April showers bring May flowers
April showers bring May flowers, and at Our Home & Miniature Land it’s not just the flowers that are flourishing! We can’t help but share our excitement as we near completion of our Southern Ontario exhibit while also working away on construction of our Ottawa Parliament buildings, hopefully just in time for the Canada150 birthday festivities!
This month we continue our celebration of our fellow miniature land attractions with a peak into the wonderful world of MiniWorld Lyon in France. And with Victoria Day weekend just around the corner, we’re paying homage to Queen Victoria and her role in shaping Canada into what we know and love today.
Find out more below! And speaking of May flowers, here is a picture of our miniature flower stand at the St.Lawrence Market!
MiniWorld Lyon, a playground for everybody!
Who knew all it took was a little spring cleaning to set in motion an idea that would become the largest park of animated miniatures in France. This little story started in 2012 when founder, Richard Richarté was clearing out his garage and came across an old miniature model. His interest piqued as he noticed his daughter’s enthusiasm while she helped assemble it. After a bit of googling and a deep dive into the land of miniature things, Richard was hooked.
Meet Maggie Koczur, the ‘Miss-Tree lady’
Say hello to one of our newer modellers at Our Home & Miniature Land. Having worked as a make-up artist and hair stylist for fifteen years, Maggie knows how to ‘spruce’ things up. She has brought to life hundreds of trees creating a lush, green landscape in the process. Maggie joined Our Home & Miniature Land over a year ago after an invitation from her friend Jean-Louis to become a part of the team.
Having learned to “paint faces” at the Toronto School of Make-up Art, Maggie applies her expertise when painting miniature structures and figures, and though a bit smaller in size, she’s found a way to make them all look beautiful. Along with making trees, building structures and painting figures, Maggie has supported the team in various other tasks, such as constructing a city’s worth of wooden vehicles, which is no easy feat.
She enjoys puzzles, colouring, knitting, crochet and especially listening to music, which you can often hear her humming away to as she meticulously grows a miniature forest. Maggie’s favourite book to relax with is the Bible and her favourite flick is Grease.
Maggie is a valuable team player, always willing to help out in any way. Her positive attitude and upbeat personality make her a ‘tree-mendous’ part of the team and it’s safe to say we would lack much of our miniature forest without her.
Be sure to check Maggie’s work and try not to get lost among the trees.
All hail the Queen!
May, the month of warm patio weather, backyard BBQs, cottage road trips and, of course, Victoria Day Weekend - prepare those fireworks! Victoria Day sets the countdown until the official start of summer, but it holds much more meaning than just an extra day of vacation. It marks the birthday of Queen Victoria, born May 24, 1819, and celebrates her role as “Mother of Confederation” in Canada.
Victoria became queen at the young age of 18, following the death of her uncle, William IV, in 1837. For any regular 18 year old, it’s hard enough having to pick a university to attend, imagine having to rule an empire. Queen Victoria is said to have been kind and good-natured, making her popular among many.
While she never visited Canada, Queen Victoria played a vital role in its development, shaping it into the nation we know today. She brought political figures from the British North American colonies together who all shared loyalty to the Crown, and was a major influence in the union of the Provinces. Victoria selected Ottawa as capital for the Dominion of Canada in 1867, believing it was the perfect because it was located on the border between English and French Canada. We’re excited to be able to create Ottawa once again for our miniature Canada – stay tuned for progress on this front.
There are countless buildings, institutions, streets, communities and statues that pay respect to Queen Victoria, and she is recognized as one of the most honoured individuals in Canada. Here is Our Home & Miniature Land’s homage-in-miniature to our royal patron – the Queen Victoria statue found at Gore Park in our miniature version of Hamilton!