From our family to yours welcome to Celebration Event Facility and Museum.
A Dream Come True
Celebration Event Facility and Museum brings together my passion for giving back to my community, preserving the heritage of my people, and enjoying the sports I grew up admiring. It provides the perfect place to share the culture and landscape of my people with those from other First Nations, the London-Middlesex area, the province of Ontario, and all across Canada.
As an Indigenous person growing up on “the Rez,” you notice things other people don’t see. We have so much rich history on our land but no place to gather and celebrate it. That’s something I decided to change, through the creation of Celebration.
Celebration is a facility that fills a void in our community and helps share the heritage of our First Nation with the wider world. After re-planning my own wedding several times during the COVID-19 global pandemic-discussing various venues, destinations, and all that fun stuff. I realized something; for my whole life, friends and family would leave Chippewas of the Thames First Nation for big events such as weddings.
Why would they do this, when we’re surrounded by such a beautiful and historically rich landscape?
Simply put, there was no other place to host events like this.
My vision of Celebration changes that, and I welcome you to join along in this epic journey!
Tyler French - Founder
A Rich History
Nestled in the rolling, forested hills of the Thames River watershed, Celebration has been a First Nations gathering place for over 9,000 years.
Our family has lived in this area as far back as our oral histories go. My father, Eldon French, was born a member of Deshkan Ziibiing, or Antler River Nation, on whose ancestral lands I built Celebration. Eldon is a member of the Adik (Caribou) Clan, which is part of the larger Hoof Clan. Dorothy French, my mother, originally came from Stony Point, and joined Deshkan Ziibiing when she married my father. Dorothy is a member of the Namebin Giigoonh (Suckerfish) Clan, and she bridges the gap between First Nations Indigenous peoples on the Lake Huron coast and the Thames River valley.
More than a Venue
OUR PROUD HISTORY ON DISPLAY
Celebration is much more than a place to host events. After working on many archaeological projects in southwestern Ontario, I realized something important. The artifacts that are my people’s heritage can be returned home to our territory to be shared publicly. We need to have the right facilities to safely house them, and this is where Celebration comes in.
Part of the space is a museum, which showcases Indigenous artifacts, discovered right here on the property, alongside exhibits from my other true passion: sports, especially hockey! My collection includes memorabilia from Indigenous and non-Indigenous athletes, as they illustrate how Canadians and First Nations Indigenous people connect through their love and passion for sports.
Our discovery of stone points (arrowheads) while surveying the property can confirm the ancient history of our land to 9000 years, which you can see in the museum when you visit. In more recent times, farmers have used the lush landscape to grow some of Southwestern Ontario’s finest vegetables.