Museum looks to add major collection in 2017

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
March 1st, 2017

One of the region’s most prized historical collections could find its way into the halls of the Boundary Museum and Interpretive Centre soon.

At the November Boundary Museum Society board meeting two members of the Grand Forks Volunteer Fire Department attended to discuss the possibility of displaying their five restored antique fire trucks and other apparatus at the museum.

This collection has remained hidden from view for years, stored in the outlying fire halls and only seen on special occasions, said museum manager of operations, Cher Wyers. It is considered a major addition the museum if they can pull it off, she told city council recently.

“This is very significant for the Boundary Museum Society and I think for our community as well,” Wyers said. “This would be an opportunity to get them out to the public. It’s a beautiful collection.”

But, in order to display the antiques, a heated building is needed. The present Black Hawk Livery Exhibition Building is full (40 feet by 40 feet), but it will be extended with a 40’ x 60’ addition to accommodate the new exhibit.

The society has already submitted an application to the Canada 150 grant, said Wyers.

In the society’s final quarterly report to council, Wyers noted the biggest accomplishment of 2016 was the work of three new board members, moving a historic log structure donated to the museum by Jamie Haynes of Rock Creek.

It had to be dismantled piece by piece and carefully loaded and hauled to the museum site.

“This building will be resurrected in the future and become the final home for Bob’s Tool Room, a vision that past president Bob DeMaertelaere shared since spotting the building in its derelict state,” said Wyers.

DeMaertelaere was a very well known director who passed away in 2015.

Wyers noted that visitor statistics for the museum were up 23.8 per cent in 2016, at 2,979 over 2,405 visits.

In June the Boundary Museum and Interpretive Centre will be the venue for a free one-day workshop hosted by the Archival Association of B.C. out of Vancouver that will bring archival representatives from the Kootenay Columbia region together to network and share in the expertise provided by the provincial authority.

Potential revenue generator in 2017

Wyers noted that the Boundary Museum Society has signed a partnership agreement with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) to act as the delivery organization for the proposed Municipal Regional District Tax Program (MRDT) under the additional tax regulation for the purposes of tourism marketing and promotion in the Boundary region.

The application has received a preliminary review by Destination B.C. and is now in the hands of the RDKB. The two per cent Hotel Tax could generate annual revenue of $5,000 to $8,000 in the first year for the museum and fund tourism promotion throughout Boundary Country.

The recent communication from the coordinator is that the entire Boundary has come on board with the addition of Midway and Greenwood accommodators now signing on.

Categories: General