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Arnprior museum hoping to dispel freemasonry myths with new exhibit

"Freemasonry is considered secretive and shrouded in mystery," said the museum's curator.
2018-09-07 freemason grand master
Part of the uniform worn by Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario Paul Todd. Photo/

A new exhibit about Freemasonry is coming to Arnprior and District Museum.

"Freemasonry: A History Hidden in Plain Sight," is a special travelling exhibit from the Bruce County Museum which promotes the knowledge, appreciation and understanding of Masonic history and its influence on the past to present day.

A community project, the new display is made possible by a grant from the Government of Canada's Museums Assistance Program, with an important partnership between the museum and Arnprior's Madawaska Lodge No. 196, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year.

Museum visitors will get an inside look at the regalia, artifacts, and rituals of Freemasonry, and the travelling exhibit boasts a portrait gallery of famous Masons from around the world.

Augmented with artifacts from local lodges, including Madawaska No. 196, the show will be of interest to people of all ages, high school groups, and especially those attending the Masonic conference in Arnprior in September.

"The community at large will be attracted to the exhibit out of sheer curiosity," said Museum Curator Janet Carlile. "Freemasonry is considered secretive and shrouded in mystery, and is often condemned by conspiracy theorists. We hope to dispel some of the myths and provide a historical context."

Between September 11 and October 26, the Arnprior & District Museum will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, for this special exhibit. Admission is by donation. 

To schedule a class visit, please call 613-623-4902 or email


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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