May 24, 2024 Hours:

More Hours
P.O. Box 337, 17 George St.
Parry Sound, Ontario, P2A 2X4 
Phone: 705-746-5365
Adults $5
Senior/Child $3
Pass Holders FREE
Start Date:
Jan 14/2017
"What's New" Exhibit

End Date:
Feb 26/2017


The annual What’s New exhibit presents the latest additions to the Museum on Tower Hill’s permanent collection from the previous year. This year’s exhibit is a fascinating assortment of textiles, city plans and historically rich objects including a wooden shelf from a Maple Island log church dating back to the late 1880s. The show is being curated by Collection Technician Amy Sultana and will be on display from January 14, 2017 - February 26, 2017.


About the Curator:

Originally from Brampton, Ontario, Amy Sultana has been a part of the Parry Sound community for the past two years. Prior to making Parry Sound her home, she visited a cottage in the area for five years. Sultana holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wilfrid Laurier University. She is a graduate of Georgian College's Museum and Gallery Studies program and chose the Museum on Tower Hill for her internship and subsequent employment as Collection Technician because of how much she enjoys the history and atmosphere of Parry Sound.



Museum on Tower Hill's Communications Officer Sarah Caldwell sat down with Sultana for an in-house interview to discuss her hopes for the exhibition and what is means to donate to a museum.


Caldwell: Have you noticed any sort of trends when it came to donations last year?

Sultana: Not really trends but there were groupings of donations. We received a lot of materials from C.I.L last year and quite a bit of textiles, as well as a lot of material from cottages like house ware and fishing memorabilia. There weren’t really any trends. We did get some great donations last year.


Caldwell: How does the time of year affect donations to the Museum?

Sultana: In the summer time we tend to get more donations, and I don’t know if that’s because of the weather or if it’s just a “spring cleaning” type of thing but donations do slow down towards the winter months.


Caldwell: How many donations did you receive in 2016?

Sultana: We received forty one donations—that’s not forty one objects but the number of donors who brought in collections of objects.


Caldwell: Given the amount of donations you received last year and the space you have to work with, you’re probably not able to put everything out on display.

Sultana: No, unfortunately not.

Caldwell: So then, how did you go about making your selections for this exhibit?

Sultana: I tried to put as many of the objects out as I could and made sure that every donor had at least one item on display. It was hard deciding but I feel like I have quite a bit out. I think it was a matter of developing small themes and seeing what artifacts worked with others and pairing them the best way possible. The diorama (cottage display) really helps because you can create a little scene and place all the different objects within it. My cottage scene, hopefully that will look good (laughter).


Caldwell: What has been the greatest challenge curating this show?

Sultana: Trying to put all the different artifacts together while keeping a somewhat coherent story, and trying to get as much out on display as possible. Museums have very large collections and can’t put everything on display, so the good thing about this type of exhibit is it helps us to do that, to put as much out as possible without cluttering the room or making it seem excessive.

Caldwell: Or like a cabinet of curiosity.


Sultana: Yes, as cool as those are, you want to avoid that. The biggest challenge would be trying to connect all the stories.


Caldwell: What is your hope for this exhibit?

Sultana: My hope is to bring in a large audience. I know it’s hard throughout the winter months but we received a lot of great material to work with and a lot of interesting stories behind the artifacts. I think getting people in reading the material and history, and getting to know the Museum would be my hope.


Caldwell: Was there a particular object that fascinated you the most?

Sultana: Yes, there were a few actually. One of the earlier donations that was quite interesting was a scrapbook that was created by a past C.I.L employee, a woman, who complied it out of different materials she had collected during her time there. Another interesting one was a signature quilt that is at least a hundred years old, focused on the Broadbent and Hurdville area. The more recent donation was items belonging to Dr. Curry who was the first radiologist in the Parry Sound area. We received his doctor bag, medical tools and an assortment of medicine. Everything else was very interesting as well but those items stood out for me because I love C.I.L history and medical history.


Caldwell: What would say your experience has been this past year as the Collections Technician?

Sultana: It’s been a good experience.  I’m just new to this career so it’s allowed me to deal with every aspect of managing a collection. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of donors and developed relationships with them. It’s been eye-opening and very rewarding.


Caldwell: What should people know before they donate items to a museum?

Sultana: I think what people need to know before donating is what the museum’s mandate is, maybe to get to know the museum and how they collect, what they collect and to think about the significance of the objects in terms of the area and whether it will provide a good story for the community.


Caldwell: What would you say to someone considering donating to a museum?

Sultana: When you donate an object, you're perserving history for future generations. Some people might be hesitant about contributing to a museum's collection but it's important to know that the act of donating means more than you think. Each piece can tell more than one story.


Caldwell: Could you describe the process of donating to this Museum?

Sultana: Once you bring something into the Museum, we provide you with a temporary custody form that allows us to hold it until our Collections Committee meeting, which we generally have every month depending on how many artifacts we receive. Once we have a number of artifacts, they’ll go before the Collections Committee who then compares the object’s provenance, so the history of it, it’s story and how it relates to the community and our collection’s criteria to make sure it fits with the collection and will help tell the story of the West Parry Sound District. They have the final say as to whether the object will be collected or not and after that, it gets put into my hands. I have to accession the object, assign a number to it and decide on the best method of storage.



Copyright © 2013 West Parry Sound District Museum 17 George St. Parry Sound, Ontario P2A 2X4
Phone: 705-746-5365 Fax: 705-746-8775 E-mail
Funding provided by the
Government of Ontario.