Putting Down Roots
April- October, 2017
Celebrating Canada’s 150th Anniversary by exploring the many cultural groups who settled or visited Niagara-on-the-Lake and shaped our community.
Kosciuszko Camp: The Polish Army at Niagara Camp, 1917-1919
November, 2017- October, 2018
An exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the opening of Camp Kosciuszko, where thousands of soldiers of Polish descent trained before being shipped off to free Poland from 123 years of occupation.
Every community has a First World War story to tell. Most focus on the local soldiers who enlisted during the war and the impact that their absence may have had on the community. Niagara-on-the-Lake also has these stories to tell. However, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of Kosciuszko Camp where thousands of soldiers of Polish descent, from the United States and parts of Canada, trained for several weeks prior to being shipped off to Europe to free Poland from 123 years of occupation. These soldiers lived in our community for several weeks, some were unable to speak English and others, during the sweep of the Influenza of 1918, never left, being buried at a special cemetery at St. Vincent de Paul church.
Who were these men? What was their life like here? How did they arrive? What did their training entail? What did they do during their leisure hours? How did the community respond to hosting these young men? We will attempt to answer these questions with this exhibition.