Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crowsnest Museum

Sad day in the Crowsnest Pass today, just read the Crowsnest Promoter headline article the Crowsnest Museum is closing due to financial difficulties.
This is a reflection of the difficulties faced in the Crowsnest Pass not just by this group but many  groups.
I had the pleasure of sitting on the board that ran the Museum for three years, its a great place and it is indeed an important piece of the history and culture of this community.
If memory serves me right it cost about a $120,000 a year to run the museum with roughly 20% of its revenue coming from the Municipality, 40% from various grants, 10% from admissions and sales of goods then the rest from fund raising. The problem in my mind, volunteer fatigue the group of volunteers in this community is getting smaller and older. The volunteers that came  back year after year worked hard made  some money here and there and gave so much of their time deserve a great thanks from this community.
When I hear of the group that is attempting to raise money to build and operate a Indoor facility I wish them well the museum required basically $50,000 a year of fundraising to keep it alive. Its tough people, will come together when you have a major disaster, they will step up to the plate for a few years when something is new and everybody is full of enthusiasm. I strongly believe the only way in the long run you will keep any facility like the museum going is if you can find a benefactor (Big company) or get a greater willingness of the taxpayers to foot a larger portion of the bill. (If you really want it be willing to pay for it)  
I personally will always congratulate and applaud volunteers because without them communities would not have a lot of the stuff we have. I tip my hat to anybody that ever did anything to support the Crowsnest Museum, it is indeed a sad day. 


Anonymous said...

The Crowsnest Museum like the CLC primarily served the elite at the expense of all taxpayers and as such were nothing more than white elephants that sucked the financial life blood out of this community. Good riddance!

If only we could get back the millions we pumped into these two places alone, so the rich could have their play things, we'd all have a community center with an indoor swimming pool by now.


Anonymous said...

John, I do not know anything about the internal working of the museum but I think your comment is not fair or balanced. I know people who have donate end less hours of time toward preserving community history. Maybe it was cliquey (I do not know) but who cares if they made it work with a small contribution from the tax payers and produced such a wonderful result. The CLC was in a different league…in my mind shameful to mention them in the same sentence. Millions of dollars from the tax payers, no accounting of finances, very little volunteer contribution and an endless arrogant attitude of entitlement.

Peter Rosner said...

The crowsnest museum was an unappreciated place of historical interest. It is not a great location for tourism so that made it difficult to bring revenue in. Unfortunately it has become another victim of cost cutting. whats next??????

Anonymous said...

Correct me if am wrong but I do not think our council cut their budget. The problem I see is the same with all organizations. The “worker volunteers” get burnt out while the “show man volunteers” stay fresh. Not sure how to attract “working volunteers” as the “show men volunteers” take the heart out of the workers.

Anonymous said...

If you cannot get federal or provincial funds for the operation of the museum, then I think it should be gone.

Anonymous said...

Two things. I know the Museum was getting grants but those will never fund 100% of the operating costs.
That is where the volunteers and the fund raising come in.
So Dean what would a group have to raise each year to operate an Indoor pool?


Crowsnest Pass Home said...

You will never find a provincial/federal grant that pays for the full operational costs of any facility.
The cost to operate an Indoor pool if you look at what some of our neighbours are doing it's around $1 million dollars a year.
Of course you would subtract the $150-160,000 that is being used to run the present pool.
So roughly you would have to fund raise around $850,000 a year.

(with a little bit of research the numbers above are easily available check Pincher Creek, Sparwood, Elkford, Fernie)

Anonymous said...

Nasty rumour going around this weekend that they are going to level the Old Hospital and the Alberta Stella arena.

Will be interesting to see how the local media reacts if there is anything to that story.


Anonymous said...

I do not think it would be that nasty, especially the old hospital.And can we really afford to keep the Albert Stella open with such limited use.

Anonymous said...


People like you will not be happy until we have none of our heritage left.

Anonymous said...

People like me.......Our heritage has nothing to do with an old hospital or an old arena.Even most of these old mine buildings that are protected should go even if they are part of our heritage. I think we have protected plenty with , leitch colliers, Bellevues mine and the Frank slide interpetive centre. Other than these who cares.

Anonymous said...

take a picture then bulldoze

Anonymous said...

Heritage at what cost is the question I guess. I don't think you have to have big monsters of buildings to keep "heritage".
Life goes on, things change, people change, priorities change from decade to decade.