Travels of the “Canada’s 150 Chair”

News Article / June 29, 2017

To see more images, click on the photograph under “Image Gallery”.

By Corporal Karen Neate

It’s been 150 years since Confederation in Canada and folks across the country have been moved to celebrate and share their love of our country in individual ways.

The Kings County Museum in Kentville, Nova Scotia, may have developed one of the most unusual approaches to commemorating our national birthday.

Bria Stokesbury, curator of the museum, rescued an old chair from the piles of unwanted household debris left by the side of the road during the 2016 spring clean-up in the community of Gaspereau, Nova Scotia. She passed it along to museum volunteer Bill Naylor who, in turn asked his friend, craftsman Bill Zinck to restore it. It had likely been made by local craftsman around the time of confederation.

Now, what to do with a sturdy little confederation chair?

Ms. Stokesbury saw an opportunity to make the chair an active part of Canada 150 programming for the museum. She contacted local artist Victoria Marston, asking her to give the chair a new look to match its historical Canadian roots. Ms. Marston’s artful eye and practiced hands transformed the chair into a contemporary piece of art, now the central focus for a photo journal project, the “Canada’s 150 Chair”.

Corporal Neil Clarkson, Leading Seaman Cass Moon and I – all of us from 14 Wing’s imagery section – got involved with the project when the wing imaging manager, Warrant Officer Alan Brace, brought the chair into the shop at 14 Air Maintenance Squadron. Each of us took a separate and individual approach as we took on ways to showcase the chair at 14 Wing and in the local area. Corporal Clarkson took the chair to his beautiful hometown, Lunenburg, creating a beautiful and distinctly Nova Scotian montage.

We all enjoyed the experience. The Kings County Museum reached out to the public to participate too, inviting Nova Scotians to photograph the chair in locations holding significance to them and forward the images to the museum. You can see selected Canada’s 150 Chair photos on the project’s website.

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