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It's John Galt's 240th birthday! Guelph Museum re-imagines city's past, present and future

The civic holiday will celebrate Guelph with a musical, exhibition, concert and more
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John Galt statue file photo

The Guelph Museums are celebrating the Guelph’s founding father, John Galt’s 240th birthday by announcing a series of events that reimagine the city’s past, present and future to take place this summer.

“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.” 

During the Civic Holiday weekend, a new musical, John Galt and the Instant City will explore John Galt and the founding of Guelph in a new light on Aug. 2 at 2  and 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 + HST and are available in advance here.

An art exhibition called Art As Activism: Truth, Survivance, and Resilience will explore the community’s collective journey towards decolonization through artworks that exhibit personal experiences from Aug. 2 to Dec 1.

 A John Galt Day Concert will take place on Aug. 3 at 8 p.m that features Celtic-folk-traditional group Rant Maggie Rant and Billboard and MTV-recognized Canadian Mohawk singer and songwriter Shawnee. Tickets are free if booked in advance. 

The weekend will close off with a Community Tea event for $20 on Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. with a discussion about the roles and responsibilities of what it means to be a good steward of the earth through our connection with the world.  

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 on Aug. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for free for games, crafts, and live entertainment.