Museum looking for input

Diane Crocker
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Matthew Janes, left, vice-chair of the board of the Corner Brook Museum and Archives, and George French listen to comments from the audience during a public consultation on a 10-year strategic plan for the facility on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.

CORNER BROOK — After being re-opened for a little more than a year the Corner Brook Museum and Archives is looking to the future instead of the past.

Ten years in the future to be exact as the board of the museum is in the process of developing a strategic plan for the facility to cover the next decade.

“We need to look at modernizing our exhibits,” said Matthew Janes, vice-chair of the board. “Maybe looking at an online component, digital displays, those kinds of things.”

The board would also like to get more locals to visit the museum and is looking at ways to entice them in through the doors.

Janes said this could be accomplished through programming and finding ways to make use of the space on the building’s third floor.

In terms of actual exhibits, he said, the museum is looking at ones for the centennial of the First World War and of the 100th anniversary of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. Janes said those are just some of the ideas the board has discussed.

“But we want to listen carefully to what people have to say as well,” Janes said. “We want to hear if that’s what the community wants.”

To gain that public input the board held the first of two public consultation sessions into the plan on Saturday.

Only two members of the public turned out to chat with Janes and George French, archivist and manager of the museum. But Janes said they were very engaging in what they had to say. Some suggestions included bringing in more schools, telling more family histories, pursuing the history of the paper mill more and even starting a fisheries museum.

Another thing Janes mentioned was the possibility of partnering with other groups and organizations like the Royal Canadian Legion and the Rotary Arts Centre.

He said discussions with those groups will be part of the process next month when the board meets with community stakeholders.

In the meantime, he said there is still an opportunity for the public to get involved in the process. A second public consultation session will be held at the museum on Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. The museum also plans to encourage electronic submissions and this is something that will be promoted as the process continues.

Janes said the goal is to have the plan ready by summer 2014.

Organizations: Corner Brook Museum, Royal Canadian Legion, Rotary Arts Centre

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