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

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

CALGARY — The Alberta government is providing a $440 million loan guarantee… Continue reading

Local artists are in the running for Alberta Country Music Awards, held Sunday in Red Deer

Tickets are available to the ceremony at the Sheraton hotel

RCMP seeking suspect in school bus collision and car jacking

Two children suffered minor injuries in collision on Tuesday near Springbrook around 8 a.m.

Smaller, more affordable, lots wanted in Red Deer’s Evergreen neighbourhood

Council approves first reading of requested lot-size changes

Political shifts, sales slump cast shadow over gun industry

When gunmakers and dealers gather this week in Las Vegas for the… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps may need to stock up on maple… Continue reading

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Rugby Canada Hall of Fame a family affair for hard-nosed forward Hans de Goede

Hans de Goede, a hard-nosed lock forward who captained Canada at the… Continue reading

5 burning questions ahead of the Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — The Oscars still don’t have a host, but on… Continue reading

‘Bao,’ ‘Animal Behaviour,’ ‘Weekends’ among Canadian Oscar nominees

LOS ANGELES — Several Canadians have landed Oscar nominations. The category for… Continue reading

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Opinion: Faith in immigration must be preserved

Canada has a deserved reputation for extending its arms to newcomers, but… Continue reading

Most Read