Tag: museum

NIAGARA DISCOVERIES: ‘A. Lincoln and Family’ visited Niagara Falls

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From the Lockport Journal:

Today is the 152nd anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. We know that our 16th president visited the Niagara Frontier at least twice, and possibly three times, before he took his first oath of office in March, 1861. Read More…

In Memory of Henry Muller

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From HoudiniMuseum.org

Henry Muller, cofounder of the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame, a public museum and tourist attraction operated in Niagara Falls, Canada, from 1968 to 1995, died on Feb. 28 in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 86 years old.

Here’s Henry’s official obituary, reproduced from YourLifeMoments…

Read More…

Interactive Titanic museum planned for Niagara Falls

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From the Toronto Sun:

An interactive museum that hopes to recreate the experience of sailing on board the Titanic may be coming to Canada.

A group in Niagara Falls, Ont., has conditionally purchased land that would house the museum and is moving ahead with plans to launch an exhibit dubbed “Experience Titanic.”

David Van Velzen, who’s spearheading the project, says the museum will differ from many similar efforts around the world by focusing on an interactive audience experience.

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Prediction: SNOW from January to April at Niagara Falls History Museum

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Last week I received the following press release from the Niagara Falls History Museum:

For Immediate Release

Prediction: SNOW from January to April at
Niagara Falls History Museum

Niagara Falls, ON, January 13, 2016 – Canadians have a long-standing fascination with snow.  We either love it or hate it, and sometimes we do both.  We adapt to it, use it, have fun with it, identify with it, and are inspired by it.  Snow is an interactive exhibition opening at the Niagara Falls History Museum on January 26, 2017.

Snow, the first exhibition of its kind in Canada, portrays the amazing love-hate relationship that the inhabitants of this great land have had with snow since the arrival of the First Peoples in North America. Created by the Canadian Museum of History in partnership with the J. Armand Bombardier Museum, Snow gives visitors a historical and cultural perspective on this element of nature as a source of adaptation, passion, ingenuity and creativity.

With over 400 digital photos and captions contributed by Canadians from across the country, Snow gives visitors a true feel for winter.  Snow presents artefacts such as boots made out of sealskin and caribou hide, snowshoes and clothing designed to be warm and waterproof.   Eyeglasses made from walrus ivory by Nunavut’s Thule Inuit that date back to around 1300 are among the items on display.   Visitors young and old can try on replicas of the glasses and see some of the clever ways in which humans have adapted to snow and cold.  Among the exhibition’s interactives are opportunities to try on a snowshoeing outfit, listen to recorded stories and view sketches made by explorers, voyageurs, soldiers and scientists, to learn how Canada’s early settlers endured and adapted to the winter months.

“Weather is a favourite topic for Canadians,” says Suzanne Moase, Niagara Falls Museums Curator.  “We love to talk about snowstorms, the cold and the slush.  Snow, the exhibition, will strike a chord with all our visitors, from outdoor enthusiasts to sitters by the fire and everyone in between.  The artefacts and documents chosen represent how we deal with the challenge of snowy winters today, as well as how we have coped with snow and adapted our lifestyles around it in the past.”

Media are invited to preview the exhibition on January 25 from 5:00 p.m until 7:00 p.m. where Museum staff and Mr. Nicolas Gauvin, Director of Business Partnerships and Information Management at the Canadian Museum of History will be available for comments.

Snow falls on the Niagara Falls History Museum, 5810 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls, on January 26 and “blankets” the Ontario Power Generation Gallery until April 16, 2017.  Come and see how snow has helped shape our cultural identity.  You’ll be “snowed” under.


For more information, contact:

Clark Bernat, City of Niagara Falls
Manager of Museums and Culture

Phone: 905-358-5082
Email: cbernat@niagarafalls.ca

20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

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One week ago my family headed out to check out the Ripley’s attractions in Niagara Falls. These include Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, Ripley’s Moving Theater, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Our last stop was Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium.

Note: To view images from our trip, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – Image Gallery posting.

This was the attraction that we were most anxious to visit as it had just re-opened after many months of renovations. I had been to the old Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum several times over the years. Although the attraction was always interesting, it just had kind of an old/dated feel to it. We were really looking forward to seeing the new Odditorium. We were not disappointed!

