Museum space crunch still unresolved

Staff at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery are regrouping after their $240,000 request to address the museum’s space crunch was refused by city council.

Staff at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery are regrouping after their $240,000 request to address the museum’s space crunch was refused by city council.

Lorna Johnson, MAG executive director, said they were not entirely surprised that council turned them down.

“Given some of the smaller requests that were refused, it wasn’t really surprising,” said Johnson. “But we wanted to put the concept on the table so we can begin discussion about it.”

Council reasoned that it was premature to make a decision for the storage needs of the museum collection without seeing the overall broader strategy that would include the city archives and records.

The MAG, which has been struggling with a space crunch, had requested $240,000 from the city to hire two additional staff who would work on digitizing the complete collection and to lease storage space.

Johnson said they are now looking at alternatives to deal with the problem but without funding it will slow things down.

“We have received some funding from the Alberta Museums Association to begin the process so we will seek other funding possibilities and continue to talk with council and the city,” said Johnson. “There may be that there is storage space somewhere in the city that we wouldn’t have to lease.”

She said they will continue to digitize the collection but it is challenging because of the “bursting at the seams” conditions.

Last year, the museum worked with the city on a feasibility study for a building built by the city to house the records management, the archives and provide some storage for the museum.

Johnson said what came out of the study was a facility that would have been able to store about 30 per cent of the museum’s collection in addition to the city’s record management and archives.

Johnson said it was ultimately decided this would not address the museum’s needs. The report has not come to council for consideration.

“That makes our situation worse instead of better because then we would have had to operate out of two sites,” said Johnson.

“That would have created staffing challenges right away. It wasn’t the right solution for us.”

Councillors Frank Wong and Paul Harris unsuccessfully argued for council to float $50,000 to the museum to help with staffing to work on the digitalizing during the operating budget deliberations.

“During the council meeting there was talk of deaccessioning,” said Johnson.

“That may be one solution but we’re not ready to take that step yet by any means. Until we fully understand what all we have and how it all fits together, that’s a long way off in the process.”

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

BREAKING: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

The cost of flushing sanitary wipes is brought to Red Deer city council

More public education is needed about what not to flush down toilets

Veterans’ Park barrier key to pedestrian safety, says Red Deer traffic engineer

The recently roughed-up concrete barrier in front of Veterans’ Park has seen… Continue reading

WATCH: Rebels play floor hockey with Annie L. Gaetz students

The Rebels may be on a losing streak but they were definitely… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’

Imagine this: You’re rushing to get ready for work — juggling emails,… Continue reading

Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are… Continue reading

Kim Kardashian West and husband Kanye welcome baby girl

NEW YORK — It’s a girl for Kim Kardashian West and her… Continue reading

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month