Special Events

150th Celebration of the Invention of the Telephone

The Bell Homestead National Historic Site is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1874 with some fun free activities the entire family can enjoy. All events take place rain or shine. Join the conversation on Facebook using the hashtag #Bell150.  Subscribe to this page below to receive updates to details as they occur.

Free Music in the Square 

Join us at Harmony Square, 89 Dalhousie Street, at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of live music with a telephone twist by Avalon Music Academy of Brantford. Don't forget your lawn chair.

  • Friday, July 26 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Celebrating 150 years at the Homestead 

Residents and visitors are invited to the 150th Anniversary Garden Party with free sweets and refreshments, while supplies last, on the grounds of the Bell Homestead NHS on Saturday, July 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Guests will delight in the musical entertainment provided by the Telephone City Music Society and AILM+Celtic Musicians. Free tours of the Bell Homestead NHS will be offered by the Brant 4H Bell Homestead Club from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pre-registration for the tours is not required.

An official ribbon cutting for the museum’s new telephone exhibit, “Life on the Line: The Evolution of the Bell Telephone”, will take place at 1:15 p.m. Attendees will be able to tour the new exhibit for free throughout the afternoon. Enjoy a free performance of “Nature had the Answer: An Ode to the Telephone”, an interpretive dance choreographed by Elsie Myers Martin, a great granddaughter of Alexander Graham Bell at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The Brant Theatre Workshop will be putting on a special presentation of “Helen, Annie and Alec” on Saturday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bell Homestead NHS. Written by Sharyl Hudson, “Helen, Annie and Alec” explores the friendship between Helen Keller and Alexander Graham Bell. Canadian actor John Tench, known for his portrayal of Dr. Bell in the CBC series “Murdoch Mysteries”, will reprise the role in this wonderful production. Guests are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy this free outdoor performance.

Telephone Trail Trek Challenge 

The weekend of celebrations concludes with the Telephone Trail Trek Challenge on Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. Participants are invited to walk, run or bike the distance of the world's first long-distance telephone call made from Brantford to Paris, Ontario. The 18-kilometre trek will begin at Brantford’s Harmony Square and will take participants along the picturesque trails ending at the Paris Museum and Historical Society at the Syl Apps Community Centre, 51 William Street. Every registrant will receive a free t-shirt and will find water and rest stops along the way where they can enjoy telephone trivia and refreshments. A free shuttle will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to take participants from the rest stops to the Paris Museum and back to Harmony Square. Register for the Telephone Trail Trek before Sunday, July 14, 2024 at www.Brantford.ca/ThanksMrBell. Registration will also be available between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. at Harmony Square prior to the walk. You can view the Trail Trek Challenge map online at https://bit.ly/TrailTrekChallenge24.

  • Sunday, July 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Register for the Telephone Trail Trek Challenge

Annual special events

We offer a variety of special events all year. Learn more below.  Call us for more information.

Eliza's Mother's Day Afternoon Tea - Sunday May 12, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. 

Join us for an elegant afternoon at the Bell Homestead with a scrumptious assortment of tea sandwiches, scones and desserts. Mimosa cocktails will be served as a special treat. Take a tour of Eliza Bell’s 1870's home with the Brant 4H Club as we celebrate Alexander Graham Bell's mother along with all of our moms! Ticket includes museum admission. $45.00 per person, children ages 8 and under cost $15.00 per child (including tax). Call us or email us for tickets. 

  • Sunday, May 12, 2024 (time slots available to reserve for 1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.)
May is Museum Month Open House - Saturday May 18, 2024

Join us for a complimentary tour of the Bell Homestead as we celebrate International Museums Day! Call us or email us to pre-book a tour. 

  • Saturday, May 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
28th  Annual Barn Sale - Saturday May 25, 2024

You'll find lots of great bargains at our annual rummage sale including household items, furniture, clothing and oddities galore. Admission is free with exception to cost of purchased items. Proceeds from the sale benefit our annual community special events. Have items to donate? You can drop off your donations at the Bell Homestead or call 519-756-6220 or email us to arrange pick-up. 

  • Saturday, May 25 from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Time to Sing Concert - Sunday June 9, 2024

The Brant County Singers kick off the Bell Homestead’s summer music series with an outdoor performance on the Bell family’s front verandah. Bring your favourite blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the concert. Donations are welcome towards Brant Food for Thought

  • Sunday, June 9 beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Summer Serenade Concert - Saturday June 22, 2024 (Rain Date: June 23 at 3:00 p.m.)

Enjoy an outdoor performance celebrating the 150th anniversary of the telephone featuring the Brantford Memorial Concert Band, within the unique and picturesque setting of the Bell Homestead. Donations are accepted for this free outdoor concert in support of the Brantford School of Instrumental Music. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy the concert. Donations are welcomed to the Brantford School of Instrumental Music.

  • Saturday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, June 23 at 3:00 p.m.)
Bell Summer Theatre Festival - July and August

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the telephone, Brant Theatre Workshops proudly presents Helen, Alec and Annie by Sharyl Hudson. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy this outdoor performance. Cost by donation. View dates and show times at www.branttheatre.com.

  • July 27 at 7:30 p.m.
  • July 28 at 2:00 p.m.
  • August 3 at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 4 at 2:00 p.m.
Symphony Under the Stars - Thursday August 22, 2024 (Rain Date: Friday, August 23)

Enjoy an evening outdoor performance by the Brantford Community Symphony Orchestra with classical music enjoyed by the Bell family and modern favourites. Donations are accepted for this free concert in support of the Brantford School of Instrumental Music. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy the music.

  • Thursday, August 23 at 7:00 p.m. (Rain date: Friday, August 23 at 7:00 p.m.)