By Lori Bradish
With a very successful year behind it the Fernie District Historical Society has targeted 2012 to complete its redevelopment of the museum building and core exhibit.
At the society’s annual general meeting last week FDHS president Laura Nelson said the new permanent exhibit and the building exterior work should be completed by the end of the year.
“We hope the new exhibit that will honour Fernie’s early history and the restoration of the building’s exterior will be finished by the end of 2012,” said Nelson.
Since moving into its location in the heritage BC Hydro building the society has been working for the past three years to rehabilitate the building. Part of the project development was to create a professional permanent exhibit on Fernie’s history for the main floor.
“We are working with a museum design firm right now. We are currently reviewing a draft proposal for the main floor exhibit – it’s challenging and exciting because this is the reason we have done all the building work up to now,” Nelson said.
Though the society has been focused on this large project it has also been involved in numerous activities over the past year. Nelson reviewed the events and activities hosted by the society in 2011:
- In February a Robbie Burns Day fund raising party was hosted at the museum
- In August the water service for the building was replaced
- During the summer the handicap service elevator was installed; presently it is awaiting inspection; Summit Lift Works has designed a removable access ramp for the elevator that allows for more exhibit space; the company is providing the ramp at a 40 per cent discount
- The museum hosted two art shows on its second floor ; Vignettes of Summer featured 13 regional visual artists in August; Taking Root, a show by Laura Nelson, was held in the fall; both events were fund raisers for the museum as 25 per cent of sales are donated back to the organization
- The Santa Pups production rented the second floor of the museum which generated revenue for the society
- The society published yearly calendars for both 2011 and 2012, this year’s being focused on the 50th anniversary of the ski hill
- With the help of grants from various organizations, the society was able to launch a full museum exhibit for the ski hill’s 50th anniversary which ran from January through to April
Nelson also thanked both museum director Mike Pennock and Nic Guiliano for their dedication and hard work to keep the museum and the information centre running smoothly over the past year.
For the coming year, Nelson agreed to continue as the society president. Rod Geddis will remain the vice president and Barry Dootoff will continue as the secretary/treasurer.
Geddis made a point of thanking and congratulating Nelson on the fine job she has done in steering the society through the three years of the museum project.
“I’m sure there hasn’t been a day go by that Laura hasn’t worked on the museum at some point. She has really gone above and beyond the call of any volunteer and we truly appreciate her efforts,” Geddis said.