Sackville’s history celebrated through photographs

Sackville: Then and Now photo book launched at Fall Fair.

In July of 2012, an exhibition opened at the old Fire Hall as part of the Sackville 250 celebrations. The exhibition featured  both contemporary and historical photographs of the Sackville area. Now, at the townpeople’s suggestion, the best photos from the collection have been compiled into a book that commemorates the town’s rich history. The book, aptly named Sackville: Then and Now, was launched to the general public during this year’s Sackville Fall Fair during a repeat exhibition of the photography collection. 

“Initially, we were wondering how many people we would get [at the “Sackville: Then and Now” exhibit in 2012], and we thought the maximum would be 500. But at the first show, we had 1,000 people come through,” said Rhianna Edwards, a member of the Sackville Heritage Board subcommittee who were responsible for the original exhibit. “The acclaim was so substantial, people were clamouring for another show, and the people that came away from that kept telling us: ‘This is wonderful, you need a book!’”

The exhibition itself was displayed twice more when, in February, Kip Jackson and Charlie Scobie agreed to put the images together into a book.

“If they were going to start a book like Sackville: Then and Now without the show and the resources, it wouldn’t have been possible; certainly not in four months,” said Paul Bogaard of the Tantramar Heritage Trust, “they had to figure how to organize things in a book: What goes in, what do you cut? There were corrections to be made and puzzles to be figured out.”

In the book version of Sackville: Then and Now, as in the exhibit, the older photos are paired with shots of the same location, taken from the same angle, as they can be seen today. While the newer photos are full of colour and glossy, the older photos reflect the times; some are black and white, some are cracked and faded. Despite the passage of time, the town’s familiar landscapes are still recognizable within the images. The images are paired with text boxes that provide useful context for the time and location of the various shots. The wide variety of photographs represent familiar Sackville locations like its churches, parks, schools and the old foundry.

While some of the photographs in the book were featured in the exhibition at the Fire Hall, several pictures are new additions to the project, brought forth by locals as word spread about the collection. 

The Tantramar Heritage Trust and the Town of Sackville Heritage Board published Sackville: Then and Now, and it was printed through Manitoba based company Friesens. Renaissance Sackville and a number of private donors supported the project.

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