International Museum Day (IMD) is a celebration of the community that is Markham. At the Markham Museum, the 2020 IMD global theme of inclusion and diversity occurs all year round.
“All of our exhibitions and programs include that it in all programming,” said Cynthia Szeto, business development and events coordinator at the Markham Museum. “We want to be able to engage everybody because we’re not just talking about the first settlers in Markham we’re talking about people who live here now, 10 years ago, 100 years ago and the future.
“A lot of it is more focused on sciences, industry, and art and understanding how Markham has become what is today too.”
That is certainly true of the main exhibition called Markham Moves. Centered on transportation, it covers planes, trains, and automobiles throughout history to the present day.
The one-day IMD event has grown by leaps and bounds since it began 10 years or so ago. Last year’s IMD attracted a record 1,000 people. This year’s celebration will be on Sunday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entrance at 4 p.m.
Plans for the day include lots of activities, tours of the grounds and the museum’s 30 outbuildings. Activities such as geocaching and arts and crafts for younger children are among the most popular. The museum will also be introducing some new ones as well as partnering with other organizations to bring in additional things to do.
“The special part of IMD is free admission and we do have activities that are special for that day inside and outside,” said Szeto, who has been with the museum for the past four years. “The weather in May will depend on whether it will be more indoors or outside.”
The museum runs a variety of programs, workshops, camps, and special occasions and events throughout the year. There is also an outreach program at local schools and seniors’ homes.
Some of the most popular activities are the pottery workshops. The onsite potter studio has workshops for adults that run the gamut from beginner to wheel throwing, glazing, and decoration techniques. Studio time is also available for people looking to perfect their skills.
IMD is one of three signature annual events. All three are for the community to enjoy. Applefest and Scaryfest have been running the longest, 20 years, and can draw up to 6000 people over a two-day weekend.
The museum also has space for birthday parties, weddings, and corporate events, available for rent to the public.
“We do a lot of outdoor weddings because we have such a great space,” said Szeto.
IMD takes place at 9350 Markham Road Sunday, May 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last entrance is 4 p.m. Admission is free.