News Release Archive


Nearly 400 people attended on opening day of the fanciful exhibit
called "Teddy Bears AHOY!" now on at the Maritime Museum of the
Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street, Halifax.

The exhibit which runs until Jan. 5, is a display of nearly 600
teddy bears, loaned to the museum by Nova Scotians from various
communities in the province, and put in a variety of settings
including on a replica of a tall ship's heaving deck.

Hundreds of bears can be seen not only on the deck but also
climbing the rigging, furling the sail and even at the ship's
wheel. Many other bears form a full to overflowing "Teddy Bear
Tree" while still others gather around Grandpa Bear as he reads
them a story.

"We suspected that there would be a few teddy bear fanciers out
there but didn't realize the response would be quite this warm
and enthusiastic," said Gerry Lunn, museum curator. "When we
invited the public to lend us their bears, we weren't sure what
to expect. By the end of two days, with 550 bears in hand, we
knew we'd hit a sentimental spot."

A lender from Meteghan River, north of Yarmouth, sent along a
bear clutching an Acadian flag, while a number of handmade teddys
came from Louisbourg, Cape Breton.

In addition to those "regular" teddy bears, brown or white furry,
soft and cuddly, an incredible variety are in the display. There
are pirate bears, Christmas elf bears, Paddington, Fozzie, and
Rupert bears, UN bears, ballerina bears and even a surfer bear
among many, many others.

"If you look closely, you'll be able to find some surprises,"
said Mr. Lunn. "There is a bear couple reaffirming their wedding
vows, a couple of synchronized swimming bears, a bear version of
a 'conga line' ... and much more."

Even children unable to attend the exhibit due to a stay in the
hospital will benefit. Tickets for a "Teddy Bear Raffle" are
being sold throughout the five week event, with proceeds going to
the IWK/Grace Foundation. The prizes include not only two
oversized teddy bears, but a hand carved wooden sailor bear
sculpture made and donated to the cause by Gary Brown, a wood
carver from Ketch Harbour.

"After this bearded fellow registered his stuffed teddy bear for
the exhibit, he made an offer I couldn't refuse," said Mr. Lunn.
Mr. Brown has carved seven foot tall Nutcrackers for the benefit
of Symphony Nova Scotia in past seasons.

A small booklet has been produced by the museum recounting 11 of
the hundreds of stories told to museum staff by bear lenders
about their bears. In it, there are the stories of Sheila,
Disaster Bear, Christopher Columbear and Rupert, a bear estimated
to be 90-100 years old who came to Canada aboard the ocean liner
Aquitania in 1946. The booklet is available in the museum's shop.

Admission to the exhibit is free but donations to the Food Bank
would be appreciated.

"Given the public's response so far, it looks promising that this
will become an annual tradition at the Maritime Museum," said Mr.

Exhibit hours are Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 1
p.m. to 5 p.m. On Dec. 24 the museum will be open from 9:30 a.m.
to 1 p.m. and will be closed Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1. The exhibit
is closed on Mondays, with the exception of Dec. 23 and 30, when
it will be open.


Contact: Gerry Lunn  902-424-8793

trp                  Dec. 05, 1996 - 12:05 p.m.