Canada's History - - CHRISTOPHER MOORE -

“BOUGHT BEAR $20.” Lit­tle did Lieu­tenant Harry Cole­bourn know that the diary in which he recorded the pur­chase of Win­nie the bear at White River, On­tario, would be­come a price­less ar­ti­fact more than a hun­dred years later.

Cole­bourn’s war di­aries from 1914 to 1918 are the cen­tre­piece of a new ex­hibit at Win­nipeg’s Assini­boine Park Pav­il­lion Gallery Mu­seum. En­ti­tled Re­mem­ber­ing the Real Win­nie, the ex­hibit also in­cludes pho­to­graphs and other ob­jects be­long­ing to the First World War vet­eri­nar­ian who took the fe­male bear cub over­seas as a mas­cot. Win­nie was the in­spi­ra­tion for au­thor A.A. Milne’s clas­sic chil­dren’s tales of Win­nie-the-Pooh.

“Win­nie had such a good tem­per­a­ment that she worked her way into the hearts of the sol­diers of the reg­i­ment,” cu­ra­tor Irene Gam­mel said at the ex­hi­bi­tion’s open­ing in Novem­ber 2016.

The pro­ject was ex­e­cuted out of Ryerson Univer­sity in Toronto and in­cludes the ex­hibit as well as a film and a web­site — the­re­al­win­

The free ex­hibit is on loan at the mu­seum’s Pooh Gallery un­til Oc­to­ber 31, 2017. The Pooh Gallery also con­tains the show­piece oil paint­ing Win­nie the Pooh and the Honey Pot by E.H. Shep­ard, the orig­i­nal il­lus­tra­tor of Milne’s books.

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