Resident hopes to capture Rossland in time capsule

A Rossland resident hopes the city is keen on putting together a time capsule to seal away present day memories for future residents.

A Rossland resident hopes the city is keen on putting together a time capsule to seal away present day memories for future residents to dig up.

Ryan McGill presented his ideas before city council last week with hopes that they will help him by putting together a task force to dive into the planning.

McGill, who has been  researching the topic, said there are no similar projects going on in the area.

McGill has been a resident of Rossland for past five years and said he thought about the project last summer.

“As soon as you say the word time capsule, I find mystery and wonder and magic fills the air,” McGill said. “Who hasn’t imagined being a child digging in the yard and finding something lost in time, searching in your grandparents attic… in their old shed for some forgotten treasures. That’s the same magic that will touch us all as a community as we celebrate the many stages of this project.”

McGill said that there are currently two time capsules in Rossland, though neither has the community’s input.

“One waits in a corner of the Bank of Montreal building, placed there during its construction in 1898,” he said. “The other is in the bank vault of the Rossland credit union. Both are what I describe as neither community relevant, nor celebrated.”

By that, he said he meant that they lack community involvement and would likely be filled with architectural drawings of the old buildings.

McGill envisions the new time capsule capturing a sort of material snapshot of the present, which could include the many successes and challenges. He suggested the downtown renovation and potential school restructuring as issues today that would make good subjects for the capsule.

“This isn’t a collection of historic artifacts, this is an attempt to capture what we are as Rosslanders today,” he said.

McGill also hopes to create a city landmark.

“Community enrolment in all stages of this project is primary to this initiative,” he said. “Participation from local community groups, our schools, local businesses and industries, individuals and the city of Rossland will be essential to  the success of the project. Their combined involvement will help actively define the community today.”

He said the planning and design phase is the most involved part and the time he hopes to get the most input.

He doesn’t want it to be just his project, but the community’s, so he has held back his thoughts on the design and planning.

McGill envisions the capsule being prepared for the 2013 Golden City Days and suggested the capsule and monument be located at the library as it is the centre of learning in the community.

The planning stages he outlined were: Creating a task force; getting community involvement; selecting a site; procurement of all the physical things to put in the capsule.

There is also the matter of researching the science of preservation, as well as determining a seal date ceremony and the length of time of discovery.

McGill said he recommends a 100- year time frame for the capsule to be sealed.

“As individuals and as a community, this is a healthy mental process to undertake., by reflecting on the significance of our own contributions to the community and our community’s contribution to the world,” he said. “Being mentally invested in the creation of a time capsule for discovery 100 years in the future, you cannot help but visit your own mortality and the impression that you are leaving as a individual and as a  member of your community.”

McGill said he’d approached the principals of the three schools, the Rossland Public Library and the Rossland Heritage Commission, and got back positive feedback.

Coun. Kathy Wallace said it sounds like a very interesting project, but worried about the time line.

“Is seven months enough time to do it well?” Wallace asked. “If it’s going to be a long-term project of potentially 100 years, then is seven months enough time to prepare it.?”

McGill said it is something to think about and if a task force is created, it may find in the first few months that it does need more time.

The topic will be up for discussion at the next city council meeting Feb. 13.


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