Year rewarding, challenging says museum administrator

  • May. 30, 2007 7:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay–It has been a rewarding, but challenging year for the Haida Gwaii Museum said director Nathalie McFarlane at the annual general meeting held Sunday in Skidegate.
One challenge has been the lack of public presence at the museum for the past three years, she said. Due to all the construction work at the museum and the Haida Heritage Centre where the meeting was held, regular public programming has been set aside.
“We miss the public,” she said, but was pleased to note the museum would be open to the public starting July 2 this year and a big celebration will take place during Skidegate Days.
The most rewarding part of the last year, she said, was raising three historic totem poles in the new facility. She said the feast held in January brought the community in and gave everyone a chance to take ownership of the new buildings.
She had kudos for staff, including curator Nika Collison who has not only been intensely involved in completing the new exhibits for the museum and the entire Haida Heritage Centre, but has also been very involved in creating exhibits for other facilities.
Ms McFarlane said Ms Collison’s work with the National Museum of the American Indian, Seattle’s Burke Museum and others is important for the future of the Haida Gwaii Museum. Not only does the curator’s work bring in dollars to the museum, but hers and other community curators’ expertise ensures that new exhibits about Haida Gwaii are done with Haida input.
Ms McFarlane also thanked museum staffer Anne Wesley for being the “mover and shaker” at the society. Not only did she oversee the shifting of the collection on three separate occasions, but she keeps many details on track, says Ms McFarlane.
She also praised the board for sticking with the museum during the challenges of last year.
The board will face a few different challenges in the coming year as well. These include operating a facility that is double the size of the old museum. This year the board will finalize an agreement with the Haida Heritage Centre society covering the details of how the two societies will operate in the buildings. This includes how bills get paid, admissions, gift shop and more.
The museum must raise between $600,000 and $900,000 to pay for unexpected renovations needed in its old building.
Ms McFarlane said when the work began in that area rot was found in some of the posts. Since this part of the museum contains natural history and Gwaii Haanas displays, the archives and administrative offices, it is essential that the work is done in a timely manner.
When the budget was presented, treasurer Cathy Rigg noted the gift shop revenue, admission charges, and memberships were down last year. She expects these to increase in the next year.
The HG Museum reported a $13,000 deficit this year, but much of that is offset by grant money outstanding at the end of the year, says Ms Rigg.
In other news at the meeting, president Dean Nomura made special mention of board vice-president Pearle Pearson and board member Monique Brown for all their volunteer hours. He also thanked a variety of donors including George MacDonald who donated 5,000 digitized historical photographs of Haida villages and people, Sandra Price for $15,000 to establish an endowment to support Haida button blanket-making, Laverne Davies for a collection of carved gold and silver jewelery by contemporary Haida artists and several other important gifts.
Mr. Nomura also announced this will be his last year on the board. After 17 years, he will be stepping down in the near future.
Other changes to the board include a new Queen Charlotte representative, Leslie Johnson and a new Skidegate representative, Irene Mills.
Ms Mills is replacing Billy Stevens, a long-serving board member who passed away earlier this year. The board and staff, not to mention the rest of the community, sorely miss his valuable presence.
Two positions representing Old Massett remain open.

Just Posted

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Cullen gets $89,000 in post-MP severance

At 55, the former MP will also be eligible for an $82,000 per annum pension

Carol Young, an artist who fought for timely cancer treatment in Abbotsford, dies before first solo show

B.C. Haida artist’s exhibit to open Saturday at downtown Seattle gallery

PHOTOS: Masset Remembers

Veterans, the Legion, the RCMP and the town came out to honour all those who have bravely served

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

Most Read