2015 good year for Rossland Museum

The Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre had a good year, hiring new staff and advancing its Museum Renewal project.

It’s been a good year for the Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre.

The Rossland Historical Museum and Archives Association (RHMAA) met for its annual general meeting on Thursday, Nov. 26 and disclosed in its report that the museum had 4,757 visitors in 2015, up 48 per cent from 2014.

On the archive side of things, the museum also increased its research and reprint revenue to $680 in 2015, up 168 per cent from 2014.

A big change for the museum this year was hiring Joelle Hodgins as a full-time museum director, and “with the successes in programming, special events, and employment grants,” the museum was also able to hire Sandra Ballantyne as an operations and programming assistant.

Thanks to the Columbia Basin Trust’s Schoolworks program the museum has also been able to hire students for the winters of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Further funding from the Columbia Basin Trust, Young Canada Works and Canada Summer Jobs also allowed the museum to hire four students over the summer.

Next year the museum hopes to find funding to hire a full-time, year-round archivist.

As museum director, Hodgins has been successful in finding new funding for the museum and has been helping to make the Museum Renewal project a reality.

As of Thursday, the museum was only $10,500 short of its funding goal for Phase I and the museum plans on going to construction tender in the spring.

The museum’s silent art auction closed on Monday, Nov. 30, with snacks and coffee at the Nelson and District Credit Union for the last two hours. There were people emailing bids up to the very last minute, as well as some proxies in the credit union with their bidders on the phone.

In total the auction raised $5,020 on 26 pieces.

The museum hopes to begin fundraising and planning for Phase II, the mine experience, next year.