If you don’t already follow the St. Catharines Museum on our many online platforms, it’s fair to say you’re missing out. I like to think our ever-growing contributions to the world wide web offer engaging, albeit a bit quirky, historical fun for everyone. Quirky is part of the fun, right?! If I’ve piqued your interest, you don’t have to suffer from FOMO any longer – find and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and right here on the blog to be the first to catch new releases of video series, online lectures, podcast episodes, blog posts, and so much more!
To celebrate all the online fun we had in 2021, I want to share the top five of our memorable #StCMuseum moments of the year. While we love our work too much to possibly rank it, the moments in our top five sparked historical learning and engagement across our little section of the interwebs and deserve some extra recognition!
LEGO Challenge: Bridge Edition
Or, that time Adrian successfully built the Glendale Bridge out of LEGO and maneuvered the lifting elements of the bridge with impressive skill.
Watch the full Glendale Bridge episode of LEGO Challenge: Bridge Edition.
The Bridge Edition is the second edition of our LEGO Challenge. You can check out all challenge episodes here. Stay tuned for our next LEGO Challenge in Spring 2022!
History from Here
Or, that time we came up with the idea to venture out into the city to tell the stories of historic places only to spend most of our filming time finding a shot that can get both my small stature and the featured historic place in the same shot!
History from Here aims to share stories that have latched onto historic architecture and uncover spaces seeped in historical significance. Since St. Catharines will never be short of these historic places and spaces, we have invested in tools to give me more height while on camera!
Check out one of the most popular History from Here episodes to date, featuring the largest historical structure we’ve covered so far: The Lake Street Armoury.
Virtual I-Spy Adventures
Or, when over 600 online viewers from across Canada tuned in live to Adrian’s virtual I-Spy Tour through the Museum Galleries.
Designed for kids, this I-Spy Tour was a part of Museum Week– a virtual worldwide cultural event celebrating the impact of museums and cultural institutions around the globe.
While the live virtual event took place in June, the Kid’s I-Spy Tour continues to live on our Youtube Channel. This short, 15-minute video makes for a fun at-home activity for the whole family! Watch here:
Documenting Famous Visitors
Or, when Theodore Tugboat visited us at Lock 3 in the summertime.
Being located on Lock 3 of the Welland Canal certainly has its perks, particularly when it comes to having a front row seat to the more unique, and sometimes famous, vessels transiting the canal. When Theodore Too announced its journey through the Great Lakes this past summer, we eagerly awaited his visit to Lock 3 and were ready to capture the moment to share with our online followers.
Our posts featuring this beloved Canadian tugboat were some of the most popular across our social media channels this year, and for good reason!
Fostering Nostalgia, Sharing & Remembering
Or, when the community looked to the Museum’s online platforms to remember the Welland House Hotel in the wake of the devastating fire that destroyed the historic landmark.
We strive to cultivate an inclusive, welcoming online space for folks to engage with St. Catharines’ history on a personal level. We love reading the stories and memories our online followers leave in the comment sections of our online content.By giving more people a voice and a platform to share, social media has democratized the way we share history and construct historical narratives about people, places, and events.
When a fire destroyed the historic Welland House Hotel in July of 2021, the community immediately took to social media to share not only sadness of its loss, but countless nostalgic reminiscences and stories passed down through family.
When we posted our reaction to the news on the day of the fire, online audiences swelled around in support. Our tweet thread on Twitter alone reached over 10,000 users, and generated hundreds of conversations remembering the Welland House Hotel.
Following our initial reaction to the loss of what was the giant in the background of so much of St. Catharines’ history, we endeavoured to write a blog post and develop a special History from Here episode that aimed to capture the intangible value of a historical structure no longer standing. In doing so, we leveraged the power of the internet to entrench the Welland House Hotel in our community’s collective memory just a little further.
So Long to 2021!
As our virtual, online adventures of 2021 come to a close, be rest assured that we’re already working on a new line-up of signature, high-quality, yet still a bit quirky, content for 2022. We plan to spread historical joy even further across the interwebs!
What was your favourite #StCMuseum online moment from 2021? Is there a particular video, blog post, podcast episode etc. that stuck with you? We would love to hear from you! Post below in the comments or connect with us on social media. Your picks will help inspire more content for the new year!
Happy New Year, dear readers! See you on the internet in 2022!
Sara Nixon is a Public Historian and Programmer Programmer at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.