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First-ever national exhibition on Canada’s passion for skating Lace Up

First-ever national exhibition on Canada’s passion for skating Lace Up: Canada’s Passion for Skating

Gatineau, Quebec, January 26, 2006 — A new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization tells the story of how skating has become one of the country’s most popular winter activities, intrinsic to life in Canada. Lace Up: Canada’s Passion for Skating is the first exhibition to explore the history of how the three ice sports of figure skating, hockey and speed skating developed in Canada. It will open to the public at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on January 27, 2006.

“Skating is part of our culture, as millions of people lace up each winter to enjoy the unique experience of skating on ponds, rivers, rinks and canals across Canada,” said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “We teach our children to skate, join teams and clubs and hold social parties. We participate in a tradition that is a central part of life in this country.”

The exhibition’s historic sweep begins in twelfth-century northern Europe, when people used skates made of bone and other materials. Figure skating was later influenced by eighteenth-century European nobility who took lessons on how to move gracefully on the ice, with steps matched to their partners’. In early Canada, skating captivated the inhabitants of New France. Later, the advance of the railway, newspapers and telegraph communications helped promote a pan-Canadian passion for skating in the nineteenth century.

The exhibition includes more than 200 artifacts from the Museum’s own holdings, private collections and from museums throughout Canada and Europe. On display are a wide range of historic skates, significant Dutch and Flemish skating scenes, storied costumes, medals and trophies, souvenirs of sporting events, sculptures, artworks and notable objects that illustrate the scope of the Canadian skating story. Lace Up also features archival and original audio-visual presentations, including recent interviews with skaters on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest outdoor skating rink.

Lace Up highlights Canadian innovation in construction of enclosed skating rinks, many of them architectural marvels, with room for thousands of spectators. The exhibition vividly conveys the excitement of the nineteenth-century speed skating competitions; the rapidly expanding popularity of the new sport of hockey, born officially in 1875; and the magnificent spectacle of elaborate masked balls on ice, patronized by the social elite of Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa.

Lace Up also pays homage to skating athletes: hockey, speed skating and figure skating champions, and Winter Olympics medal winners.

Lace Up: Canada’s Passion for Skating will be on display at the Canadian Museum of Civilization until March 4, 2007.
Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: (819) 776-7167

Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: (819) 776-7169

Fax: (819) 776-7187

2006-01-26 00:00:00.000

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