The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin may be filled with ancient, old, and recent artifacts and historical stories but the foyer is brand new this week to welcome guests to the museum’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Museum society president Mike McDonough, vice-president Phyllis Webstad and treasurer Lorie Wilson had the honour of welcoming a few guests to the museum Wednesday as they pointed out the features of the new foyer to this reporter.
The entrance features finely crafted wood elements in wainscotting around the lower walls of the room, beautiful post and beam timber framed archway with trusses over the ceiling, reception desk and several glass display cases.
In addition to the new, formal reception desk crafted in wood, the foyer is now home to a new museum gift shop.
While the actual gift items may not arrive in time for the opening, Wilson says the shop will focus on unique local First Nations craft and art items as well as unique arts and crafts from around the region and province.
Complementing the wood elements the walls have been painted a pleasing sky blue.
Flying high on the rafters overhead is a unique sculpture of an eagle created and carved from moose antlers by sculptor Jacob “Moondog” Gillespie (aka-Darwin) of Moondog Productions.
McDonough said the society hired Sam Zirnhelt to renovate and enhance the foyer to make it more attractive for the public and they are very pleased with the results.
He said the addition of the gift shop will help to generate more revenue to manage the museum which includes the hiring of two summer students this year to help with cataloguing the collection of donated artifacts and providing guided tours for visitors.
“We are on very restricted funds and are doing everything we can to generate revenue,” said McDonough who is also looking forward to the museum’s 25th anniversary celebrations this Sunday.
“We are very pleased to be here for the museum’s 25th anniversary,” McDonough said.
Webstad was recently elected as the society’s new vice-president and is also pleased with the museum’s new foyer.
“I’m excited about the new direction the museum is going in, including the new entry way and gift shop,” Webstad said.
“What I hope to add to the board is more connections with and input from First Nations people on decisions made for the operation of the museum as a whole.”
Wilson adds that the museum is featuring the work of three artists in the foyer display cases during the 2016 Art Walk and Sale which starts Friday, Aug. 5.
These include quill and buckskin creations by Corey Philbrick; buckskin creations, pine needle and birchbark baskets by Cecilia DeRose, and buckskin and beadwork by Velva Tenale.
Also on display in the foyer from the museum’s collection are a beautifully embroidered buckskin pillow and pair of gloves made may Annie Mackill of the Kleena Kleene area.