Sheep Shearing Festival
The Museum presents the annual Sheep Shearing Festival. For the occasion, visitors will be able to learn all about wool by participating in various activities and demonstrations. Visitors of all ages can attend sheep shearing, sheep herding with sheepdogs and sheepdog agility demonstrations, as well as meet some alpacas. They can also learn about carding, spinning, weaving and knitting, all important steps in the transformation of a raw fleece into wool. Visitors will enjoy watching the traditional craft of finger-weaving and participating in a quiz about fibres. We certainly must not forget Little Bo Peep, who still needs help finding her sheep!
As of May 17, 2016, the sheep and goat section of the small animal barn will be closed while the animals undergo veterinary treatments for Orf. For further information, please refer to the FAQ: Orf FAQs pdf
The Sheep Shearing Festival 2016 will go ahead as scheduled!
The sheep participating in the sheep herding and shearing demonstrations and the meet the lambs demonstrations (including the sheep and goats on display in the horse and cattle barn) are from different farms and do not have the virus.
Find your way around the farm with this colourful, easy-to-read map (PDF).
Old Cereal Barn
Sheep Shearing Demonstration
(10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00)
With summer fast approaching, the moment has arrived for us to shear our sheep. Visitors can attend a sheep shearing demonstration, where they will see a professional sheep shearer at work as one of our dynamic guides explains the entire process.
The Art of Leather
(ongoing activity with a break between 12:00 and 1:00)
There is more to leather than durable boots and stylish handbags – leather is a fascinating by-product! With expert artisan Lynn McNabb, visitors will be able to see how leather is prepared and how it can be ultimately crafted into beautiful and functional items.
Small Animal Barn
Meet the lambs (ongoing activity)
With the help of a guide, visitors will learn all about sheep, their life cycle, and the reason we raise them on farms. Come and meet the spring lambs and their mothers in the sheep barn.
Small Animal Barn Classroom
Felt Making (ongoing activity)
With the help of a guide, visitors can make felt from a piece of sheep’s wool while discovering the history of the world’s oldest fabric.
Wool Carding (ongoing activity)
At this station, visitors can learn about carding, an important step in the transformation of wool. They can even try their hand at this activity with a pair of carders!
Sheepdog Agility Demonstration
(10:30, 12:00 and 2:30) weather permitting!
Visitors will be enthralled by this demonstration performed by members of the “Ottawa Valley Border Collie Club”, who will captivate your attention with their Border Collies, who race through a course filled with obstacles of all sorts.
Sheep Herding Demonstration with Sheepdogs
(11:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00)
At this demonstration, visitors will see a shepherd and his specially trained dogs in action, as they work as a team to herd a flock of sheep.
Meet the Alpacas (ongoing activity)
Visitors will see some alpacas up-close as they meet these fascinating animals. They will learn about their life cycle, the reason we raise them on farms, as well as the particularities of their fleece.
“Animal or Plant?” Quiz (ongoing activity)
At this station, visitors will spin the wheel and test their knowledge about fibres from various sources. Will they know if the fibre comes from an animal or a plant?
Meadow view Barn
(ongoing activity from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 1:30 to 3:30)
Visitors will make rope using yarn and a rope maker.
Wool Weaving (ongoing activity)
Visitors will be able to see an expert weaving wool on a manual loom, as well as try their hand at the art of weaving too.
Knitting (ongoing activity)
At this station, visitors can try their hands at knitting under the watchful eyes of experts, members of The Knitting Guild of Ottawa.
Finger Weaving (ongoing activity)
Visitors will be able to see a craftsman doing some finger-weaving – a traditional craft that is used to make all sorts of products, including the famous arrow sash!
Wool Spinning (ongoing activity)
Wool must first be spun before it can be transformed into useful and beautiful objects. Come and see an expert practice this art either on a spinning wheel or a drop spindle.
Afternoon Milking (4:00)
The milking of the Museum’s dairy cows takes place twice daily. Over the course of this demonstration, visitors will be impressed by the technologies used in modern dairying as they see the herdspeople milk the entire herd. A Museum guide will be on site to explain the process and to answer questions.
Food Services ($)
Hot Potato Company will be on site to offer food services.
Tally-Ho Wagon Rides ($) weather permitting
(10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) - Saturday Only!
Enjoy a tour through the fields of the Central Experimental Farm on the Tally-Ho wagon pulled by the dynamic duo, Paul and Padrig, the Museum’s new Clydesdale horses.