Continuing our skyline across Canada

May is an important month for OHML as we introduce our new Hamilton exhibit to the world during our Open House on May 7.

Hudson’s Bay Company began May 2, 1670 

The Hudson’s Bay Company, more commonly known as The Bay, is the oldest company in North America and a billion-dollar retailer with more than 460 stores and 66,000 employees. But when it began on May 2, 1670 things were different. It was incorporated as ‘The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay.’ At one time it was the largest landowner in the world with the Hudson Bay watershed, known as Rupert’s Land, making up 15 per cent of the continent. For hundreds of years the company controlled the fur trade and played a major role in the history of what would become Canada and the United States. With the Deed of Surrender in 1869, the company relinquished its territory which became the largest part of the Dominion of Canada. One of the terms was that the Hudson’s Bay Company would receive from the new country the sum of £300,000 which was equivalent to $1.5 million.

[Map of Rupert’s Land from 1818]

[Map of Rupert’s Land from 1818]


Our own version of Michelangelo

It might not be the Sistine Chapel, but it’s closer than anything you ever saw before. The huge mural for the Hamilton exhibit at Our Home and Miniature Land was painted by Tom Sachade. A resident of Burlington, Tom is a talented artist who does house painting, wall murals for homes, and custom art. He met Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer 14 years ago when Jean-Louis asked him to do a mural for the model railroad in his home. Tom, who did the murals for both the Hamilton and Toronto exhibits, says he has never done anything so big in his life.

The Hamilton mural is five feet high and required 100 linear foot of drawing. It took Tom four weeks to do and another four weeks to prepare. He began by sending out a drone to take thousands of photographs of the area to be depicted in the mural. That meant the escarpment, Hamilton mountain, the Cootes Paradise Marsh, an area of big box stores and hundreds of houses, not to mention Lake Ontario and the sky. Then he sorted through all those photos and did black-and-white sketches to scale. After approval by Dave MacLean, he transferred the sketches to massive sheets of primed canvas and began to paint in his studio.

A video that runs just under three minutes shows him at work – fast. For your enjoyment, here is a link …


Employee Profile: Anita Fenton

Anita Fenton is a Visual Artist with the Structures and Scenery Team for Our Home and Miniature Land. She paints anything from the tiniest figurine of a person to the biggest skyscraper in the display, but she does a lot more than paint. Once the overall layout for an exhibit has been decided, Anita helps determine what structures and scenes to do. She designs and builds small-scale models using AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator, and traditional scratch-building modelling techniques. Another part of her job is to do research on the Canadian and historical significance of structures and scenes that will be depicted.

She has known Dave MacLean for many years and joined Our Home and Miniature Land in the spring of 2014. Before that she worked at a museum and gallery, and in advertising.

Anita studied Computer Graphics at George Brown College and graduated from the Illustration program at Sheridan College where she studied screenprinting, dyeing, textile design, sewing, fabric art, and fine art. She says what she likes most about her job is that she gets to use every skill she has learned.

Hobby-wise, Anita paints, draws and plays the piano. Her favourite book is The Life of Pi and her favourite movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.



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