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Gather Beneath the Banner – Political & Religious Banners of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union 1877-1932

March 3, 2001 - April 11, 2001


Curator: ,
Year 2001 Theme Feminisms, Gender & Sexuality, Textiles

Curators Wendy Harker & Max Allen for The Museum for Textiles, Toronto

The 21 embroidered and painted banners in this exhibition proclaim the conservative beliefs and radical activism of one of Canada’s most successful women’s organizations, the W.C.T.U. Used in meetings and spectacular public parades, the banners served as billboards announcing women’s entry into public life as moral entrepreneurs. The W.C.T.U. positioned itself at the forefront of national campaigns for prohibition and women’s suffrage. In 1915, W.C.T.U. member Nellie McClung (Famous Five co-petitioner in the 1929 Persons Case) led the Edmonton Prohibition Parade of 12,000 reformers under the banners of the “White Ribbon Sisters.”

Purity, Piety and Disobedience
On International Women’s Day, Thursday, March 8, visitors to the Gallery could join Nellie McClung, Edith Archibald (Nova Scotia W.C.T.U.), their supporters and opponents, for a lively reenactment of an old-time meeting. Tea and sandwiches were served.