Museum of the Flat Earth opens on (where else?) Fogo Island

If you've ever been tempted to believe the world is flat, this place is for you.

If you've ever been tempted to believe the world is flat, this place is for you

Brimstone Head, Fogo Island, often cited as one of the corners of the flat world. (Submitted by Kay Burns)

Standing atop Brimstone Head, Fogo Island's imposing rocky outcrop that stretches out into the North Atlantic, it's easy to see why some people dubbed it one of the corners of the flat earth.

If you've ever wanted to learn more about that quirky idea, and the people who propagate it, you'll want to check out a new museum on the island.

"The stories of the flat earth have this odd, intangible, cultural connection to Newfoundland," Kay Burns, curator for The Museum of the Flat Earth, told CBC Radio's Central Morning Show.

The space ups the ante for Burns, an artist who's been fascinated with all things flat earth since the 80s.

Kay Burns, here dressed up in her Flat Earth Society President persona Iris Taylor, at the base of Brimstone Head. (Submitted by Kay Burns)

"Once I moved to Fogo Island [in 2001], it just seemed to become a really kind of logical connection to this place, to kind of take it to this next level," she said.

"Newfoundland has this long tradition of tall tales, oral history, recitation. And this seemed to fit, this opportunity to build this monument to this other kind of story."

Fact (?) or fiction

In that vein, Burns' space bends the concept of the museum, and fact versus fiction.

Some of what's on display belongs to the original Flat Earth Society of Canada, established in Fredericton in 1970.

"I have a number of artifacts from that original group," Burns said, material on loan from the University of New Brunswick archives.

"I've spoken with old members, I've read books about flat earth societies."

The globe that Bartholomew Seeker stomped, upon his induction into the Flat Earth Society of Canada. (Submitted by Kay Burns)

One member in particular gets thorough treatment at the museum: Bartholomew Seeker, who Burns said moved to Fogo in 1971, as "the guardian of the corner."

Burns has some of his possessions on display, as well as the history of his work on Fogo.

Burns herself has dived into the world of flat-earthers.

"I developed a performance persona, whose name is Iris Taylor, and Iris has reinstated the Flat Earth Society of Canada as the president," she said.

Taylor is listed as the museum's official curator, and according to her, there are several other corners of the world, including, but not limited to, Easter Island, the Bermuda Triangle, and Tasmania.

"Because it's an art project, there's been significant amount of fictional embellishment to some of the materials," said Burns.

Some of the display items at the museum. (Submitted by Kay Burns)

Grand opening

This winter, Burns began renovating the museum space, appropriately placed in part of the Flat Earth Outpost Café in Shoal Bay, a construction job that piqued the interest of locals.

"They'd stick their head around the door to see what I was doing," said Burns, adding once she began installing exhibits, she closed off the space to the public.

People will finally get to see the museum Saturday May 21, at the grand opening from 3- 5 p.m., an event Burns promises will be "fun and spontaneous."

The museum will then be open throughout the summer.

With files from the Central Morning Show