Educational Programs

Consider Guelph Civic Museum and McCrae House your community classroom, where history comes to life in inspiring and enriching ways. For school groups, our programs are designed to support the learning objectives of the Ontario curriculum at each level, and have been updated to align with inquiry-based learning practices. For community groups, our programs provide unique, engaging life-long learning opportunities.

To book your program

Send a request to [email protected] or call 519-836-1221 ext. 3552, indicating the grade level and number of students anticipated in your group.

We are here to support educators as best we can. To discuss ideas and requests, contact [email protected]a or 519-836-1221 ext. 2774

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Self-Guided Museum Tours

We welcome your group at McCrae House and the Civic Museum for self-guided experiences. We provide an orientation at the start of your visit, and materials and suggested activities to make the most of your time at the museum.

McCrae House is the birthplace of Lt. Col. John McCrae, doctor, soldier and writer of In Flanders Fields. Exhibitions at this site focus on McCrae’s life in Guelph, his artistic pursuits, his medical and military service, and the impact of his legacy. The museum provides space for reflection and contemplation, inside and in the outdoor gardens.

The Civic Museum showcases Guelph’s history through permanent and featured exhibitions, including interactive installations in the Families Gallery, the City Gallery, and the Where the Rivers Meet display.

Feature exhibitions at the Civic Museum include:

  • Moving Histories, Neighbourhood Mysteries (March 12 to September 4)
  • Witnessing War (April 30 to December 4)
  • Iron Willed: Women in STEM (September 17 to February 20, 2023)
  • Witchcraft (December 17, 2022 to September 10, 2023)

Location:

Guelph Civic Museum and/or McCrae House

Fee:

$6 per person; teachers and chaperones admitted free


History in the Making 

An exploration of how history is uncovered, shaped, and told. 

This program introduces students to the process of researching and telling stories from history. Students will explore Guelph Museums’ feature exhibitions, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museums’ collections, and use primary sources to learn about the lives of a diverse array of preteens who lived in Guelph between the years 1827 and 1914.

Throughout the program, museum educators will guide students in an interrogation of the subjectivity and bias that have traditionally affected the telling of historical stories. The program will culminate with an activity in which students will create simple exhibitions telling their own stories in their own voices.

For Grades 7 & 8. 120 minutes.

Curriculum Links 

  • Canada, 1800-1850: Conflict and Challenges 
  • Creating Canada, 1850-1890 
  • Canada, 1890-1914: A Changing Society
  • Media Literacy 

Location:

Guelph Civic Museum

Fee:

$6 per person; teachers and chaperones admitted free


John Galt and the Instant City

Mike Ford & Murray Foster

A video-streamed history musical exploring the founding of Guelph in a new light.

Guelph’s founding story traditionally centred on John Galt’s arrival in Canada in 1827 to build a Scottish settlement. The story celebrated the building of a vibrant colony. It did not convey the destructive impact of colonization on Indigenous Peoples who lived on this land from time immemorial.

John Galt and the Instant City reconsiders the founding story of Guelph, sparking critical thinking about our past, illuminating truth, and inspiring action towards reconciliation.

Recommended for Grades 7 to 12. 60 minutes.

Curriculum Links

  • Canada, 1800-1850: Conflict and Challenge
  • Canada, 1982-Present
  • Origins and Citizenship: The History of a Canadian Ethnic Group
  • Canada: History, Identity and Cultures

Funded in part by Musagetes Fund, a grant from the Guelph Community Foundation and Government of Canada, Museum Assistance Program

Filmed on location at River Run Centre by Ward 1 Studios.

Location:

Online

Fee:

Available at no cost during the the month of November, to support Treaty Recognition Week.


Museum Everywhere

Lectures, science challenges, musical performances, and more at your fingertips

Available at no cost at Museum Everywhere

Access a variety of educational programs anytime, from anywhere. Check back regularly for new additions.

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