay and lesbian protest in 1978.
The Hidden Histories Wine & Cheese Reception takes place on Friday, September 4 from 3 pm – 5 pm in the Heritage Gallery at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, 461 Langdon Crescent. It is a free, wheelchair accessible, all-ages event that is open to the general public.
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