With all of the day-to-day hustle of life in 2016, it’s easy to forget that ours is a drop in the bucket of culture and heritage. Each year since 1977, the International Council of Museums has organized International Museum Day, to help remind citizens around the world to take a step outside of their busy lives and into a museum. On this day, participating museums plan creative events and activities related to the International Museum Day theme, engage with their public and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development.
Museum Day has been an important day on the Markham Museum’s calendar since the 1990s.
Each year, the museum showcases its offerings to the city as well as offering several family-centered activities to help introduce the museum to community members who might have not had the chance to stop by yet. "The museum is such a unique site and incorporates so many aspects of settlement, science, and the environment. Markham Museum has something for everyone," says program instructor Julianna Rock.
Admission to the museum is free on May 22 from noon until 4pm. There will also be fun extras for families on the grounds, such as crafts and mini-putt golfing. Families are encouraged to take the time to visit the exhibits, as well as to enjoy the 25-acre property, which is equipped with picnic tables and washroom facilities for those wishing to bring a lunch.
Museum Day this year falls on the opening weekend of the museum’s brand new exhibit, Construction City, an interactive exhibit that shows how safe and vibrant cities are built. It’s also designed to bring out your inner designer, architect and engineer. From laying foundations to demolition, the life cycle of modern landscapes is explored. City of Markham planning and core buildings will be introduced as you learn about elements of design and build structures and circuits using KEVA planks, ball roller coasters, marbles and more.
This year, the international theme for Museum Day is Museums and Cultural Landscapes -- the idea is that Museums should not be just dusty preservers of relics, but living parts of community and culture.
Participation in International Museum Day is growing all over the world. In 2015, more than 35,000 museums participated in the event in some 145 countries. So, with the entire world’s museums celebrating, what our local museum has been quietly doing so well for nearly seven years, this year seems like the perfect museum day to visit the Markham Museum.