(Pictured above, the Museum’s staff pose for a picture in front of the wheel shaft of the DA Thomas on August 17, 2016)
An Award-winning Museum
Staying current while preserving the past has been the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre’s ongoing goal – a challenge for any organization and now they have been awarded for their efforts. This week the Town of Peace River found out our Museum had won the Robert R. Janes Award for Social Responsibility, a prestigious award from the Alberta Museums Association.
The award will be presented this fall, during the Alberta Museums Association’s Annual Conference A Culture of Sharing: Inquiring Minds, Empowering Museums will take place September 15 – 17, 2016 at the Carriage House Inn, Calgary, the awards presentation is September 16.
Over the last five to six years Alberta’s museums have been working to shift gears from merely being repositories of historical documents and objects, to taking on a more contemporary community role. They are becoming active community participants working to foster stronger communities by contextualizing history and heritage.
“Instead of museums working in isolation – through these community partnerships and cooperation, they’re becoming integral to a community’s well-being,” said Museum Coordinator, Laura Gloor.
In Peace River that means not shying away from the difficult topics that have defined the region historically. Whether it be furs and the fur trade, residential schools, or the internment of Ukrainian Canadians.
“For our museum, our journey began around five or so years ago when we featured an exhibit on Ukrainian internment in Canada during the First World War,” said Gloor. “It was our first foray into examining and contextualizing contentious topics.”
In addition to tackling topics that go to the root of our community, the Museum and Archives also began actively building and fostering partnerships with organizations in the region. With the fur trading exhibit they were able to work with the Fur Traders Association of Alberta, and with the recent Witness Blanket Exhibit (on now until September 8), they worked with the Sagitawa Friendship Centre and Peace River Correctional Centre.
Those partnerships have helped the Museum to spread beyond the confines of geography, to better serve the region. Through the use of Google’s hangouts application, staff of the Museum are able to provide access to schools in the region to the wealth of knowledge contained within the walls of the Peace River Museum. While nothing beats an actual visit to the museum, these virtual hangouts allow for more frequent interactions, and more dynamic learning.
Another way the Museum has worked to bring local history alive, is through it’s annual interpretive walks. These free walks take you around town and give you the chance to learn about how our community was shaped into the town you see today. Below is a listing of upcoming walks and tours.
There has literally never been a better time to visit our, award-winning Museum, with admission free until September 8, now is the time to revisit this great local treasure.
Additional info is available in this press release from the Alberta Museums Association.