Galt 240: Exploring colonist John Galt and the founding of Guelph in a new light

GUELPH, July 24, 2019: 2019 marks the 240th birthday of John Galt, colonist and founder of Guelph. To commemorate the occasion, Guelph Museums is offering a series of events during the Civic Holiday weekend that reimagine our city today and in the future.

“The traditional founding story of Guelph focused solely on John Galt’s arrival here, and excluded the Indigenous people who lived here thousands of years before Galt landed in the area,” says museum manager Tammy Adkin. “As we work towards understanding the truth and reconciling with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in our community, we are taking this opportunity to expand the narrative about Guelph’s history so that it includes the Original Peoples who lived on and cared for this land before settlers arrived.”

John Galt and the Instant City
Performances: Friday, August 2, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Tickets in advance at | $20 + HST
A new musical by acclaimed Canadian musicians Mike Ford and Murray Foster that explores John Galt and the founding of Guelph in a new light.

Art As Activism: Truth, Survivance, and Resilience
August 2 to December 1
Reception: Friday, August 2, 6 p.m.
A juried art exhibition about our collective journey towards decolonization, through art works that reflect personal experiences and challenge the conventions of institutional space.

John Galt Day Concert
Saturday, August 3, 8 p.m.
Free tickets in advance.
Outdoor concert featuring Celtic-folk-traditional group Rant Maggie Rant and Billboard and MTV-recognized Canadian Mohawk singer-songwriter Shawnee.
All ages, licensed event. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Community Tea
Sunday, August 4, 2 p.m.
Tickets in advance | $20 + HST
A special tea served along with learnings about our roles and responsibilities to be good stewards of the earth, through our connection to food and the world around us. Cold cedar tea with cinnamon and lemon, wild rice, mini Indian tacos, salmon crostini, corn soup, and strawberry short cake will be served. Karonhyakatste will explain the significance of each item.

Guelph Civic Museum is located at 52 Norfolk Street.

Galt 240 activities are funded in part by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and the Musagetes Fund, a grant from the Guelph Community Foundation.

In addition to the events at the Civic Museum, the City of Guelph is offering an afternoon of family fun at Market Square.

John Galt Day Family Activities
Saturday, August 3, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Gather in front of City Hall for games, crafts, live entertainment and more.


Sarah Ball | Community Relations Coordinator, Guelph Museums
Public Services – Culture, Tourism and Community Investment | City of Guelph
T 519-836-1221 x 3392
E [email protected]