“Snow” and Canada’s Titanic

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After a couple of hours at the Children’s Museum, we decided it was time for some culture. We put Mark in the stroller and headed to the “Special Exhibitions” floor.

The first one was about—I kid you not—snow. Well, more exactly “Snow, a source of passion, creativity and ingenuity” and the way it shaped Canadian’s identity. Leave it to Canada to feature a winter-themed exhibition in the middle of August!

According to the informal survey at the entrance, most people declared that they “love to get out when it snows”. Seriously, people!

The exhibition shows the ways Canadians contend with snow and features winter gear and artifacts, most of them very familiar to us—snow tires, winter coats, boots, etc. It was fun, though.

The second one was called “The Empress of Ireland” and I had no idea what it was about until we stepped into the ship-themed room. “The Empress of Ireland” turned out to be a transatlantic ocean liner bound to a tragic faith: en route from Québec City to Liverpool, the ship collided with the Norwegian coal ship Storstad in the St. Lawrence River, and sank on May 29, 1914. In less than 15 minutes, an estimated 1,032 souls—passengers and crew—perished.

The exhibition takes visitors through an atmosphere of celebration at docks of Québec, the confused encounter in the fog, the fateful collision and the desperate rush to escape the sinking vessel. It’s actually pretty stunning and I couldn’t believe I had never heard about the greatest maritime disaster in the history of Canada.

Apparently, despite the scale of the tragedy, The Empress of Ireland never achieved anything like the Titanic’s fame or enduring fascination because the ship wasn’t as luxurious, and it sank so close to the outbreak of WWI that attention shifted to graver matters.

Did you know about the disaster?

You can see all the Ottawa – Sum­mer pic­tures on Flickr.

Feng at the "Snow" Exhibition

Feng at the “Snow” Exhibition

At the Museum

At the Museum

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

What Canadians Think of Snow (Apparently... They Like It?!)

What Canadians Think of Snow (Apparently… They Like It?!)

Getting Around

Getting Around

Snow Gear

Snow Gear

Snow Gear

Snow Gear

Snow Gear

Snow Gear

Snow Gear

Snow Gear

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

Winter Tires

Winter Tires

Winter Carnival (Ahem... in March?)

Winter Carnival (Ahem… in March?)

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

Snow. A Source of Passion, Creativity and Ingenuity

Snow-Themed Movies

Snow-Themed Movies

Canada's Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada’s Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada's Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada’s Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada's Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada’s Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada's Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada’s Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada's Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Canada’s Titanic – The Empress of Ireland

Parliament Hill from the Museum

Parliament Hill from the Museum

Interprovincial Bridge from the Museum

Interprovincial Bridge from the Museum

Ceiling of the Canadian Museum of History

Ceiling of the Canadian Museum of History

Souvenir Shop

Souvenir Shop

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

10 Comments

  1. Martin Penwald on

    Rhââaa, yes, snow ! I’d like to have a little bit of it here instead of 38° under sun and humidity.

    Curious, I’ve never heard of the « Impress of Ireland » too. It is as tragic as the sinking of « Titanic » , but the international context was a little bit different.

  2. Snow! Bah – mine would be firmly under ‘I prefer to stay inside’, but only because there isn’t an ‘ideally I would drive south and keep driving til it got warm’ option! I love that pic of Feng! Never heard of the Impress of Ireland.

  3. We went to the Empress of Ireland exhibit too and I found it so moving and sad. I didn’t know anything about it beforehand at all. It was well worth checking out although my older kids had a lot of questions about what happened and were a bit worried about it.

    I love, love, love that painting on the ceiling of the Museum of History. I wonder if you can buy a print of it?

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