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Virtual Museum display to be launched April 20

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today


The Cobourg Museum Foundation has announced that Cobourg’s harbour will be the 2017 focus for an online virtual exhibit in this historic Canada 150 year.

Cobourg Harbour – A Story of Small-Town Ontario covers settlers to sailors, car ferries to condos — and it will be launched April 20 in an event at the Victoria Hall Citizens’ Forum.

Developed with the support of the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program, Virtual Museum of Canada, this new story-telling experience relates the harbour’s amazing history in 20 short segments. These include video interviews with Capt. Slade of the Canadian Coast Guard, Mayor Gil Brocanier with the ship’s bell from the Corvette HMCS Cobourg, and local citizen Phil Ayling recounting the time he and a friend took the ferry trip from Cobourg to Rochester, NY, when they were just boys.

Museum Foundation volunteers Richard Looye and Stanley Isherwood began work on this project two years ago, tackling the challenge of making their selections from enough stories to fill a whole museum over Cobourg’s two centuries and then ensuring the text was in both official languages.

Following the April 20 launch, Cobourg Harbour – A Story of Small-Town Ontario will be accessible at the Virtual Museum website (, along with hundreds of other community stories from across Canada (many produced by organizations like the Cobourg Museum Foundation).

Meanwhile, at the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre at 141 Orr St., the foundation is planning for the 2017 theme Cobourg and Canada. The centre will open for the season on May 20, the Saturday of the Victoria Day weekend (for more information, visit

The Virtual Museum of Canada, managed by the Canadian Museum of History with Federal financial support, is the largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canadian museums and heritage organizations. Its Community Memories program helps smaller communities develop virtual exhibitions that engage on-line audiences in the stories, past and present, of Canada’s communities.

The Citizens’ Forum is located on the second floor west at Victoria Hall (55 King St. W.), and the launch begins at 7 p.m.