May 252017
 

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

On July 1, 1867 the British North America Act of 1867 (now called the Constitution Act, 1867) was proclaimed into law. The Dominion of Canada was formed. Its four original provinces were Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In following years, additional provinces became part of the country until it reached from sea to sea to sea. The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of confederation and special events are scheduled throughout the country. This week, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a pop-up exhibit by the Costume Museum of Canada highlights 150 years of dress, focusing on what people might have worn to July 1 celebrations and parades over the years.

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

A little girl’s dress and a lady’s green corded silk hand-made 2-piece dress, circa 1867 -1870

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

The bottom underside of the dress was lined with a special material to protect it from dirt

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

This tuxedo was worn by James Henry Ashdown, a successful businessman and Mayor of Winnipeg in 1907 and 1908

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

Boy’s 1920 wool sailor suit

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

Typical suffragette dress

On January 28, 1916, Manitoba women became the first in Canada to win both the right to vote and to hold provincial office. While this was a significant achievement, the right did not extend to all women. The right applied mostly to women of British descent. In 1917-1918, Mennonites and Doukhobors had their voting rights rescinded because of their refusal of military service. It would be decades before First Nations people were fully enfranchised.

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

I particularly like the suffragette hat

1945 brought the end of World War II. In 1949, Newfoundland became Canada’s 10th province. The 1950s saw a return to normal, family life for many and improved economic conditions. The “baby boom generation” was born.

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

The new look of the 1950s. More material was used now that war rationing was over. This whimsical skirt is hand-painted.

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

Jantzen bathing suit and cover-up from 1950

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

A man’s outfit and a woman’s dress from the lade 1960s, early 1970s

Canada got a new flag in 1965. In 1967, Montreal hosted Expo 67, the first world fair held in Canada.

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

Lady’s dress 1970

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

In 1999, the map of Canada was redrawn. The Northwest Territories was subdivided and Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, was formed

Canada150: Costume Museum of Canada Pop-up exhibit showcases one hundred and fifty years of Canadian history through dress styles

The exhibition ends with costumes recognizing immigrants and new Canadians

The Costume Museum of Canada began in Dugald, Manitoba in 1983. Today, with a collection of 35,000 artifacts in storage in Winnipeg, it operates as a pop-up museum. The Canada 150 exhibit runs until May 28, 2017. Hours are 1 pm to 4 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. It is located in the Visitor’s Centre of Dalnavert Museum. Admission is free, but donations are always welcomed. Volunteers are on hand to tell the stories behind the costumes.

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  4 Responses to “Canada150: Costumes”

  1. I find the suffragette dress interesting It’s pretty elegant. Later generations of women’s rights activists tended to go more informal as a kind of rejection of restrictive conventions of women’s dres.

  2. I’m pleased that the Museum recognized immigrants and new Canadians. A nice visit….thanks, Donna.

    • Linda, the immigrant dresses were a nice way to end the exhibit. I imagine it must have been quite a task deciding which articles from their collection to highlight in this show.

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