Bears take over museum

Volunteer Jehan Zouak decorates a retro tree to go alongside hundreds of bears at the Sidney Museum. - Christine van Reeuwyk/News staff
Volunteer Jehan Zouak decorates a retro tree to go alongside hundreds of bears at the Sidney Museum.
— image credit: Christine van Reeuwyk/News staff

If you go out in the woods today, don’t bother to look for bears. They’re all at the Sidney Museum.

“It’s wonderful to be able to put this display on for children and families at Christmastime,” said curator Peter Garnham. “It’s definitely one of the more popular months for temporary exhibits. We get nearly 1,000 people during the month of December.”

This is the seventh annual teddy bear display and this year the more than 400 bears are part of a generation twist thanks to new volunteer Jehan Zouak.

“The difference this year is having the five decades of trees from the 1920s to 1960s,” Garnham said.

“Those are the decades I found most interesting for popular culture,” explained Zouak, the woman behind the idea.

Recently added to the volunteer roster at the museum, Zouak agreed to load up the five trees following each decade’s specific traditions. The ’30s tree in the pioneer kitchen is decked out with popcorn and cranberry chains while an 80-year-old teddy bear with worn paws sits nearby. A silver tinsel tree covered in blue decorations (a loaner scored through a News Review story) marks the ’60s. Throughout the museum, sailing bears, hockey playing bears and skiing bears fill showcases and guard gifts.

The teddy bears are on display at Sidney Museum for the month of December, open daily (excluding Christmas and Boxing Day) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, donations are gratefully accepted.


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