The Ottawa Jewish Archives is marking Canada 150 with a photography exhibit, “Face to Face – Vis à Vis: Portraits from the Ottawa Jewish Archives,” which celebrates the lives of 24 distinguished Jewish Ottawans, all now deceased, who made significant contributions to Ottawa or Canada and who have existing collections in the holdings of the Archives.
Archivist Saara Mortensen, who curated “Face to Face – Vis à Vis,” said the exhibit includes framed photographs and biographies of each individual and, when available, editorials or articles about them from the pages of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.
The exhibit, Mortensen explained, will be arranged like a family photo wall in order to convey a sense of community, togetherness, personal connection and shared culture and environment.
As well, a catalogue compiling the photos, biographies and Bulletin articles will be available so that “we can place the individual within the context of a story and Ottawa’s Jewish community history,” Mortensen said.
As Mortensen pointed out, the exhibit will only present a glimpse of the Archives collections and the remarkable figures that have lived and worked in the city over the years.
“Visitors will be invited to add names and anecdotes of people they wish to celebrate to a pin board located in the gallery,” she said.
In addition to the opportunity to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, Mortensen said the exhibit marks the culmination of three major modernization and collections accessibility projects which are now available for free online: The Ottawa Jewish Archives catalogue; digitized versions of all issues of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin since 1937; and the Ottawa Jewish Archives’ photographic collections. To date, over 3,500 photographs have been digitized.
A computer workstation will be available in the gallery to provide access to these new online tools.
Mortensen said she hopes the exhibit will raise awareness within the community of the Ottawa Jewish Archives and encourage community members to make donations of materials to help preserve and document the legacy of the community. Contact the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org because “we can only tell the stories you share with us,” Mortensen said.
A vernissage for “Face to Face – Vis à Vis: Portraits from the Ottawa Jewish Archives,” will be held on Wednesday, September 6, 7 pm, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (SJCC). Contact Rachel Abenhaim at 613-798-4696, ext. 236, or email@example.com to RSVP.
The exhibit will continue at the SJCC until May 31, 2018.