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Thunder Bay Museum – Free Public Lecture – Shawn Patterson – Fur Trade Fort William: A Chronology Through Art, 1805-1882

November 26, 2023 @ 2:00 pm

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reconstruction of fur-trade-era Fort William, please join Shawn Patterson from Fort William Historical Park for an intimate tour of forty-five works of art featuring the trading post throughout the 19th century.  

Shawn will share stories regarding each piece, discussing how the works were discovered, who the artists were, why they visited the region when they did, and how some of the pieces were used to inform the reconstruction of Fort William fifty years ago.

The works of eighteen artists will be featured, including well-known watercolourist William Armstrong, but most of the pieces were captured by lesser-known amateurs who sketched the Fort while passing through.  Of special note is Paul Kane’s masterpiece in oil: Chief at Fort William – Maydoc-game-kinungee, the sketch for which was taken on the Kaministiquia River on September 19, 1848.

Following a one-hour A/V presentation, the second-floor exhibition will be open for exploration for those who attend in-person, and Shawn will be on-hand to answer questions and listen to your perspectives on the collection.

Shawn Patterson is the Collections Team Leader at Fort William Historical Park where he has been interpreting the Canadian fur trade since 1991.  While the living history exhibits contained within the fifty buildings on the Fort’s twenty-five-acre historic site are Shawn’s primary responsibility, he also oversees the costuming department, pursues historic research, and trains program staff.  Interpretive mentoring is one of the favourite facets of his job, so should you come to visit (and you should!) you’ll often find him performing many of his curatorial duties on the historic site, in-costume, and in-character.

  • Free Museum Admission during the event
  • Refreshments will be available



November 26, 2023
2:00 pm


Thunder Bay Museum
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Thunder Bay Museum
425 Donald St E.
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7E 5V1 Canada
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