By Jennifer Weymark, Archivist
This summer marks the 100th Anniversary of Lakeview Park. It was to be a big celebration. We were collaborating with the City of Oshawa and Durham College to create an amazing virtual walking tour of the Park. The Canada Day celebration, which is held at the Park, was to include a focus on the Park’s Anniversary. An amazing art installation examining the history of Lakeview Park in a wonderfully whimsical way was to be transferred from the Museum to City Hall. Now, well the celebration is on pause.
The project with Durham College has been cancelled, at least for now. The majority of the background will be completed, but the final virtual walking tour will not be finished in time to be a part of any anniversary celebration. I am hopeful that the project will eventually be completed and shared with the public because it was an interesting and unique way to learn about the history of the Park.
This is just one of the impacts of COVID-19.
With the uncertainly surrounding celebrations like Canada Day and the re-opening of public buildings such as City Hall, we at the Museum still want to celebrate this special anniversary. How to do so during a pandemic? This is where technology has created opportunities to celebrate and share our knowledge through the development of a new online exhibit focused on the long history of the Park.
And so, the development of a new online exhibit to celebrate the long history of Lakeview Park has become one of my work-at-home projects. The exhibit will be a combination of articles about different aspects of the park and a catalogue of images from the archival collection. I am hoping to launch the new exhibit in late May or June.
From an institutional point of view, the response to COVID-19 is going to mean the cancellation of projects and events that have been in the works for some time. In some cases, such as the Lakeview Park celebrations, we are able to adjust and move the project forward in a different format. In other cases, we will simply have to cancel. Having to cancel programming is disappointing. Although the Museum buildings are closed, staff is still working to share our passion for local history and to find new ways to make the Museum accessible from our homes.