Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin volunteer Mary Telfer in the basement of the Tourism Discovery Centre where artifacts from the museum are being stored. At its regular meeting Tuesday, city council passed a resolution to investigate options to fund building and operating a regional museum. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Regional museum options to be investigated

City council hopes to meet with other levels of government to pursue developing a regional museum

Williams Lake city council is throwing its support behind the idea of a regional museum.

In a resolution passed unanimously at its regular meeting Tuesday, council endorsed having the Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee request a meeting with the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin Society, First Nations, along with the City and Cariboo Regional District, to investigate any options or opportunities for a funding formula to build and operate a regional museum.

Coun. Scott Nelson said council is in “overdrive” lobbying with its colleagues to look at developing a regional museum.

“We brought this forward and had it approved unanimously at the joint committee,” Nelson said. “I think it’s important that council be on record as being very proactive. Asking First Nations and the CRD to partner with us is the first big step.”

Nelson pointed to the success of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture function established in 2009 as a prime example.

Through a bylaw, a tax requisition dollars are made available to fund the function up to a maximum of $200,000 annually.

“I think we need to make the museum equally as important,” Nelson said.

The City cannot develop a regional museum on its own, Mayor Walt Cobb said.

“Most of the exhibits that are there are from the rural areas, not from the city itself, so we need to build that partnership so we can move forward.”

A society has been formed to bring the 153 Mile Historic Store into town that was donated by the Patenaude family, Cobb added, noting

In June and July, the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin was relocated to a temporary location at the Tourism Discovery Centre (TDC) after the building it was in was sold to Vantage Living for the development of a care-bed facility.

Cobb said unfortunately the summer’s wildfires stalled establishing more exhibit space at the TDC for the museum, but promised the City will “get that done too.”

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