Treasures Sought for Heritage Collection

July 19, 2019

Television shows like Canadian Pickers and Antiques Roadshow have made us all wonder if there could be treasures hiding in our attics or basements. The Capitol Heritage Collection, based in the Capitol Centre, is hoping North Bay and area residents unearth a few pleasant surprises in their homes and businesses as they seek donations of objects and media connected directly or indirectly to the history of arts and culture in the Nipissing region.

The Capitol Centre has been a cornerstone of North Bay’s arts and culture community since its doors opened in 1929 as the Capitol Theatre and during its time as the North Bay Arts Centre from 1987-1997. The Capitol continues to be an important part of the cultural landscape of Northern Ontario. The Capitol Heritage Collection is dedicated to displaying, interpreting, and educating the public about the history of the Capitol Centre and local arts, including music, film, visual art, media, and theatre.

Perhaps you kept your ticket stubs from In Old Arizona, the very first screening at the Capitol Theatre, or the front page of the newspaper that highlighted when Johnny Cash was in town. The Capitol Heritage Collection is interested in theatre, music, and movie memorabilia, including posters, photographs, souvenirs, costumes or clothing, newspaper reviews, film, audio recordings, cameras, performer items, and instruments. In addition, the Capitol Centre’s relationships with TOROS, the North Bay Symphony Orchestra, Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, the North Bay Film Society, and many other wonderful community organizations have resulted in delightful performances. There may be related objects and documents that offer interesting historical details.

Countless galas, fundraisers, festivals, and media launches have taken place at the Capitol Centre and W.K.P. Kennedy Public Art Gallery, providing cherished memories and materials that may enhance Capitol Heritage Collection exhibitions. Of course, without the involvement of our past and present staff, members, volunteers, performers, and founders, we would not be your home for arts and entertainment. Any objects related to volunteerism, employment, or visits at the Capitol Centre are sought as well. The Capitol Centre building itself is another important part of our history. Signage, blueprints, fixtures, and other architectural materials provide more connections to the past.

If you think you have something to add to our collection, please get in touch with Amber McCarthy, our Heritage Interpreter. She can be reached by telephone at 705-474-1944 ext. 244 or through e-mail at research@capitolcentre.org. It’s also possible to bring in your donation directly to 150 Main Street East. Just let someone at the Box Office know the reason for your visit, and a representative from the Capitol Heritage Collection will come speak with you. If you’re not sure about whether something you want to donate would be a good fit for our collection, get in touch – we’re always happy to discuss how your item could build a more complete picture of the Capitol Centre and North Bay’s cultural heritage.

Once a document or object has been acquired by the Capitol Heritage Collection, our staff will ensure it is catalogued and properly cared for. The items in the Capitol Heritage Collection allow us to continue to highlight the history of the Capitol Centre and local arts through a variety of exhibitions designed to provide enjoyment to our community and visitors. While permanent donations are preferred, the Capitol Heritage Collection is open to discussions of loaned materials on a case by case basis.

With your donations, the Capitol Heritage Collection will continue to foster and enrich the history of the Capitol Centre and North Bay’s arts community. Since the 1920s, North Bay has been home to a theatre that has grown into a performing arts centre. We look forward to receiving your contributions to expand our record of the Capitol Centre’s history.

Enjoy a Sunday movie this summer at your Capitol Centre. This Sunday, we are showing Kon Tiki at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $6.00 and Dinner and a Movie is available at Cecil’s pre-show. The free movie is scheduled for July 17 at 2 p.m. and is “Wreck It Ralph.” Combine it with one of our tours on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Rachel McAneney is Heritage Coordinator at the Capitol Centre

Previously published by The North Bay Nugget, July 11, 2013

Written by Rachel McAneney