20160620_190829.jpg The entire attraction has been completely redone, and it looks fantastic. It has been enlarged, the ceilings seem higher, and everything is much brighter.

The odditorium has been divided into a variety of different rooms with similar themes. There are rooms that focus on strange animals, odd habits, art, and many other oddities. There are classic exhibits (shrunken heads, lint art, etc), and much more modern exhibits. It truly is filled with interactive displays, starting right in the lobby. My daughter loved the water pipe display. You can press buttons and turn knobs to make water flow, stop, change colour, and more. There was a place where you could try to fold yourself into a box, sit in Robert Wadlow’s giant chair, and stand next to the world’s shortest person.

20160620_191757.jpg The Erik Sprague exhibit is a great example of the layout. Erik Sprague is also called the Lizardman and he has done some extreme body modification. The exhibit is brightly lit, has a life-sized figure of him, and shows a video of some of his performances. It’s amazing. My wife also liked some of the classic exhibits that show the African neck rings, stretched lips andears and foot binding.

20160620_192714.jpg One of the exhibits that was new from just before the renovation was the Wigan Micro Sculptures. Willard Wigan creates micro sculptures that fit within the eye of a needle. This is where the name of the odditorium really comes into play… believe it or not! It really is unbelievable that this is even possible. However they have a variety of microscopes and sure enough, there are small little carvings that really do fit into the eye of the needle. Wow!!

20160620_194947.jpg One of the best  additions to the attraction is new “play” area. I think my kids could have played there for hours. There is a mind-bending “vortex tunnel” that was totally dizzying. There are other interactive games to play such as plastic pin art, a photo silhouette wall, and more. The evening we were there wasn’t particularly busy, but there were at least a dozen or more people in this area and no one seemed to be in a rush to leave.

20160620_194509.jpg I can’t recommend Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium enough! It was super fun and there was definitely something there for all members of my family. As has been mentioned in the other postings, the best deal is to get the 3 Attraction Flex Ticket. If you are interested in a single admission, at the time of this write-up on their website adult tickets are $17.99, senior tickets are $14.99 and child tickets are $10.99. Be sure to check out the Ripley’s web site for the latest information.

Note: To view images from our trip, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – Image Gallery posting.

Ripley’s reopens after modern makeover

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From Niagara This Week:

Oddball items and curiosities are back on display in Niagara Falls, Ont., now that one of the city’s mainstay attractions has reopened following a major modernization.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not opened the doors to its so-called “odditorium” Friday after six months of renovations aimed at replacing traditional exhibits with something more hands-on.

The revamped attraction features interactive exhibits, including one that allows visitors to simulate walking a tightrope over the iconic falls.

Another exhibit, the Niagara Water Wall, has visitors control the flow, colour and shape of the water using wheels and cranks.

The museum’s manager, Tim Parker, says it’s the most drastic change the space has undergone in years.

The Final Frontier on Ferry

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From Niagara This Week:

Right now, the Ontario Power Generation Galley at the Niagara Falls History Museum is an open — and very empty — space.

It won’t be that way for long as come Jan. 16, the hall will come alive in a display that that oddly enough, is dedicated to — wait for it — Space.

That’s space, as in the final frontier; space, as in out of this world.

And centre to the exhibit is a moon rock brought back to Earth in 1971 by the Apollo XV mission.

Tuesday, Sept. 27: World’s most extreme escape artist to perform at Ripley’s Niagara Falls

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Last week I received this press release about an escape artist who will be at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum on Clifton Hill tomorrow (Tuesday, September 27, 2011). I hope to be there to see it.



World’s Most Extreme Escape Artist to perform The Dagger
Trap, Live on Sept. 27, 2011

Dubbed the World’s Most Extreme Escape Artist by Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Steve Santini to appear at Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Niagara Falls – Escape to be taped for upcoming OLN series Deals from the Dark Side –

Steve Santini, Escape Artist

Steve Santini, Escape Artist

(Niagara Falls, ON – September 22, 2011) – On Tuesday September 27 Steve Santini will play with death once again. His plan: escape The Dagger Trap – A 150 pound steel plate with over a dozen razor sharp spikes aimed at Santini’s shackled body as he attempts to escape, leaving Santini with a fraction of a second and zero margin for error to avoid certain death! The escape will take place at Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, located in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Sept 27th, 2011 at 11:00am sharp (Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, 4960 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3N4). The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Buck Productions will be on site to cover the dangerous act as part of the upcoming OLN series, Deals from the Dark Side. The series features escape artist and eccentric collector Santini on his quest to buy and authenticate dark relics.

