Hooked mats to benefit Ottawa House

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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Endangered wildlife featured in museum’s new display

PARRSBORO - What happens when a group of rug hookers decide to do something about Nova Scotia’s endangered wildlife? The result is hanging at Ottawa House museum, and could benefit the local tourist destination.

Summer resident Kathy LeBlanc, one of six hookers to have her work featured in the exhibit, is hoping visitors will appreciate the work enough to support the museum by dropping something into the donation box that will be available.

“We come here every Wednesday, and we wanted to do something for the museum,” said LeBlanc, one of the members of the local Beach Side Hookers group. “They serve us lunch, tea and coffee. We sit and hook on the deck on nice days, and people stop and talk to us.”

The featured rugs, however, which depict such animals as the piping plover, peregrine falcon and mainland moose, were done by members of LeBlanc’s other hooking group in Smith’s Cove. The mats were hooked two winters ago after the project was started by member Diane Clapp.

Clapp does a lot of work with the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTI) in Caledonia, and convinced her fellow hookers to get behind the idea as a fundraising project.

“She works with species at risk, and is very heavy into conservation,” explained LeBlanc. “She thought we should do something to raise some money for MTI, and she asked six of us if we’d do a mat.”

LeBlanc was one of the six, and her mat of a monarch butterfly was one of the pieces that drew donations for what became a successful fundraiser.  With permission from Clapp, she has now brought the mats to Ottawa House, where they will be displayed for the month of July in hopes of raising money for the local museum.

Museum manager Susan Clarke said she was delighted with the idea.

“We’re very happy to have the rug hookers here every Wednesday – it’s good for tourists, it’s interesting for them, and visitors get to see their products,” said Clarke. “We’re hoping this display will bring extra people into the house.”

awagstaff@citizenrecord.ca

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Ottawa House, MTI, Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, Nova Scotia, Caledonia

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