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Brantford to honour legacy of Alexander Graham Bell

Arts and EntertainmentBrantford to honour legacy of Alexander Graham Bell

The City of Brantford will honour the legacy of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the invention of the telephone with “Thanks Mr. Bell”, a series of free, family-friendly events.

Residents and visitors are invited to join the celebrations by taking in a live performance, attending the elegant garden party, joining the Telephone Trail Trek Challenge and more. The events will take place at the Bell Homestead National Historic Site and Harmony Square from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28, 2024.

“On July 26, 1874, at his parent’s home in Brantford, Ontario, a young Alexander Graham Bell sat in a spot he called his “dreaming place” and grasped the principle of his most famous invention, the telephone,” said Brian Wood, Curator at the City of Brantford’s Bell Homestead National Historic Site. “The City is excited to host a number of “Thanks Mr. Bell” events to honour Alexander Graham Bell’s legacy and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the telephone.”

The weekend celebration kicks off in Harmony Square with A Musical Tribute to the Telephone on Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m. featuring the Avalon Music Academy of Brantford. Guests are invited to bring a lawn chair for this outdoor performance.

Residents and visitors are invited to the 150th Anniversary Garden Party with free sweets and refreshments, while supplies last, on the grounds of the Bell Homestead NHS on Saturday, July 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will delight in the musical entertainment provided by the Telephone City Music Society and AILM+Celtic Musicians. Free tours of the Bell Homestead NHS will be offered by the Brant 4H Bell Homestead Club from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration for the tours is not required. 

An official ribbon cutting for the museum’s new telephone exhibit, “Life on the Line: The Evolution of the Bell Telephone”, will take place at 1:15 p.m. Attendees will be able to tour the new exhibit for free throughout the afternoon. Enjoy a free performance of “Nature had the Answer: An Ode to the Telephone”, an interpretive dance choreographed by Elsie Myers Martin, a great granddaughter of Alexander Graham Bell at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The Brant Theatre Workshop will be putting on a special presentation of “Helen, Annie and Alec” on Saturday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bell Homestead NHS. Written by Sharyl Hudson, “Helen, Annie and Alec” explores the friendship between Helen Keller and Alexander Graham Bell. Canadian actor John Tench, known for his portrayal of Dr. Bell in the CBC series “Murdoch Mysteries”, will reprise the role in this wonderful production. Guests are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy this free outdoor performance.

The weekend of celebrations concludes with the Telephone Trail Trek Challenge on Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. Participants are invited to walk, run or bike the distance of the world’s first long-distance telephone call made from Brantford to Paris, Ontario. The 18-kilometre trek will begin at Brantford’s Harmony Square and will take participants along the picturesque trails ending at the Paris Museum and Historical Society at the Syl Apps Community Centre, 51 William Street. Every registrant will receive a free t-shirt and will find water and rest stops along the way where they can enjoy telephone trivia and refreshments. A free shuttle will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to take participants from the rest stops to the Paris Museum and back to Harmony Square. Register for The Telephone Trail Trek by Sunday, July 14, 2024 at www.Brantford.ca/ThanksMrBell.

To learn more about the “Thanks Mr. Bell” events, please visit www.Brantford.ca/BellHomestead or call 519-756-6220. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #ThanksMrBell.

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