It's such exciting news to hear about new museums being organized and developed. I happened across this announcement via Twitter a number of weeks ago, and was pleased to offer a piece on my blog for a guest article. Please take a moment to read through Madison's review about the efforts their volunteers have been undertaking for thirteen years! They plan to officially open in time for the 150th Canada celebrations in May 2017.
A Labour of Love
The Northern Rockies Museum of Culture and Heritage has been a vision of dedicated volunteers for many years and evolved into a labour of love. Thirteen years ago, the Hinton Railway Station, which had served the community since 1911, greeted the last passengers and closed its doors. The future of the building seemed uncertain. That was until a small group volunteers banded together to save the station for future generations.
The town of Hinton, a small industry town nestled next to the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, has eagerly been awaiting the day the doors reopen on the historic Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Station House. In May of next year, the new museum will open to guests and inspire a love of history and culture of this area.
As the building was on land owned by Canadian National Railways, it had to be moved to a new location. It just so happened there was an empty lot almost directly across the highway from its original location. A walkout basement was prepared on the new site, the building was jacked up and placed onto a truck to make its way across the highway.
It was quite a day. Like all of Canada, the weather can change in an instant. The morning boasted clear skies and by the afternoon the town was hit with a snowstorm. However, this didn't faze the volunteers or the crew who would later have the Station sitting at its new home overlooking the Northern Rockies and the Athabasca river valley.
Over the next thirteen years, the volunteers would for the most part, completely gut the building and refinish it into a usable community space. Hundreds of hours of work have led to the present. The redeveloped museum building now has its first full time employee and work is beginning on exhibits and programming. The museum's grand opening is set for May of 2017, to coincide with Canada's 150 celebrations.
You can stay up-to-date with all of our exhibit planning, programming and events on any of our social media channels:
Facebook and Instagram @NorthernRockiesMuseum
Submitted by : Madison Sharman, Operations & Program Manager
Northern Rockies Museum of Culture & Heritage
225 Gregg Avenue