Year in Review 2021
Can you believe it’s almost 2022? This year certainly flew by and despite some obstacles, the MOA team creatively adapted to the challenges of the past 12 months by creating new programs and continuing to connect with our community in new ways.
We wanted to take some time to reflect back on the year; the amazing staff, volunteers, and interns who have helped and supported us; the fun events and programming we were able to host; and some of the other positive things we accomplished this year!
We’re excited to welcome Kristy, our new Digital Programming & Communications Officer, to the MOA team!
“With previous experience working in museum education, I’m excited to continue to teach the public the importance of learning our history. Let’s have fun ‘digging’ up the past to help us make a better future!”
Kristy’s position was made possible with the generosity of the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Community Building Fund for Operations.
Virtual Exhibits and Sketchfab
In June we launched a new virtual exhibit on Google Arts and Culture about The Lawson Site: Lifeways and Landscape. This exhibit constructs a narrative that weaves together the natural, environmental, and human resources surrounding this uniquely situated settlement, and reveals rich patterns of living extending well beyond the palisade walls.
Over the past year, we have also uploaded more 3D artifacts to our public Sketchfab.
On July 19th as part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening, the museum was able to safely open our doors once again, The response and support have been incredible! Our new Family Field Trip offers a whole new experience to the tour with the inclusion of a hands-on workshop.
We have welcomed nearly 130 groups to the museum over the past 5 months and we’re excited to continue to welcome you back in the new year!
Summer Camp Kit & Activities
This summer, we once again offered our remote Summer Camp kits. These fun kits were shipped across Canada and filled with crafts, activities, and games for campers to enjoy at home. Due to generous pay-it-forward sponsorship, we were also able to donate 14 camp kits to Atlohsa for the children staying at the Zhaawanong Women’s Shelter.
In August, we offered in-person drop-in activities. Many families joined our camp kit counsellors for fun-filled afternoons!
MOA Heritage Scavenger Hunt
From August 27th – September 6th, the MOA hosted our first ever Heritage Scavenger Hunt! We had over 60 teams out exploring London’s archaeological past, providing adventurers with a chance to safely participate in an event that encouraged them to get outside and learn more about their own community heritage. Prizes were sponsored by some amazing local businesses and it was our first significant event since 2019! Watch for the return of our Heritage Scavenger Hunt in late August of 2022!
2021 Natural Clay Pottery Course
This summer, through popular demand, we offered our Natural Clay Pottery Course. Once again, we offered the course virtually in 2021 and to our delight, we had participants join us not only from all across Canada, but also from South Carolina, the UK, and Italy!
Participants were guided through an introduction to earthenware, the regional history of pottery making, how to collect their own natural clay, and had the chance to create their own pots. Thank you to all our participants and instructors for another creative year of this course!
Photo Credit: KC Adams
MOA Giving Tuesday Campaign
After a successful Giving Tuesday 2020 campaign, we decided to participate again in 2021. This year we requested funds to directly support our general operations, from collections care through programming. Many thanks to our generous donors – including many of you, who are reading this newsletter! – for your helpful support in keeping Ontario’s material culture well-maintained and accessible through on-site and online galleries, events and programming.
As we look towards 2022, we’re excited and hopeful for the upcoming year.
We have adapted our programming to many new hybrid options, providing flexibility in how our visitors experience and engage with the MOA. From fully-guided tours and family field trips to online galleries and remote classroom experiences, we have something to fit everyone’s comfort level.
In January, we are very excited to unveil a project that we’ve been working closely with London’s own Exar Studios on over the past year: a self-guided, Augmented Reality tour of the Lawson Site! Funded by the Lawson Foundation, the app virtually recreates the ancient Indigenous village as you explore how archaeology has helped us learn about what life in this region was like 500 years ago.
In March, we’ll have family-friendly activities to keep everyone busy and ‘edutained’ during March Break!
During National Indigenous History Month in June, we will be celebrating Indigenous Artistry Traditions and are delighted to welcome renowned Wyandot pottery artisans Richard and Jamie Zane Smith to the Lawson Site, where they will spend a day with us demonstrating the traditional process of creating pottery from natural clays.
Later in the summer, we will be hosting our 5th annual Natural Clay Pottery Course. In 2022, the experience will be a hybrid with some on-site instruction, but we will stream that live so that we can continue to offer the program virtually for people all around the world to participate in!
And put on those hiking shoes and join us once again in late August/early September on for our 2nd Heritage Scavenger Hunt. Explore some new places and learn more about the heritage of London and the surrounding region.