With no mine tour, the Rossland Museum is still taking a beating on the visitor front, but has decided not to dwell on that fact.
There was optimism at the Rossland Historical Museum and Archives Association annual general meeting Tuesday night that aimed to look past the mine tours, which have been shut down for the past two years due to safety and liability issues on Teck’s part.
President Libby Martin said the year has been difficult for the museum, but there has been good news, such as a stable membership base and lower operating cost.
Martin said other accomplishments included a newly painted lobby by volunteers, which makes the entrance more welcoming, three newsletters have been published, which is a first for the museum.
“We received a federal student grant for summer employment,” she said, which helped in museum employment.
In July, the museum held an outdoor concert that Martin said was very successful.
“Just recently, a most informative talk by Ron Shearer on skiing before the lifts was held at the Rouge Gallery,” she said. “We hope to partner with the Rouge again in the future.”
The museum also has a new logo, put together voluntarily by graphic designer Shelley Ackerman. Ackerman is also going to look at producing a design that could be used for all signage.
Martin also spoke of a chance encounter at the Winter Carnival last year with Rossland architect Dale Matthews.
Matthews drew a design five years ago for a new facade that could be added to the museum. Martin said the city is also excited about the ideas for this, since the museum is a city-owned building.
Martin said she’d hoped the directors would have plans for the future of the museum ready for the meeting, but they were still chipping away at it.
The new plans come out of a sustainable planning session held with directors, friends of the museum and city representatives as to the future vision for the museum.
Martin said both city council and city staff support the museum on the mine tour issue.
“Talks have been ongoing between Teck and the city,” Martin said. “But, we are not sitting waiting for a decision. Instead, we are formulating ideas for that hook with which to attract visitors.”
In the past, that hook has been the tour.
Martin also thanked the volunteers, who put in 827 hours from January to September, “which, had we had to pay for these, would have cost us $9,224, at $12 an hour.”