Souris Valley Museum has its first temporary display

The Souris Valley Museum has introduced a temporary exhibit area, and the first exhibit looks at hats from the past.

“The Hats from the Past was an exhibit that we came up with when we were cleaning out our collection space here at the museum, and we noticed we have a lot of hats,” said Mark Veneziano, the curator-director at the museum.

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“And each hat has a different story to Estevan and to Canada, and so we figured that would be a great way to have our first (temporary) display.”

Once the museum decided which hats were in the best condition, they put the hats on display that reflected the history of Estevan and surrounding area.

Nine hats are part of the exhibit. They range from the Canadian fur trade to the Second World War. Among the other highlights are a police hat, a fire helmet, two coal mining hats, a men’s and women’s fashion hat and a boy scout hat.

“It goes throughout the different areas of Estevan, and back to the Canadian fur trade, when there was a fort here,” said Veneziano.

The military hat was worn by Donald Sillers, who served his country with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

Sillers was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service overseas, and upon returning to Canada after the war, he enrolled at the University of Toronto and became an ophthalmologist.

Some people have come to the museum already specifically to see the display, and others who have dropped by have taken the time to look through the array of hats.

“We’ve had excellent feedback. I think a lot of people really do like the fact that there’s something new at the museum, and something different for visitors to come look at,” said Veneziano.

The museum decided to introduce the temporary displays after gaining some space in the display area after Estevan’s oldest fire truck was moved to the fire hall. They thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase their collection, and different aspects of Estevan’s history.

“We’re going to continuously look at utilizing the space to do new displays in the future,” said Veneziano.

Hats of the Past has been on display since October, and will likely remain until February or March. Veneziano would like to shorter time frames for future exhibitions.

The next display will likely involve some of the photos the museum has in its permanent collection.

“We’re going to be looking at featuring a lot of old photos of Estevan and the surrounding areas,” said Veneziano.

© Copyright 2018 Estevan Mercury

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