The group that runs Hay River’s seasonal museum in Old Town elected a few new faces to their ranks earlier this month, bringing with them new ideas.
“The key is going to be networking and that’s what’s going to make the museum move forward,” said Brad Mapes, the new board chairperson.
The building itself was the Hudson’s Bay trading post for the settlement and is open in the summer, seeing most of its traffic when the popular Fisherman’s Wharf is open. Mapes would like to see that season extended a bit, even suggesting it could be used as a resource for local schools – if a cost-effective way to heat it can be found.
“I’ve always been committed to the history of this community and I’m committed to build on the work of previous boards to grow the museum,” said Mapes.
Community input would be a large factor in decision-making going forward, he said, as would partnerships with other organizations, like the Northern Transportation Boats Project, a group connecting young people with the opportunity to restore old boats, all while learning about the history of the waterways in the area.
Mapes said he respected what has been done by previous boards and was pleased half the members stayed on for the next cycle, rounding out the eight-person group with four new faces.
“It’s going to be interesting,” said former chairperson Peter Osted, who remains a director. “This new board is going to have a lot of hard work ahead of them, but that doesn’t have to be bad, just new.”
He said the museum would remain a repository for local heritage at the very least, but that he looked forward to seeing some renewal of energy and new ideas come to the table.
“I want to thank the new board for stepping forward,” he said. “I certainly hope it will be different in a good way.”