Robin Young and Barrie Wood of Heritage Cramahe, at the doorway to the Heritage Room, where they will be overseeing regular future exhibits in the Colborne Art Gallery.

Heritage Cramahe Returns to The Colborne Art Gallery With
“Northumberland Went to War”

October 13 to December 11
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 13, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

As of Thursday, October 13, history will once again occupy the Heritage Room in The Colborne Art Gallery. Back in 1997, when the former Land Registry Office at the corner of King and Victory Streets closed its doors, the c. 1860 heritage building was deeded to Colborne by the provincial government, with the proviso that its new purpose be of benefit to the community. The town’s council was left scrambling to find a use for the building, especially as it created a sudden liability for taxpayers.

Artist Wilhelmina Kennedy, then of Castleton, had the notion of turning it into an art gallery to showcase the work of local artists, and also a historical centre or archives where artifacts could be displayed. When Council approved, The Colborne Society of Artists was formed, agreeing to provide staffing for and cover the utility costs of the building. And even though membership is in a constant state of ebb and flow, this cooperative group of artists continues to operate The Colborne Art Gallery today. For nineteen years, gallery members have been filling the space with thoughtful exhibits and sharing the responsibility of administration, staffing and utility costs. For a variety of reasons, though, the participation of the Historical Society (originally a Local Architectural Conservancy Advisory Committee) eventually petered out.

However, there still remains a room with a sign on the door that reads “Heritage Room Gallery”, and recently the member artists of the Colborne Art Gallery invited the current ‘historical society’ – actually the Heritage Cramahe Committee of Council, interim-chaired by Robin Young – to return this room to its original use. The Heritage Committee has agreed, and is planning to mount four exhibits per year, with committee member Barrie Wood acting as de facto curator. These rotating exhibits will pertain to the history – the people, the buildings, the events – that built the Township of Cramahe. They will be available for view at any time during the gallery’s open hours: Thursday to Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00, March through December.

Heritage Cramahe will re-open with Northumberland Went to War, on October 13 and run until December 11. Part of a project spearheaded by The Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cramahe’s exhibit will be one of seven satellites spread across the county, and will focus specifically on Cramahe Township’s response to the First World War. The larger, county-wide exhibit opens at the AGN on November 3.

The members of The Colborne Art Gallery are delighted to welcome the return of history to the Heritage Room Gallery, just in time for their twentieth anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday next year. You are cordially invited to attend the opening reception of Northumberland Went to War at the Colborne Art Gallery, marking the return of history to the gallery and hosted by Heritage Cramahe, on Thursday, October 13 at 7 p.m.

~ article submitted by Lorelyn Morgan

See Also: Heritage Room to open at Colborne Art Gallery