The HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM) has been selected by the artist Bev Tosh to be part of her international exhibit War Brides: One Way Passage, which will open to the public at HAMM on June 15 and run through Sept. 15.
Tosh has created a series of portraits of war brides and their stories, of which 30 have been carefully selected to be shown here on the West Coast in honour of the 70th anniversary of Canada’s war brides. Part of this exhibit has recently opened at Canada House in London, UK to honour the departure of the British women to Canada 70 years ago.
Over the years, War Brides has been shown in the UK, New Zealand, many locations in Canada and the Netherlands. As a special part of this prestigious exhibit in Comox, there will be three new war bride portraits never before shown in public.
HAMM will also be showing a collection of local residents’ memorabilia of their own war bride stories, wedding dresses, ticket stubs, photos, scrap books and good luck charms as a tribute to the families of war brides who have ended up in the Comox Valley.
Berwick Comox Valley, sponsor for War Brides: One Way Passage will host, An Evening with Bev Tosh, at Berwick at 6 p.m. June 13.
Tosh will tell her own story of her mother – a war bride – and her inspiration for creating her passion for interviewing and painting war brides from around the globe.
Free tickets are available at Berwick in advance, though seating is limited. This will be a fundraiser for the museum.
After the presentation, guests will be led to the museum next door at the Comox Centre Mall for a free sneak preview of the exhibit, led by Tosh and HAMM founder, Lewis Bartholomew. Reservations for this event can be made by calling either Berwick or HAMM.
Tuesday, June 14, HAMM will host another sneak preview night with Tosh and members of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members can register with the chamber at 250-334-3234.
Wednesday, June 15, the exhibit opens to the public with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. at HAMM in the Comox Centre Mall.
First day admission is free so everyone can meet Tosh and see the exhibit while she is still in the Comox Valley.
Admission for the rest of the exhibit period is $8 adults, $7 seniors (65+) and $5 youth (12-18). Children under 12 free. Pre-arranged groups of 10 or more will be $5 each. There is no charge for any war bride.
Tickets are available at the museum or at Blue Heron Books in Comox. A red carnation will be given to the first 100 women/girls who visit War Brides: One Way Passage at the museum. Hours of War Brides will be the same as the museum’s regular hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed on Canada Day, open on Nautical Day. Check with the museum during the summer for special evening openings.
For more information on this exhibit, call Lewis at the museum at 250-339-4322 or visit: www.alberniproject.org or www.warbrides.com