Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation

We live in exciting times. Many things are coming together to make 2006 a crucially positive year for us.

First, there have been a few changes to our Board of Directors. Rose Colledge was given the Town Council portfolio of Liaison to the Museum Foundation, and did not feel she could fulfill the requirements of this position while being Vice President of the TRMF. Rose went well beyond what was required to prevent any perception of conflict of interest during the time that she was both a Board Member and a Councillor, and always excused herself at Council meetings from discussion and voting on museum issues. She did a great job last year as our President and we look forward to working with her in this new role.

Dave Price has been elected Vice President in Rose?s place and the resulting vacancy on the Board has been filled by Jerrilyn Schembri. Both Dave and Jerrilyn have a wealth of skills and experience and will be of great benefit to us in these roles.

The current Board of Directors is: Patsy Antle, Amanda Battenfelder, Christine Goodwin, Beth Graham, Charles Helm, Jack McNeill, Gail Neumann, Hazel Peters, Dave Price, Mike Sidwell, Jerrilyn Schembri and Charissa Tonnesen. Please contact any of us if you have questions or suggestions. Although the newsletters keep members abreast of developments in a more easily readable format than our monthly minutes, the minutes are available for perusal during office hours at the Tumbler Ridge Medical Clinic (along with our audited financial statements).

Our exhibit development and programs keep us very busy. On February 8th we are opening the LCD screen donated by the Lake View Credit Union and will follow this with a summary of our achievements and plans, with question time. Our palaeontologist Rich McCrea will then give an illustrated presentation on the discoveries of 2005. This will include the three remarkable trackway specimens flown in by helicopter out of their canyon and mountain settings, and the work done at the sensational Kakwa site. Afterwards there will be an opportunity for fossil identification.

The Dinosaur Discovery Gallery will probably be divided in two, with some exhibits in the Community Centre and others beside the PRPRC (in what used to be called the Mini-Mall). Construction of life-size skeletal mounts is taking up much of our palaeontologists? time and we hope for this gallery to be opened in spring or summer, with further additions being developed over time. This was made possible through a $75000 WD grant.

We are also working on the recreation of the tree carving near the Lions Campground, an archaeological display, and something on the creation of Tumbler Ridge to coincide with the community?s 25th anniversary (we are represented on the anniversary committee as well).

We have put forward a funding proposal to employ a consultant archivist for eight months this year, to establish our Archives and train our volunteers to maintain them. We should hear soon whether this proposal (to 2010 Legacies Now) has been accepted.

We have embarked on our annual fundraising drive. Our products and ideas have such appeal that we are able to secure funding from many diverse sources. Unfortunately this means a lot of time that has to be committed in writing funding proposals but the end result is well worth it. The outline document which we sometimes use to accompany these proposals follows this newsletter, for those who may be interested. We have enjoyed showing Mayor Caisley and the new Councillors our PRPRC and keeping them current with our activities and plans.

One of the most exciting recent developments lies in our program expansion. We plan to continue Dino Camp and the Dino Footprint Tours this season and support the Northern Dino Tour, but plan in addition to conduct a pilot ?Northern Wilderness Camp? for kids this year as well, using the wonderful Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society (WNMS) trail system. Further program development involves the Monkman Memorial Trail with the road tour in particular, also in partnership with WNMS. We are also developing the concept of year round programming, with fall and winter camps. Finally, our volunteers will continue to be hosts to visitors and tourists who wish to enjoy our exhibits and other attractions. We are once again applying to the Federal HRSDC program for summer student positions.

A final bonus involves the 2010 Olympics. Fifty three minute vignettes have been commissioned by the BC Secretariat, which together paint a picture of B.C. These will be broadcast internationally starting in Turin in a few weeks. Our dinosaur story was selected as one of them. Soon we will be able to include this in the interactive exhibit on our new screen.

Some of our more important tasks at hand relate to protection for our crucial palaeontological and other sites. In this regard the proposed seismic line that would have cut through our Cabin Pool and other sites close to town has been moved a suitable distance away, following our written submission. We are also working to secure the funding that will take us the next steps towards our goal of a world class museum in Tumbler Ridge, starting with a feasibility study and business plan, then site selection, environmental impact assessment, and engineering design. It?s hard to believe all this has happened in under four years since our formation. The discipline and hard work that have been done are paying off, and forming a springboard that will launch us into an even more exciting future. Our profound thanks go to all who have assisted in this process.

Please visit our website for further information and updates: www.tumblerridgemuseum.com

Please be frank with suggestions as to how we can improve our efforts, and please let us know if you are able to volunteer your time and help us.