Museum expands profile, financial plans
The Whistler Museum and Archives Society opened its third home in its 10-year history last weekend, but the museum extends beyond its new location in Village North.
At grand opening celebrations Friday night trustee Tom Horler announced the museum is starting a lend/lease program and will be available for private receptions, two ways the society hopes to help fund future expansions of the museum.
The lend/lease program will give local businesses the opportunity to display photographs and props from the museum in exchange for a contribution to the museum. The displays can be rotated every three months.
Local businesses are also being canvassed for corporate support. Sushi Village and McDonald's have helped the museum purchase three new display cases.
The grand opening last weekend, which attracted Whistler pioneers such as Bill and Elaine Wallace and Franz and Annette Wilhelmsen, was the first opportunity for the public to see the new 2,000 square foot museum. Located next to the library in Village North, the museum is housed in portable trailers formerly used by the municipality.
Florence Petersen, one of the founders of the society more than 10 years ago, recalled the museum's first home when it opened in 1986, in a corner of the library, in the basement of municipal hall. The museum moved to Function Junction in 1988, where it was housed in the building originally built for The Keg. The building later became the first municipal hall and then the museum.
Although the space in the new museum is slightly smaller than the old facility, the increased visibility of the new location is expected to enhance awareness of the museum. Nearly 400 visitors toured the museum last weekend, more than double the number of visitors on the same weekend last year.
As well, the new location allows room for the museum to expand, as funds and more portable units become available. A permanent museum facility will eventually be built on the present site, although planning and fund raising for that is several years down the road.