Arts & Culture

Mister Rabbit’s Circus: Charming, Educational, Entertaining

Unique toy exhibition opens in Montreal
BY Susan Hallett TIMENovember 11, 2015 PRINT

Toys transcend the barriers of race, class, and culture. A unique toy exhibit that opened at the McCord Museum in Montreal on Nov. 1 is the latest edition of the imaginative toys exhibition held at the museum every year.

Geared toward children aged 3 to 9, the exhibit explores what a circus is and allows visitors to discover toys from McCord’s extensive collection. Parents and children can explore the circus and the museum’s toy collection in a setting that is charming, educational, and entertaining.

The exhibit was inspired by the popular children’s book series “Monsieur Lapin” (“Mister Rabbit”), according to a museum press release.

Circus props such as Mr. Rabbit’s trumpet, his fiancée Suzy’s tightrope umbrella, and the magician’s hat have disappeared, and the children are invited to join Mister Rabbit in solving the mystery and embark on an entertaining quest with clues along the way.

“We want the children and parents to have a playful, stimulating experience. With dazzling set design, Mister Rabbit’s Circus invites them to take part in an adventure and encourages them to marvel, look, discover, and explore while having fun,” McCord’s president and CEO Suzanne Sauvage said in the release.

More than 200 artifacts from the museum’s toy and decorative arts collection are on display, several for the first time. Among these are a fortune-telling deck of cards (1919), animals and characters from the Humpty Dumpty circus (1920), a mechanical toy inspired by the roller coaster in Coney Island, New York (1945-1949), and the clown puppet Clarabell (around 1950).

There will be special activities and workshops during the exhibit, which runs until April 17, 2016. For more information, visit:

Susan Hallett is an award-winning writer and editor who has written for The Beaver, The Globe & Mail, Wine Tidings, and Doctor’s Review, among others. She is currently the European editor of Taste & Travel International. Email:

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