County heritage to come into focus with Flashback February

Fibre artist and Gesina Laird-Buchanan's life-size wool creation of artist Tom Thomson. Laird-Buchanan will be among the guest speakers to present at Flashback February. (Submitted photo)




A weeklong celebration of history is coming to Prince Edward County.

Ontario Heritage Week runs Feb. 19–25 and the county won’t miss out on the province-wide celebration. A news release from the municipality says a lively week of activities is planned with community groups and volunteers presenting Flashback February.

The Prince Edward Historical Society, the Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee, the County Museums, the Prince Edward County Library and Archives, the Friends of Sandbanks, History Lives Here, and the Regent Theatre have partnered to present the event.

County Museums head curator Jennifer Lyons says in the release Prince Edward County is a crossroads of history.

“This area has been an epicentre of the development of eastern Ontario and Canada’s 150 years of social, economic, and cultural achievements,” she says. “That history is all around us in street names, historic properties, and the cultural landscapes that make this a special place.”

She said the partnering organizations hope to create some history themselves by making Flashback February an annual celebration of local culture.

The event will include live demonstrations, lectures, film screenings and stories. There will be hands-on learning opportunities and culinary offerings. All of it will tie into the theme of celebrating the past with the County’s history being explored by chefs, curators, artists, and others who will be on hand to drive that conversation.

Mayor Robert Quaiff the past has a resonating effect on both the present and the future.

“We often think of heritage in terms of conservation, but it is just as important that we take the time to recognize and celebrate our many cultural, natural, architectural, and archaeological resources that we strive to protect,” says Quaiff. “Heritage might be our past, but it still informs who we are today.”

The week of heritage events will begin with a launch event on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 2–5 p.m. at Parsons Brewing Company in Picton.

On Sunday night there will be a county-themed trivia night at the Wellington Legion hosted by the Museums.

On Family Day, Monday, Feb. 19, there will be a variety of events. From 8–10 a.m. the Friends of the Wellington Heritage Museum will be hosting a pancake breakfast at the Wellington and District Community Centre. Starting at noon, the Friends of Sandbanks Park will host Family Day outdoor activities at Maple Rest Heritage House at West Lake. Also Monday, Suzanne Pasternak will be presenting County History, Legends and Music, and indoor event for kids and grownups.

Mid-week events will be anchored by two afternoon lectures at Macaulay Heritage Park. Peter May of Research Casting International in Trenton which makes replica dinosaurs for museums around the world will be presenting. Also presenting will be artist Gesina Laird-Buchanan of Napanee, who creates life size models of historical figures from wool. The Museums and the Libraries will team up for a series of demonstrations replicating historical objects through 3-D printing with sessions for children and general audiences.

A mini film festival showcasing county history will be held at the Regent Theatre beginning Friday, Fed. 23 at 1 p.m.

Heritage-inspired dinners prepared by local chefs Lee Arden Lewis and Michael Hoy will be held in the evening on Thursday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 24. Also on Saturday, Feb. 24, expert Moe Johnson will give a presentation about the pottery of early Ontario, including the Hart-Lazier earthenware that was unique to the Bay of Quinte region.

The week’s events conclude Sunday, Feb. 25 with an all-day Victorian culinary workshop at Macaulay House in Picton where a multi-course period dinner will be prepared and enjoyed by registrants.

More information on the schedule of activities can be found at

To purchase a ticket for one of the heritage dinners or to attend the film festival, visit the Regent Theatre website or call 613-476-8416.