The Ashcroft Museum is once again open for the season, and while the museum fun days are not taking place this summer, there are plenty of activities lined up designed to appeal to people of all ages, including an opportunity to record your memories of Ashcroft and have them feature as part of a virtual display.
First up is a Plein Air painting session from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, July 22, which will feature a guided, 30-minute walking tour of downtown Ashcroft, with a focus on historic buildings and areas. Once people are back at the museum, participants will be provided with a 7” by 9” white canvas, paints, and paintbrushes so that they can create their own painting.
Curator Kathy Paulos says that anyone interested needs to pre-order their canvas (by July 16) so that they know how many to order. “People can create their painting on July 22 at the museum, or they can take the canvas home and complete it there with their own supplies. We’d like to feature the paintings in a little art show at the museum that will be there all summer. We hope people will find something to paint during the tour, and that they’ll be inspired to paint an old building or do a landscape.”
Participants will be able to take their paintings home once the display has finished, and you do not have to take part in the walking tour: simply pre-order your canvas and create your own masterpiece using whatever subject you want. No prior painting experience is necessary, and the event is open to people of all ages, although children under 12 must have a parent or guardian with them. Anyone who would like their work featured in the display must return their completed canvas to the museum by July 29.
During the week of Aug. 3, the museum is hoping to feature a video of stories and recollections from past and present residents of Ashcroft and the surrounding area. “Anyone with stories about Ashcroft is encouraged to record them, either by video or audio,” says Paulos. “They can do the recordings themselves, or they can contact the museum and we’ll come by and film or record them.
“We’re looking for memories of growing up or being in Ashcroft, and you don’t have to be an oldtimer or a longtime resident. It could even be someone who just drove through and had an experience here.”
Recordings (either film or audio) should be no longer than 30 seconds, and must be submitted by July 29. Possible subjects include your favourite memory or story of Ashcroft or the surrounding area; what you like most about our local history; why you chose to live in the area; or anything that pertains to Ashcroft, the surrounding area, or local history.
There will be a flowerpot and rock painting session on Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will be provided with a small flowerpot and/or a rock (or you can bring your own rock(s) from home), as well as paints and brushes, in order to decorate your own colourful creations.
“We’ll be doing this outside at the museum, and observing all physical distancing rules,” says Paulos. You can take your creations home with you when you’re finished, but she adds that anyone who wants to leave their painted rocks behind, to decorate the museum’s flowerbeds, is welcome to do so.
Anyone interested in painting a flowerpot is asked to contact the museum by Aug. 5 to reserve a pot. This event is also open to people of all ages. There is no charge for any of the events or for the painting supplies, but donations are greatly appreciated, to help offset costs.
The museum is open every weekday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and visitors, including family groups, are welcome. People are asked to wear masks, which are available at the museum if required.
Paulos says that new features at the museum this year include a collection showing dolls through the years, and a display of gas masks made by students of Division 4 at Cache Creek Elementary School. That display also features letters the students wrote in reply to a letter that Ashcroft soldier Chris Bose wrote home during World War I.