Fiddling with astronomy and the War of 1812

Posted by Jamie Lee on Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Dave Johnson / The Tribune

Celtic music, model boats, model planes, woodcarving, blacksmithing and War of 1812 re-enactors are just some of things visitors to Canal Days will be able to find on the grounds of Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum.

“We have more family activities,” says Michelle Mason, assistant curator at the museum where Canal Days started.

Royal Ontario Museum’s travelling Starlab will be in the heritage archives from Aug. 4 to 10. The inflatable planetarium will hold 25 people and a presentation on the night sky and astronomy will take about an hour to watch.

Ian Shelton, an astronomer who discovered a supernova, the first one visible to the naked eye, will be at the museum to talk people through the presentation and discuss the landing of a new Mars rover (which takes place on Aug. 8) and the Perseids meteor shower, which takes place Aug. 11-12.

“We’re excited to have him,” Mason says.

Vox Violins and Niagara Old Tyme Fiddlers will perform on the Canal Days Saturday on the museum grounds. Against the Grain and Tara’s School ofHighland Dance perform on the Sunday.

An 18-hole mini-putt course will be set up on the grounds of the museum and Port Colborne library.

Also featured will be a Great Lakes Model Boat Association remote control boat show, an annual favourite at the museum, and a static plane exhibit by Rose City Model Flyers.

Like the model boats, regulars such as woodcarvers, rope-ladder making and blacksmith demonstrations will be back. New blacksmiths will be in the blacksmith shop and will be doing something different for visitors to the museum, Mason says.

Also new is the exhibit Permission to Come Aboard, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard. Photos and other items related to the Coast Guard will be on display in the Marine Exhibit Lighthouse.

“War of 1812 re-enactors from the 1st Lincoln Militia Re-renactors will be camping on the grounds and putting on demonstrations,” Mason says.

The museum is at 280 King St. More information on Canal Days schedules can be found at



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