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McIntosh Gallery's "In the Beginning" exhibition, photographed June 15, 2017.

Canada Day promises to be especially memorable this year at Western university.

To commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday, Western established a committee of 18 members to coordinate the myriad of events happening on campus this summer. From public openings at the Cronyn Observatory to history projects, here are some things to look out for throughout the summer.

Events

McIntosh Gallery

Along with Canada's 150th celebration, the McIntosh Gallery also celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and is hosting two historical exhibitions until June 25.

“In the beginning, 1942” is a remake of the McIntosh Gallery’s very first exhibit to honour Canada's birthday, the McIntosh Gallery and the 100-year anniversary of Vimy Ridge. The exhibition showcases three pieces created by the iconic Canadian Group of Seven.

The second exhibit, “Behind the lines,” takes the audience away from the front lines and back home to Canada. This exhibit draws the audience into the lives of Canadians determined to make a difference in World War II from back home. The exhibition showcases different topics, like women entering the workforce and war-time industries.

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Western University's Cronyn Observatory, photographed June 15, 2017.

Cronyn Observatory

Ever wondered what outer space really looks like? Western’s Cronyn Observatory, known for its public nights, will be free and open to the public every Saturday from 8:30 to 10 p.m. this summer.  

Depending on the season, celestial objects such as the moon, Mars and other planets can be seen. This summer, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible. 

If the sky is too cloudy, the observatory will give historical tours and presentations inside instead.

Projects

Science through the lens of the indigenous sky lore 

This project is managed by Robert Cockcroft, assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy. The project looks to explore traditional stories about the night sky by First Nations people.

"The Indigenous sky lore that we currently discuss in the presentations are concerned with two main aspects: the cosmology (i.e., our ultimate origins as a people and a planet) and cycles in the motion of stars in the sky," said Cockcroft in an email to the Gazette. "In particular, the latter looks at the Celestial Bear association of stars — also known as the Big Dipper or the Plough." 

Cockcroft hopes that by learning about sky lore, the audience will gain a new appreciation for both motions of the sky and First Nations people. 

“At certain times of the year, the Bear appears to run along the horizon from our perspective in Southern Ontario, which can signal the start of the Indigenous hunting season,” said Cockcroft.  

John A. Macdonald's archives 

At the age of 12, Sir John A. Macdonald hand wrote math problems in a notebook that's now held by Library and Archives Canada.

“Sir John A Macdonald and elementary mathematics” will be overseen by David Bellhouse, professor emeritus in the department of statistical and actuarial sciences. The goal of the project is to analyze the contents of the notebook and find their significance.

Following the analysis, the notebook will be made electronically accessible to the public. 

Western's time capsule 

Western Engineering students will be designing a time capsule that will be kept in Weldon Library to be opened in 50 years. The capsule will hold notecards from members of the community looking to share their vision of the future. 

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