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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

August 2019

Wednesday Wonders: Fantescapes

August 21 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on August 21, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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General Admission

Join us each week for Wednesday Wonders presentations by special guest stars! Every Wednesday in July and August, 11 AM & 1 PM General admission.   AUGUST 21      Fantescapes Escape Room AUGUST 28      The Making Box

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Fourth Friday: VERSA Visuals

August 23 @ 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 VERSA! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by VERSA at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cash bar. VERSA is a Guelph ON-based audiovisual collective led by Monika Hauck and Alex Ricci. The duo create powerful instrumental music written around live looping bass guitar, and pair this with responsive projections that visualize sound. Low frequency sound is passed…

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Wednesday Wonders: The Making Box

August 28 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on August 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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General Admission

Join us each week for Wednesday Wonders presentations by special guest stars! Every Wednesday in July and August, 11 AM & 1 PM General admission.   AUGUST 28      The Making Box

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Fifth Friday Pub Night: Fantescapes

August 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

19+ Event | No cover charge. Fifth Friday! Something new at the Civic Museum, pub night! On Fifth Fridays, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 PM. Featuring mini-escapes and puzzles with Fantescapes Escape Room. Free admission. Cash bar. Located in Downtown Guelph, Fantescapes is Guelph's Premier Escape Room Facility. Unique, immersive escape rooms, puzzles everywhere and a boutique featuring "geeky" art and craft items fan merchandise, instruments and steampunk items. There are hidden mind benders, ever-changing…

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September 2019

Downtown EarlyON Playtime

September 4 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

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

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

One event on September 25, 2019 at 9:30 am

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
FREE

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…

Find out more »

Tales from the Hill

September 4 @ 7:00 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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Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario

September 14, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Into the Light examines local histories and ongoing legacies of racial “betterment” thinking in Southern Ontario that de-humanized and disappeared those who did not fit the normative middle-class lives of white, able-bodied settlers. In the early to mid 20th century, eugenics (race improvement through heredity) was taught in a number of universities throughout Southern Ontario, including Macdonald Institute and the Ontario Agricultural College, two of the three founding colleges that formed the University of Guelph. Educational institutions played a significant role in…

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VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility, Art and Communications

September 14, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Experience sound and vibration technologies through art installations by David Bobier, Lindsay Fisher, Marla Hlady, Ellen Moffat, Gordon Monahan, Alison O’Daniel, and Lynx Sainte-Marie. By making sound tangible through touch, this exhibition aims to change public perceptions of difference and disability. Presented in partnership with VibraFusionLab, an innovative centre for vibrotactile research and creative practice based in London, Ontario.   Walkabout Tour with David Bobier: Hands On! Sunday, September 29, 2 p.m. Civic Museum | Free admission Guest curator David…

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Military Lecture: Deadly Skies & Cavalry of the Air

September 19 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation.

To open the Fall 2019 Military Lecture series, there will be two presentations about aviation during the First and Second World War. Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Admission by donation. Ross C. Morton, presents Deadly Skies During the Second World War, the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command kept detailed accounts of their achievements and failures in a central registry and used this information when planning future military action whereas the accidents experienced at…

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Fourth Friday: Storyteller Brad Woods with Mike Janzen and Jeff Bersche

September 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Celebrate Culture Days and the opening of fall exhibitions, Into the Light and Bridging Practices in Accessibility, Art, and Communication, with a performance by Storyteller Brad Woods with Mike Janzen and Jeff Bersche! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performances at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cash bar. Brad Woods has told stories at festivals, theatres, conferences, prisons, churches and pubs all over North America and the…

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Culture Days: Moving Histories, Neighbourhood Mysteries

September 28 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free tickets in advance.

A two-hour guided bus tour documenting the Onward Willow neighbourhood. Hosted by community story advocate and CFRU Mobile Studio Coordinator Jenny Mitchell, Moving Histories, Neighbourhood Mysteries invites you to step onboard a bus and discover the stories of our neighbourhoods.  Whether you are new to the neighbourhood or an old friend, come join us on the storytelling bus, and see the neighbourhood through the eyes and words of three local storytellers who have called this neighbourhood home. Presented in partnership with Guelph Film…

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October 2019

Downtown EarlyON Playtime

October 2 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 9, 2019 at 9:30 am

One event on October 30, 2019 at 9:30 am

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
FREE

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…

Find out more »

Tales from the Hill

October 2 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
Free

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

Find out more »

Military Lecture: The Aftermath of the 1918 Influenza

October 17 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation.

Kandace Bogaert presents, The Aftermath of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Among Ontario’s Soldiers’ Families. Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Admission by donation. Kandace Bogaert, Assistant Professor and Cleghorn Fellow in War and Society, Dept. of History, Laurier University, her research is focused around the long-term family impact of soldier deaths from flu in 1918, and soldier suicides during the Great War.