Santini in The Dagger Trap

Dubbed one of the World’s Most Extreme Escape Artist by Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Santini began to demonstrate the unusual ability for escaping confinements and restraints at age 14. The following years saw him earn a tremendous amount of press and praise for a myriad of wild escapes including a maximum security Death Row prison cell, and a locked and sealed coffin submerged under 30 feet of cold lake water. For over two decades Santini toured coast-to-coast with his acclaimed act visiting universities, theatres, and historic locations. Santini is also one of the world’s foremost Titanic historians and collector of dark artefacts. His collection includes a pair of Houdini’s Handcuffs, a Titanic deck chair, numerous medieval torture relics and civil war antiques.

This live escape marks Santini’s fifth anniversary as being named the World’s Most Extreme Escape Artist in the Ripley’s Hardcover Expect the Unexpected. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will be presenting Santini with an award and giving away a range of prizes to the audience in celebration.

For more information:

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Madalena Phillips, Marketing & Public Relations
t. 1.647.231.3321 (mobile)
e. mphillips@ripleys.com

Ripley Entertainment Inc.
Tim O’Brien, VP Communications
t. 615.464.7465 (office)
t. 615.496.5949 (mobile)
e. obrien@ripleys.com

Buck Productions
Sophie Dinicol
t. 416.362.3330
e. sophie@buckproductions.com

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium Niagara Falls

Located on Clifton Hill since 1963, the always growing Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Niagara Falls Odditorium (www.ripleysniagara.com) still holds on to the reputation as Niagara’s most-visited museum. Authentic shrunken heads, the world’s rarest egg and two-headed animals are only the beginning here. Housing an impressive collection of the odd, strange and unbelievable from around the world, the museum showcases over 700 mind boggling exhibits, oddities, curiosities and illusions throughout 20 extraordinarily themed galleries.

About Ripley Entertainment

Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 12 million annually at its 80-plus attractions in 11 countries.  In addition to its 31 Believe It or Not!Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.

About Buck Productions

Buck Productions (www.buckproductions.com) is a full-service, multi-disciplinary commercial, and entertainment production company, with offices in Toronto and New York. Honoured as one of the most influential,  inspirational, and world leading production companies in the Realscreen “Global Top 100”.

Fans shocked by sword swallower


Note: I was in Niagara Falls on Saturday and had meant to be there (I’ve been there the last two years), but just didn’t make it.

From the Welland Tribune:

A large crowd of people gathered around Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum Saturday afternoon to watch — many with their hands covering their mouths, some half covering their eyes — as a Toronto woman swallowed a 24-inch stainless-steel sword.

“It was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like that before,” said 20-year-old Krysta Cwynar, who was visiting from Buffalo. “I’ve seen pretty crazy things in my life, but nothing like that.

“I was kind of scared that she was going to get hurt. That was a big sword. I’m just baffled right now.”

The Magic of Harry Houdini

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This isn’t directly Niagara Falls related, but it does have a tie-in…

Last week I was listening to an episode of On Point, a radio show on NPR out of WBUR in Boston. The episode was called The Magic of Harry Houdini and had information from one of his biographies, as well as information about a new museum exhibit. This got me looking on the Internet for more information about Houdini. I had forgotten about the Niagara Falls connection, but was reminded of it when reading the Wikipedia entry about him:

1968 – The Houdini Magical Hall of Fame was opened on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. At its opening, this museum contained the majority of Houdini’s personal collection of magic paraphernalia. One of Houdini’s death wishes was that his entire collection be given to his brother Theodore (also known as the magician Hardeen) and burned upon Theodore’s death. Against his wishes, forty years after Houdini’s death, the items were taken from storage and sold. Two entrepreneurs purchased the items and renovated a former meat-packing plant on Clifton Hill, Ontario, Canada, to house the museum. The Hall of Fame was moved in 1972 to its final location on the top of Clifton Hill. Séances were held every year at the museum on October 31, the anniversary of Houdini’s death. A fire destroyed the museum on April 30, 1995.

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