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National aspirations for Kamloops museum

April 19, 2016 - 8:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - The City of Kamloops wants the Kamloops Museum and Archives to become a bigger part of the community.

City parks director Byron McCorkell told council on Monday, April 18, staff is looking to raise the profile of the local museum, aiming for provincial and national recognition.

“The big goal there is to present the museum for what it is, a facility that is educating, not just a parking spot for stuff,” he says. “It’s more than just a dusty dark place.”

Over the past five years he says there have been ongoing renovations to the building, and currently staff are working on the final few physical improvements to the museum. Additionally, plans to better engage the community will be done within the museum’s current budget. If the museum is able to become more notable, he says the city will be able to get federal grants for it.

“We’re trying basically to put life into the museum so that it becomes an important component of the fabric of Kamloops,” he says. “It’s going to become much more of a presence in the city not unlike the Kamloops Art Gallery.”

McCorkell says the museum should be an important component of how people understand Kamloops by telling local stories with local artifacts. The plan includes better branding of the museum, more exhibits using in-house artifacts and more exhibits around the community.

“We’re going to be incorporating the sheep breeders building, the heritage building at Lorne and 10th,” he says.

The building has been used for years as storage but the museum will turn it into a working lab and allow people to see how the museum preserves artifacts.

“We’ve got hundreds of pieces of artifacts, a lot of them are in storage,” he says. “We want to get them out so people can see them.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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