One of the oldest buildings in Telkwa has received a facelift just in time for its grand re-opening on May 9.
The Telkwa Museum Society spent the last five months upgrading the village museum, putting up new walls, installing shelving units and cupboards in the back display area, and cleaning and dusting the roughly 3,000 artifacts currently on display.
Before, the museum would take donations from community members and due to lack of storage space, had to put the items unorganized in the backroom.
“People donate to us and we had nowhere to put the donations other than to just keep stacking them,” said Linda Hanson, treasurer with the Telkwa Museum Society.
Now, the new shelving units allow them to categorize and display the items for people to see.
“It looks like junk, but it’s not, it’s all really important artifacts and history of our area. Now we have a place to put all of our artifacts that are not on display and people can come into the back and see them,” she said.
In addition to the upgrades, they have scrapped and waxed the floors and reorganized some of the displays.
The society received a $5,000 grant from Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest last year and were able to match the donation with some 14 volunteers donating roughy 230 hours to complete the project.
“People are so excited to come and see what’s in here and now the room is tidy enough that we can have people come in and do research,” said Hanson.
“It’s a resting spot for our heritage and for our history.”
The last time the volunteer-run museum did renovations was two years ago when they replaced old single-paned windows with double-paned windows, which has also helped reduce heating costs.
Hanson said this is just the beginning of numerous upgrades that they hope to make to the decades-old building.
Up next, they hope to have a fundraiser to start a database so they can catalogue all their artifacts and donations.
“People can use that for research and can go back to the back stacks and find the items,” she said.
In the future, they also hope to have an area where locals and visitors can research the area.
The building was originally a school and was moved to its current location and turned into the museum in 1986.
Last year, the museum saw roughly 1,400 people come through their doors between May and September.
The museum is reopening Monday, with the grand opening on May 9, where it will also unveil a plaque acknowledging the founders of the museum and its two new displays: a fishing display and a doll collection.