Wednesday, 28 March 2012 13:12

Crowsnest Museum faces possible (temporary) closure

Written by  Susan Quinlan
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The Crowsnest Museum could face a temporary closure. The Crowsnest Museum could face a temporary closure. Photo submitted

Crowsnest Pass
Opened in 1985, the Crowsnest Museum is now faced with a possible closure, although staff at the museum is hopeful the closure will be temporary.

“The board looked at all the variables and have decided it’s not a closure, it’s a hibernation, to give time to reassess the situation,” said Crowsnest Museum Executive Director, Chris Matthews.
Because operating grants have become very competitive, it’s all the more difficult to get the funding needed to run an operation such as the Crowsnest Museum, said Matthews.
“Although project grants are easier, you still need the (structure).”
In addition to the challenge of securing grant funding, Matthews pointed out in the Crowsnest Pass, the community base for support is shrinking.
“There’s a large retired contingent not wanting to sit on numerous committees and lots of younger families with children, but they’ve got other commitments too.
“These are some of the things Crowsnest Pass is facing, but it’s not just happening here.”
Matthews remained optimistic though, given the Crowsnest Historical Society recently held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and a completely new board was elected.
“One of the past board members said it’s time for a new beginning.”
In keeping with that theme, Matthews said the previous board chose to step down and allow a fresh start.
“It’s been such a hard road the last eight or nine months, they just chose to step down.”
Matthews said the newly-elected members appeared enthused at the AGM.
“It’s hard work, but let’s make it fun, was one of the themes that came out of the AGM. It’s a challenge, but you don’t want to get bogged down in the negative. We’re looking at it like a new beginning.”
Current museum staff include Matthews and the collection’s manager, Michelle Cavanagh. Both will remain employed until mid-April. Matthews said the Crowsnest Museum has tens of thousands of artifacts and thousands of images in its collection.
“The artifacts are not leaving the building, to maintain them. Researchers will still have limited access.
“The new board will now have to sit down and figure out which way to go. They’re optimistic and eager, and it’ll be very interesting to see what happens in the next month or so.”

Read 1071 times Last modified on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 13:33

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