Two years ago the Rossland Historical Museum and Archives Association (RHMAA) began work on the Rossland Museum Gateway Project. The Board and staff have taken a number of steps towards revitalization as outlined in the not-for-profit’s Plan for Renewal 2013: A Journey of Change for an Inspiring New Future.
Along with a new name, Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre has a new Director. Joelle Hodgins commenced her new full time role earlier this month as part of the organization’s implementation of their plan for renewal.
Hodgins is no stranger to museums, having worked and volunteered at the Miles Canyon Railway Society in the Yukon. Originally from Victoria, B.C. the new Director studied Cultural Resources, and Russian and USA history of the twentieth century.
Hodgins’ sister, who now resides in Trail, raved about the splendor in the Kootenays so when the role of Museum Director with RHMAA was announced, Hodgins jumped at the opportunity.
“I liked the idea of being involved in the revamp and new programming, it was all really exciting so I applied for the role,” she said.
Her first few weeks in the position have included attending meetings, familiarizing herself with exhibits, and getting the administration in order.
“The Annual General Meeting is approaching so it has been good timing,” Hodgins explained.
Some of the first tasks Hodgins hopes to achieve are to repair the events calendar and bring the community back to the museum. She endeavors to roll out a series of kids’ activities before and after school.
“I want the museum to be a community hub,” she said. The plan will guide the way with a phased approach to rolling out a revitalized museum.
The museum opens again for the season on Dec. 13, “in line with the opening of Red Mountain Resort,” said the museum’s president, Libby Martin.
Hodgins noted they are always looking for Friends of the Museum — volunteers who can assist the active group with Christmas and other daytime events. For other ways to get involved with the museum, check out events listed on the new website rosslandmuseum.ca or attend the Annual General Meeting on Nov. 27 starting 7 p.m. at the Museum. Two short films will be played in the theatre and light refreshments will be provided.