New money will help preserve Trail history when the Riverfront Centre museum opens next year.
The Trail Historical Society was granted $75,000 this week through the Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities program. The provincial funds will be directed into design and fabrication for heritage galleries that will be featured in the integrated library/museum, currently under construction on Bay Avenue.
“We are very pleased to have received this, it’s really just wonderful,” society president Jamie Forbes told the Trail Times.
“We promised council we would attempt to raise $300,000, and we are well on our way to reaching our goal,” he said. “The generosity of the community, both individuals and businesses, has really been typical of the Trail area – they step up when they see something they truly support and believe is a value to the community.”
Artifacts for the three Riverfront Centre galleries have been shipped to the exhibit designers in Calgary – the society is now finalizing which photographs and corresponding captions will be included in the displays.
“From there the team (Westwind Design Group) will evaluate the scope of what they have based on the design that was approved for the layout last year,” Forbes explained. “They’ll start on the preliminary design and then that will be sent to us for comment.”
Once the Trail group reaches a consensus for the three main exhibits (galleries) – one features sports, another displays Trail history and the third will rotate themes – Westwind will construct the cases and store them until the Riverfront Centre is ready for installation.
In the meantime, the society is still looking for a certain Scottish treasure to top off a museum attraction.
“The only thing we are still looking for is bagpipes,” said Forbes. “We are going to have a mannequin fully dressed in a uniform from the Trail Pipe Band, but we don’t have any bagpipes.”
Forbes says pipers have a personal bond with their bagpipes and are reluctant to pass them along.
“It’s understandable,” he said. “But a set would really finish it off, and it’s the one big ticket item that we haven’t been able (to get).”
After putting out a call to the community this year, the society was gifted many historical treasures from city residents.
But Forbes had one knock at the door that literally knocked the wind out of him.
“It’s a hockey trophy that dates to 1912,” he said. “I always wondered where it was because the trophy is in every picture of a championship team … but here was a fellow in town that had it … when he brought it to my house I just about fell over.”
The trophy is from the 1912 Interior Hockey League championship.
“I really think that is a hockey treasure and part of B.C. hockey history,” he said. “That’s part of the sports exhibit area, telling people about the Kootenay Boundary region, which a lot of people don’t know, is the birth place of amateur hockey in B.C.,” he added.
“The only thing we don’t have from that year is a jersey, and those are probably long gone. But now, we certainly have the trophy to show for it.”
Earlier this year, the province announced British Columbia | Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada, a new funding program designed to invest $7.6 million in legacy, culture and heritage projects in communities throughout the province as part of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The BC Museums Association administered the funding on behalf of the Province of British Columbia, with the support of Heritage BC.
Trail was one of 220 projects approved from the 416 eligible applications the province received.
“This is a considerable contribution to our fundraising efforts,” said Forbes. “Timing is everything when funding programs have quick deadlines. The Trail Historical Society was well prepared for this unexpected source of funding and submitted a strong case for support. We are thrilled to see this kind of support for local heritage from the provincial government.”
Donations to the Riverfront Centre fundraising campaign can be made securely online at www.TrailHistory.com.