The Knights of Columbus Museum’s eighth annual crèche exhibition, Joyeux Noël: Christmas in Canada, includes more than 75 Nativity scenes, dioramas, statues and paintings from Canadian artists.
The presentation opens Nov. 15 and continues through Feb. 3, 2013.
Canada is among the largest nations in terms of geography and has a population of 35 million people, growing in size and diversity through immigration. Three quarters of Canadian citizens identify themselves as Christians, and the nation’s Christian heritage traces back over four centuries to settlements established along its Atlantic shores by European explorers and traders.
Canada’s French-speaking eastern provinces still have a strong Catholic tradition, dating to their establishment by settlers from France. In other regions of Canada, Christianity has a broad base of traditions brought by other European, as well as Asian, immigrants.
This exhibition recognizes Canada’s strong Christian devotion and popular celebration of Christmas by featuring crèches, sculptures and other forms of art. The crèche, or Nativity scene, has been enjoyed by French Canadians for centuries. Interest in the crèche has grown among other Canadian Christians as well.
"The French missionaries who brought the Gospel to Canada contributed in an important way to the history of our continent,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “This exhibition honors their legacy, and the legacy of all those who brought and embraced Christ’s message of love in Canada."
All the artwork on display is of Canadian origin. Lenders include the world-famous St. Joseph’s Oratory Museum in Montreal and the Rivière-éternitÊ collection from the Province of Quebec, as well as Canadian sculptors Timothy Schmalz and Antonio Caruso, two of Canada’s finest living artists. Other Canadian crèches and art are on loan from the International Crèche Museum in Dayton, Ohio, and the Des Ruisseaux Collection in New Hampshire.
Mr. Caruso will offer a daily woodcarving presentation Dec. 5 to 9 at 2 p.m. in the lobby, and the annual Christmas Tree Festival opens Dec. 1.
The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 203-865-0400 or visit kofcmuseum.org.