TRAILBLAZERS: The News We’ve Been Awaiting!

In fact, it’s news that goes back to 1752 when Elizabeth Bushell and her father published Canada’s first printing office, and Canada’s first newspaper, the weekly Halifax Gazette.

Miss Bushell is one of forty outstanding Canadian female pioneers – we’re calling them Trailblazers – whose lives and accomplishments are uniquely celebrated in the exhibition Huron Waves presents as the main focus of our 2024 programming. These honorees are recognised through forty neckpieces, not necklaces, but neckpieces or adornments traditionally worn over centuries by women to express their accomplishments, positions and influence.

The forty women in Trailblazers cover fields as diverse as social activism, business, politics, sports, fashion, space exploration, geography, and, of course, music.  For each person the prominent Canadian goldsmith, Donald Stuart, has fashioned a distinct creation using materials and symbols that tell her story and her importance in the history of Canada.

Last month I described in my newsletter how Huron Waves is presenting Canada’s story through a musical instrument, the Voyageur guitar, and making it available to young people in south-western Ontario;  our thanks go to the educators and citizens who have already signed up to welcome this Six-String Nation Guitar and its animator, Jowi Taylor, into their assemblies and meetings.

Now, for the general public, at Trivitt Auditorium, June 2 to 23, this exhibition and, we hope, the visits of some of the women honored in Trailblazers, continues our interest to show how music and musical figures play an integral role in our country’s diversity and development.

To whet your appetite, I’m including just three samples of the Canadian women – some very famous and living, others hardly known and long gone – who are recognised in Trailblazers through their neckpieces, their portraits by Susan Benson and their bilingual biographies that accompany each creation.

Believe me, Trailblazers will be a stunning, public way to celebrate through music and the visual arts the women of Canada, just as Voyageur will be celebrating Canadian sites and personalities with our youth.

I hope you will join us by visiting Trivitt Auditorium on Main Street, Exeter to see this unique collection. Open Tuesdays to Saturday (10am – 6pm) and Sunday afternoon (1pm – 4pm), the collection and the activities which I’ll announce as complements to the exhibition will be open to the public, with a minimal charge. Do plan to join us.

John Miller, Artistic Director