Speeches, cake and ice cream were all part of the celebration and open house held at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin Saturday, May 24.
The festivities were hosted to celebrate the completion of renovations made in the basement of the Tourism Discovery Centre to house the museum, which was forced to find its new home at the TDC after the building the museum was in was sold.
“The renos turned out better than anyone had ever hoped,” Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin president Janice Sapp said this week. “They took a blank canvas and really did something beautiful with it.”
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, both huge supporters of the museum, were on hand for the event, where Sapp thanked them for their ongoing support to help the museum transition over the last few years of change.
“We are just super grateful to them for their support.”
In her speech, Sapp thanked museum co-ordinator Joe Borsato and the “invaluable volunteers” whose hard work and dedication has preserved and expanded the museum’s collection.
She also acknowledged the work of Laura Zimmerman who helped obtain more than $200,000 in grants for future museum projects, and thanked Chief Willie Sellars.
“We are extremely excited to announce that we have received $52,800 from Rural Dividend to help us market and promote our collection here at the museum and the beautiful community we live in. Red Cross has gifted (the museum)$139,000 to aid in the restoration and cataloging of our artifacts so they can be re-established in our collection.”
Currently, the museum’s collection is stored in a few locations in containers because the 2017 wildfires broke out during the museum’s move from its old location.
“We would also like to thank Northern Initiative Trust Fund for the $17,000 for much needed cabinetry and portable display cases that will assist us in the marketing strategies for the museum.”
Sapp also announced new events this year, including Cariboo Heritage Day in partnership with the Williams Lake Stampede Association on July 1, 2019.
The museum is also changing Cowboy Christmas to Cariboo Christmas which will be a craft fair only, and will then host a New Year’s Eve dinner and dance at the Gibraltar Room.