This season’s exhibits at the Claresholm museum

survey says - Surveyors in front of their tent, from the exhibit "Making Their Mark," by the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association. Photo submitted

By Ken Favrholdt, Executive Director, Claresholm and District Museum
The Claresholm and District Museum is looking forward to an exciting season of exhibits and other offerings for local residents and tourists.
Both buildings reveal new and reorganized exhibits. Change in a museum is important – to bring visitors back to see new displays or artifacts in a different context.
There are many changes you will see including the re-creation of our church display in the Exhibit Hall with windows from the former Methodist Church. The story of each denomination in town can be researched on display panels and binders on hand.
This year is the 90th Anniversary of the Sons of Norway in Claresholm, one of the oldest organizations in town. Formed in 1928, we have re-positioned the exhibit to expand their presence.
We have created a large open space in the Exhibit Hall for travelling exhibits and presentations. The first travelling exhibit we have borrowed is from the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association titled “Making Their Mark: The Land Surveyor’s Role in the Peaceful and Orderly Development of Alberta.” There is a replica of a surveyor’s tent, with the luxuries of a cot, folding table, chair, and the tools of the trade. There is an accompanying slide show, making the exhibit even more eye-catching.
Anyone curious about how township and range roads were created will find the explanation here. There is a lot of content relevant to our area including a connection between surveyors and the Blackfoot, as well as the Whoop-Up Trail.
Also in the Exhibit Hall, our renewed Royal Canadian Air Force exhibit with funding from the Virtual Museum of Canada will tell the history of the #15 Service Flying Training School in video and on YouTube – with a donation by the Royal Canadian Legion for a Smart TV. It will be ready for viewing this summer.
As well, we are also working with the Legion on an exhibit produced by the Provincial Archives in Edmonton to be shown this fall, about the Great War in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice in 1918
In the Museum Station we have set up a large TV monitor, also donated by the Legion, to show historical films and DVDs of local interest. We also have amenities such as an Internet kiosk where visitors can take a quiz to find out what kind of traveller they are.
These exhibits are just a sample of what the museum has to offer.
May 18 is International Museums Day worldwide with the theme of “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics.” That is exactly what we are endeavouring to do at the Claresholm museum – using new ways of attracting both residents and tourists alike to the museum again and again.
Come to our grand opening on Friday, May 18 at 2 p.m. There will be ribbon-cutting at 2:30 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Town Councillor Gaven Moore serenading the audience and Dale Bell giving a recital of his poem about Louise McKinney. Please bring a donation of a food item for the Claresholm Food Bank and enter for a door prize.