Kingston is a city rich in history and culture. Doors Open Kingston is part of a province-wide initiative to attract people to historic and cultural sites.
The event gives people the chance to get up close and personal, and explore not only the history but who is behind it. Twenty-three attractions across Kingston opened their doors to the public for free Saturday.
“It really allows people to explore a plethora of historic sites, museums, art galleries, and really get sort of an up-close tour that they wouldn’t get on an every day basis,” said Kingston cultural services curator Melissa Cruise.
In fact, some of the sites, like Currie Hall and the Mackenzie Building at the Royal Military College of Canada, are only open to the public on this one day of the year.
Retired members of RMC were on hand to give tours of the two original buildings. Commodore Ed Murray says people walk away with an appreciation for the historic school and its graduates.
“It’s a realization of what a wonderful place this is sitting right in the middle of their city — in terms of not only the history that’s here, but beginning to get an appreciation for the kind of people that are produced here.”
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The event’s focus this year is women who have shaped the community. Women were first admitted at RMC in 1980 and since then, female graduates have gone on to play key roles in Canadian military and non-military departments.
“The new commander of the second division in Quebec and all the army in Quebec is a young lady who I had as a cadet,” Murray said.
Female graduates of the military college weren’t the only ones being celebrated. At city hall, stories of women who have shaped the city were being shared with visitors.
“One story is Jenny Trout,” Cruise added. “She was one of the first female medical students. There was actually a medical school here in city hall many, many years ago, and so we are focusing on stories like that.”
In an age where women continue to push boundaries and demand equality, Doors Open seems the appropriate event to celebrate them.