Integrating museum exhibits with the new library layout requires a common vision as well as a certain artistic impression.
With that in mind, Trail council awarded Westwind Design Group a $433,000 contract for final design, construction and installation of three galleries in the Riverfront Centre.
“I think it’s very exciting from the point of view that we’ve had a very successful relationship with Westwind,” Mayor Mike Martin told the Trail Times following Monday night council.
“They’ve been working with the Trail Historical Society right from Day One and have established a very aligned vision. When you are looking at the design of how best to display the artifacts, it is a bit of an artistic initiative if you will,” he said. “And it’s something that evolved through an understanding between the historical society and Westwind.”
Arriving at a common vision is a huge step forward and will result in a display that has impact, Martin added.
“It’s not a standard museum because it’s so integrated with the library, there has to be a lot of coordination about how this is all going to be put together at the end of the day.”
The heritage components will feature three distinct exhibition galleries and archives, explains Director Sarah Benson, from the Trail Museum and Archives.
“As for Westwind Design Group’s role in the project, they were hired by and with Stantec (architects) to develop the initial design concept for our three exhibit gallery spaces: the sports gallery and the rotating/temporary gallery, both on the main floor, as well as the history gallery on the second floor,” she said. “There is also a small window front along Bay Avenue (street level) to create very small-scale exhibits for passers-by.”
Additionally, the Westwind team custom designed display cases, based on selected artifacts from the society’s collections.
“We worked closely with them earlier this year to identify themes and concepts for our exhibits, as well as provide a comprehensive artifact list from our collections that we feel is necessary to include in the exhibits to effectively tell these stories,” Benson shared. “The artifacts we have selected have specific meaning and significance to our community and have been carefully selected. Members of the THS board and staff are currently working on the written content that will accompany the selected artifacts and photos.”
Of the Riverfront Centre’s $8.38 million budget, just over $6 million has been committed toward the building at this point, including the Westwind contract which falls under the FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) category.
“We are happy with the concept presented by Westwind and we are thrilled that city council has awarded the contract to them,” said Benson. “This saves not only time and resources, but also reinforces the relationship that the Trail Historical Society has already established with the team at Westwind. We are looking forward to finalizing their design and beginning the fabrication process.”