Handicrafts and toys collected from around the world will be used to build a new global awareness centre in Red Deer.
The Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society is planning to display a collection of items from 30 countries in a Multicultural Exhibition and Learning Centre in the lower level of Cronquist House.
The educational and historical artifacts from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa were recently donated by a Red Deer teacher and world traveller, who wanted to give them wider exposure.
Society manager Delores Coghill said she’s looking to add North American Indigenous artifacts to the collection of ceramics, prints, glassware and sculptures.
She envisions creating an interactive international display, in which school children are given a “passport” and invited to collect stamps as they find various items from each country.
“I am always surprised to meet children who have never left Red Deer. They haven’t even been to Calgary or Edmonton … they lead such insular lives.”
Coghill believes a non-traveller’s view can be coloured by negative news stories about wars and disasters, so it’s important to provide tangible evidence of a more “positive” global community.
There’s nowhere else in central Alberta where global artifacts can be seen, she added, since the Red Deer museum’s collection is primarily focused on the region.
The Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society is launching a fundraiser to purchase the 20 display cases needed for the new centre. A $75-a-plate benefit dinner will be held May 8, starting with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail hour at Cronquist House at Bower Ponds.
Mayor Tara Veer will give a welcome address and a magician will entertain after dinner.
Coghill said the corporations or individual donors who contribute about $600 for a case will get their names displayed on a sponsorship plaque.
Tickets for the dinner are available by calling 403-346-0055.
The display will eventually be open to the public while Cronquist House is open: from May through October, and around Christmas. The house is also rented year-round for private bookings.
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