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Belleville exhibit pays tribute to Canadian hero Terry Fox

The Belleville exhibit includes a letter that Terry Fox received from a Grade 2 class in North Bay, Ont., after he had to stop his cross-Canada run when his cancer came back. Photo by James Gaughan, QNet News

The Belleville exhibit includes a letter that Terry Fox received from a Grade 2 class in North Bay, Ont., after he had to stop his cross-Canada run when his cancer came back. Photo by James Gaughan, QNet News

By James Gaughan [1]   

BELLEVILLE – More than three decades after Terry Fox [2]‘s Marathon of Hope [3], local residents can revisit it thanks to a new exhibit in Belleville.

Glanmore National Historic Site [4], a mansion built in the 1800s, is usually dedicated to displaying items from the Victorian era. Temporarily, though, it is home to Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada [5], a travelling exhibition on loan from the Canadian Museum of History [6].

Terry Fox poster

Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada is on display at Glanmore National Historic Site. Photo by James Gaughan QNet News

The display features photographs, interviews, press clippings and journal entries from the Marathon of Hope, Fox’s attempt to run across Canada in 1980 to raise awareness about cancer and money for research.

Danielle McMahon-Jones, administrative and collections assistant at Glanmore, says the museum wanted to bring in an exhibit people would connect with.

“Everyone knows who Terry Fox is. Everyone has done a Terry Fox run [7] in their life. So we figured that would be an excellent subject to bring to Glanmore over the March break,” she told QNet News.

This is the first time the exhibition has been on the road, said Melissa Wakeling, the education and marketing co-ordinator for Glanmore and the person responsible for bringing it to Belleville.

Terry Fox never came to Belleville – he took a more northerly route along Highway 7 [8] on his way between Ottawa and Toronto – but his influence is still felt by people in the community and all over Canada, McMahon-Jones said.

“We’re 35, 36 years after his run and he’s still extremely important, and very important to people who are battling cancer and people who have overcome cancer.”

Glanmore tries to bring in an exhibit from out of town once a year. Last year it hosted one about ancient Egypt from the Royal Ontario Museum [9].

Getting the travelling exhibits is not easy for Glanmore, though. Because of the relatively small size of the building,  compared to most museums, not all of them can fit. In addition, most exhibits cost Glanmore upward of $10,000 to host. The Terry Fox exhibit cost about $3,000.

The museum expects it will see an increase in visitors because of the display.

“I think it will generate lots of interest,” Wakeling said. “Lots of people have a deep personal connection. Either they remember the run, or they saw Terry Fox.”

The exhibit runs until May 5. Glanmore is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.. The address is 257 Bridge St. E.