In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Province is investing $8 million into museums and heritage sites. The announcement couldn’t come at a better time for the Exploration Place.
The museum is bringing in a permanent First Nations gallery. “We now know that human habitation- we have physical evidence it goes back at least 8,000 years,” says the CEO, Tracy Calogheros. “That’s not being exhibited anywhere right now.”
The first part of the project is re-configuring the space upstairs to house the artifacts. It will cost close to $150,000. “It’s a very expensive space given that it is textiles predominantly that we are exhibiting and they are fragile. So we have to have really good mounts, carefully-managed light levels and the cases themselves have to be secure.”
The second part of the project is estimated to cost $300,000, and will include digitizing a huge collection of oral history. “It’s a really valuable collection but these are on cassette tapes and reel to reel tapes and they are all past their lifespan,” says Calogheros. “So we need the cash to digitize these, get them into a medium that will preserve them long term and get them mounted.”
The museum will be applying for the full $100,000 grant the new provincial program offers. The exhibit is scheduled to open June 21st, on National Aboriginal Day.