Two Comox Valley community projects have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.
Both the Cumberland and District Historical Society and the Kumugwe Cultural Society have been recognized for their respective projects: the 100th Anniversary of the Death of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin and Potlatch 67-67: The Potlatch Ban – Then and Now.
The organizations shortlisted represent remarkable and inspiring initiatives that encourage public engagement in Canadian history, according to Canada’s History.
The award will honour two recipients, one French and one English, for innovation in community programming. Organizations receive a cash prize of $2,500 and a trip for two to Ottawa to receive their award.
Robin Folvik, one of the co-ordinators of the Goodwin project at the Cumberland Museum and Archives said she and her team at the museum were surprised when they heard they were shortlisted.
“When we looked at the list of finalists, we were very impressed. It’s very exciting and an honour to be there with the Kumugwe Cultural Society. It’s inspiring for a new project – especially involving Ginger – to make it past the first round. It’s quite interesting to included on a list, especially as someone who was a socialist and involved in the labour movement. It’s not something that’s frequently seen on a national level.”
The museum’s project focused on the labour activist who was killed in Cumberland in 1918. The Cumberland and District Historical Society co-ordinated a series of events and commemorations to remember Goodwin and his contributions to workers’ rights on the 100th anniversary of his death, including workshops, performances, an exhibit and a reenactment which involved the Cumberland community walking down Dunsmuir Avenue.
Folvik explained the project “really got people into Cumberland’s past, present and future.”
The Kumugwe Cultural Society’s Potlatch 67-67 project marked 67 years since the Potlatch Ban was lifted. The program consisted of a series of blanket exercises, articles, film content, ceremonies and an accompanying exhibition to discuss the resiliency and growth of cultural practices.
“We are pretty excited,” explained 67-67 co-ordinator Lee Everson. “This organization and community needs to be recognized. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the community.”
Everson said the finalist status allows the group to be cast upon a national stage, as well as encourage people to have conversations and to encourage people to do research and educate themselves. She added it is an honour to be recognized alongside the Cumberland Museum and Archives and all other nominees.
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