NEW HAVEN – The Knights of Columbus Museum’s eighth annual crèche exhibition, "Joyeux Noel: Christmas in Canada," recognizes Canada’s strong Christian devotion and popular celebration of Christmas, featuring crèches, sculptures and other forms of art.

The exhibition, which opened Nov. 15, runs until Feb. 3.

Canada is among the largest nations on earth geographically, and it has a population of 35 million people, growing in size and diversity through immigration.

Three quarters of Canadian citizens identify themselves as Christians, and the nation’s Christian heritage traces back over four centuries to settlements established along its Atlantic shores by explorers and traders from Europe.

Canada’s French-speaking eastern provinces still have a strong Catholic tradition, dating to their establishment by settlers from France. In other regions of Canada, Christianity has a broad base of traditions brought by other European immigrants as well as from Asia.

The crèche, or nativity scene, has been enjoyed by French Canadians for centuries. Interest in the crèche has grown among other Canadian Christians as well.

All the artwork on display is of Canadian origin. Lenders include St. Joseph’s Oratory Museum in Montreal and the Rivière-Éternité collection from the province of Quebec as well as Canadian sculptors Timothy Schmalz and Antonio Caruso, two of Canada’s finest living artists. Other crèches and art are on loan from the International Crèche Museum in Dayton, Ohio, and the Des Ruisseaux Collection in New Hampshire.

The museum is open from 10-5 daily, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission and parking are free.