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Harvest Tea

October 20 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 20, 2019 at 3:00 pm

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

Treat yourself to a seasonal afternoon tea at the Civic Museum. There will be two seatings, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Enjoy fresh scones, jam, shortbread cookies, fresh fruit and bottomless pots of McCrae Private Blend and Guelph Town Garden Blend teas. Tickets in advance.

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Fourth Friday: Kevin Mak Latin Jazz Quintet

October 25 @ 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 Kevin Mak Latin Jazz Quintet! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Kevin Mak Latin Jazz Quintet at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cash bar.

Find out more »

History Haunts: Ghost Stories of Guelph

October 29 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
$10

An evening of unusual tales by local storytellers about Guelph’s past. Suitable for teens and adults. 19+ cash bar. Tickets will go on sale Friday, September 13, 10 a.m.

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History Haunts: Ghost Stories of Guelph

October 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
$10

An evening of unusual tales by local storytellers about Guelph’s past. Suitable for teens and adults. 19+ cash bar. Tickets will go on sale Friday, September 13, 10 a.m.

Find out more »

November 2019

School’s Out, Museum’s In PD Day – We Are All Treaty People

November 1 @ 1:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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General admission.

On this PD Day, we're celebrating Treaty Recognition Week. Learn about the importance of treaties, treaty rights and relationships. Learn more. General Admission.

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Tales from the Hill

November 6 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
Free

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

Find out more »

John Galt and the Instant City

November 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$20

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. Two performances: Friday, November 8, 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 9, 2 p.m. Tickets in advance | $20 + HST   Meet the creators, cast and crew Mike Ford Mike Ford is a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal-awarded singer-songwriter, whose bilingual Canada Needs You, Flames Across the Border and le retour d’étienne brûlé concerts have been performed in schools across Ontario. …

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John Galt and the Instant City

November 9 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
$20

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. Two performances: Friday, November 8, 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 9, 2 p.m. Tickets in advance | $20 + HST   Meet the creators, cast and crew Mike Ford Mike Ford is a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal-awarded singer-songwriter, whose bilingual Canada Needs You, Flames Across the Border and le retour d’étienne brûlé concerts have been performed in schools across Ontario. …

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Community Tea

November 10 @ 2:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$20

Karonhyakatste is a mixed blooded Haudenosaunee woman, experiential knowledge teacher and story teller. Join us as we share in a circle learning about our roles and responsibilities to be good stewards of the earth, through our connection to food and the world around us. She will be explaining the significance of each item: Cold cedar tea with cinnamon and lemon Wild rice - cold Mini Indian tacos Salmon crostini Corn soup with chicken (vegetarian option) Strawberry short cake Tickets in…

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Downtown EarlyON Playtime

November 13 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on November 20, 2019 at 9:30 am

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
FREE

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…

Find out more »

Military Lecture: Crerar’s Lieutenants

November 21 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation.

Geoff Hayes presents, Crerar’s Lieutenants.  At the height of the war in 1943, the future head of the First Canadian Army, General Harry Crerar, penned a long memorandum in which he noted that there was still much confusion as to "what constitutes an 'Officer.'" His words reflected the army's preoccupation with creating an ideal officer who would not only satisfy the immediate demands of war but also conform to pervasive, little-discussed notions of social class and masculinity. Geoff Hayes' talk…

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Fourth Friday: Callisto

November 22 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
Free

Kick off your weekend with a performance by Callisto! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Callisto at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cash bar. Callisto is a trio that indulges in three part harmony and other musical whimsy. We love to play Canadiana, old standards, and original tunes. Callisto is made up of Tricia Brubacher, Peter Balka, and Julie Corey. Past performances include: the Elmira…

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Fifth Friday: Fizz-ics Pub Night

November 29 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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FREE

19+ Event | No cover charge. Ever wonder why the bubbles in your beer fizz, or why bottles have different colours? What does the widget in Guinness do? Why does the head on your pint vary and what would it be like to brew beer in space? Join faculty and students from the Department of Physics, University of Guelph as they lead you through a fun and interactive evening about the science behind beer! This event is the final night of STEM…

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December 2019

Downtown EarlyON Playtime

December 4 @ 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

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
Free

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…

Find out more »

Tales from the Hill

December 4 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
Free

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

Find out more »

Fourth Friday: Tragedy Ann

December 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map
Free

Kick off your weekend with a performance by Tragedy Ann! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Callisto at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cash bar. Tragedy Ann is a forward-looking folk duo from Guelph, Ontario. Liv Cazzola and Braden Phelan find warmth in questions and daring in answers, making space for the tear that lies behind laughter. With intimacy and care, the duo favours a flashlight…

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