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Civic Museum

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52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada

Civic 2

Celebrating Guelph’s stories!

The Guelph Civic Museum showcases Guelph’s history through permanent and changing exhibits, a fun and interactive families gallery, and special events and activities.  Located in the recently renovated Loretto Convent, atop the hill at Norfolk Street and beside the landmark Church of Our Lady, the museum is home to a collection of over 30,000 artifacts that bring Guelph’s past to life.

2012

Guelph Civic Museum opens at 52 Norfolk Street, the former Loretto Convent.

2000

The “Growing Up in Guelph Children’s Museum” opens at the Civic Museum. The popular children’s gallery attracts many more visitors and significantly increases the number of family memberships.

1980

Guelph Civic Museum opens at 6 Dublin Street South, a commercial limestone building built c.1855. The building had many uses over the years but was most recently known as the Knights of Columbus Hall.

1967

Canada’s Centennial Year. The Museum opens in its first home in the horse stables, now the Farmer’s Market.

1960’s

Members of the Guelph Historical Society begin to collect artifacts and displays are mounted in store fronts and community centres.

Upcoming Events

January 2020

Downtown EarlyON Playtime

January 29 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on December 11, 2019 at 9:30 am

One event on December 18, 2019 at 9:30 am

One event on January 8, 2020 at 9:30 am

One event on January 15, 2020 at 9:30 am

One event on January 22, 2020 at 9:30 am

One event on January 29, 2020 at 9:30 am

One event on February 5, 2020 at 9:30 am

One event on February 12, 2020 at 9:30 am

One event on February 19, 2020 at 9:30 am

One event on February 26, 2020 at 9:30 am

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free admission.

Weekly program offerings for children from 0 to 6 years old and their families, offered through the EarlyON Child and Family Centre. Free drop-in family programming that promotes early learning and development from 9:30 to 11:30 AM on a weekly basis. The EarlyON Child and Family Centre at the Guelph Community Health Centre has been in existence since 2003. EarlyON has eight off-site Neighbourhood Playtimes and two main locations (Downtown and Stone Rd Mall) each providing a multitude of free drop-in and…

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School’s Out, Museum’s In PD Day – The Making Box

January 31 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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General admission

Improv for Joy with Hayley from The Making Box. Both sessions are designed for children with all levels of cognitive and sensory processing needs. Two sessions, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. General admission.

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Fifth Friday Pub Night: Guelph Creative Collective

January 31 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free admission

19+ Event. On Fifth Fridays, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum from 7 to 9 p.m. Chase away the January blues! Grab a drink and practice self-care during an evening of mindful crafting, led by the Guelph Creative Collective, University of Guelph. Art activities, including but not limited to painting, silk screening, button-making, model magic sculpting. Free admission. Cash Bar. The Guelph Creative Collective is a group of motivated individuals working together to inspire social inclusivity and…

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February 2020

Tales from the Hill

February 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Join Guelph Guild of Storytellers and special guests on the first Wednesday of each month. Free admission.

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Valentine’s Tea

February 9 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$15

Treat your sweetheart to a warm cup of tea, decadent sweets, and delightful company. Enjoy fresh scones, jam, shortbread cookies, fresh fruit and bottomless pots of McCrae Private Blend and Guelph Town Garden Blend teas. There will be two seatings, 1 and 3 PM. Tickets in advance.

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Family Day at the Museum!

February 17 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Guelph Civic Museum will be open Monday, February 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to celebrate Family Day. Enjoy the day with lots of DIY family fun! Admission by donation.

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History Bites: Into the Light

February 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

A NEW lunch hour series at the Civic Museum! Third Wednesday of the month, 12 to 1 p.m. Bring a brown bag lunch and join us for bite-sized history tours of our feature exhibitions. Let us know if you'll attend, please RSVP. Admission by donation.   Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario This exhibition of artistic, sensory, and material expressions of memory aims to bring one of Guelph’s dark secrets, as well as stories of survival, out of the…

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Military Lecture: Bison brigades and battle tactics during the Northwest Resistance

February 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Jesse Thistle presents, Bison brigades and battle tactics during the Northwest Resistance. Métis life on the plains was extremely perilous. From century-long fights with the Sioux, to the massive and dangerous logistics of the bison hunt, Métis hunting tactics took on a battle-like precision run by a general known as the Captain of the Hunt. The Métis took their bison-hardened skills into battle during the Northwest Resistance, winning two battles against Canadian troops at Duck Lake and Fish Creek, and…

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Feeling Sound, Performing Access

February 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$10
Gordon Monahan, Water Coiling (photo: Simon Vogel)

Image: Gordon Monahan, Water Coiling (photo: Simon Vogel) A vibrotactile performance by acclaimed artists Marla Hlady, Ellen Moffat and Gordon Monahan, curated by David Bobier. Using haptic systems (belts, pillows and floors that vibrate), the audience is invited into an immersive experience that extends beyond sight and sound to touch and motion. Co-presented by Guelph Museums and VibraFusionLab with support from the Musagetes Fund through the Guelph Community Foundation. There will be an ASL interpreter present. About VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in…

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Fourth Friday: Sasha Henry and Aaron Ridge

February 28 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Kick off your weekend with a performance by Sasha Henry and Aaron Ridge. On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Sasha Henry and Aaron Ridge at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Presented in partnership with Guelph Black Heritage Society. Cash bar. Sponsored by: Sasha Henry always had a love for music but it wasn’t until she began singing that she discovered her passion for it.…

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March 2020

Military Lecture: Spies in our Midst – The Damage to Canada

March 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Dr. Wesley Wark presents, Spies in our Midst: The Damage to Canada A contemporary talk on a major Canadian spy case--the Delisle affair (2011)--involving a Canadian military officer who supplied secrets to the Russians for a four year period. The arrest of Lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle in January 2012 exposed the serious damage that espionage can cause to Canada's interests and revealed the challenges involved in uncovering and prosecuting spies. Delisle's case forced the first use of Canada's new official secrets…

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Guelph Circa 1999

March 14 @ 10:00 am - September 6 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Man standing in front of a paneled wall. He is wearing a dark suit jacket and a collared shirt.

Like a time capsule, visitors will discover Guelph of 20 years ago. Told through the stories of the people who spent time at The Bookshelf, a cultural hub in this city since 1973, the exhibition also features artifacts from the 1990s and early 2000s.

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Lay of the Land

March 14 @ 10:00 am - September 6 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Opening reception: Friday, March 27, 6 p.m. You are here! This interactive exhibition will orient visitors in time and place through an installation of maps, spanning time immemorial to present day. Lay of the Land invites all visitors to understand our complex relationship to the land, past and present, and to the place that we now call Guelph. On loan from Canadian Geographic is the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a map that will cover the entire floor of the…

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Spring Exhibition Opening Reception

March 27 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free admission

Celebrate the opening of autumn exhibitions, Guelph 1999 and Lay of the Land. Doors open 5 p.m., opening remarks at 6 p.m. Followed by a musical performance at 7 p.m. Free admission. Cash bar.

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April 2020

The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering and Remaking Canada’s Second World War

April 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation
Detail of Fighting History book cover. Image of young soldier holding a gunand wearing a green hat.

Award-winning Canadian military author Tim Cook will talk on his latest book “The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering and Remaking Canada’s Second World War". About The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering and Remaking Canada’s Second World War: A masterful telling of the way World War Two has been remembered, forgotten, and remade by Canada over seventy-five years. The Second World War shaped modern Canada. It led to the country's emergence as a middle power…

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