JAHSENA participates in the 2020 Virtual Historic Festival and Doors Open Edmonton

Michael Paull opens the doors to the Jewish Cemetery as part of the 2020 Virtual Edmonton Historic Festival - Doors Open.

David Marcus gives festival goers a tour of the Edmonton Jewish Cemetery.

(AJNews) – The City of Edmonton has declared July 5-12, Historic Week in Edmonton and each year there is a wonderful celebration. This year’s Historic Festival and Doors Open – Edmonton is virtual and the theme for the 2020 festival is “Transformation.”

Once again, the Jewish Archives and Historical Society of Edmonton and Northern Alberta is pleased to be participating in the festival.

“JAHSENA has been participating in Historic Festival and Doors Open for several years,” said Colleen Paull. “This year we were planning to do a tour at the Edmonton Jewish Cemetery. With Covid-19, this year’s festival has become a virtual one and thanks to David Marcus and Michael Paull we have submitted seven brief videos about the cemetery.”

Click here for a virtual tour of the cemetery which dates back to 1907.

Other entries to the festival include entries from the Old Timers Cabin, Alberta Railway Museum, EPSB Archives and Museum, City of Edmonton Archives and Prince of Wales Armouries, the McDougall United Church and many more. Click here to see all the events associated with the festival.

“We’re offering a new way to explore spaces from your own home,” explain the event organizers. “Due to the Government of Alberta’s announcement putting restrictions on mass gatherings, we decided to shift to a virtual format for 2020. All submitted content was sourced from a 3rd party and designed to engage, enlighten and entertain as you explore Edmonton’s rich and varied past. Should you wish to make a donation to any of the organizations represented in the content, you may do so directly to that organization.”

The theme of the 2020 festival is “Transformation” which event organizers explain is particularly important this year.

1870 marked the purchase of Rupert’s Land (3.9 million square kilometers) to Canada, officially opening the prairies for mass settlement. This transformative event had huge implications on the people already living there, as well as the thousands who would flock to the prairies with promises of a better life.

Transformation, of culture, society, or technology, has long been a theme in the history of what is now Edmonton and area. Successive waves of immigration, cycles of boom and bust, and the impact of events both at home and abroad have shaped this place we call home.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson opened the festival with warm and welcoming comments followed by heartfelt remarks from the president of the Edmonton and District Historical Society Festival. 

He offered a special thanks to all the organizations who participated with virtual entries and encouraged all festival goers to visit the website and enjoy the tours. “We hope you enjoy the festival and look forward to gathering with you next year.”

Take the Historic Festival and Doors Open Quiz. Complete the quiz by July 12, 2020 and be entered in a draw for a $100 gift card for Audreys Books. Click here for more information.

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