Museum hard at work on Olympic exhibit 

Annual meeting to discuss new facility, 2010 display

The Whistler Museum and Archives closed its doors in February, with plans to reopen in February 2009 in the space formerly occupied by the Whistler Public Library. Staff are hard at work planning for the move — a temporary one until a permanent building can be found — while also planning an important exhibit on Whistler’s Olympic history.

“The actual name isn’t confirmed, but it (the new exhibit) will be about Whistler’s Olympic journey, and how Whistler Mountain was itself developed in the hope of winning the 1968 Winter Olympics,” said Kristina Swerhun, who is overseeing the creation of a display for the museum. “It’s a neat story we hope to share with the world when it comes during the Olympics, and it will be a part of the Cultural Olympiad going on during the Games. This is the only place where Whistler’s story is told completely.

“We’re already getting a lot of requests from around the world for more information on Whistler, so the level of interest is high.”

The Olympic exhibit, summer walking tours, and other future plans will be discussed on Tuesday, June 24 at the Whistler Museum’s annual general meeting. The meeting takes place at the museum building at 5:30 p.m., and members of the public are welcome to come out to hear plans and even take on roles as a member of the board. If you can’t commit to the board, there is also lots of room on museum committees, like the fundraising committee and the exhibit committee.

Swerhun says that the museum is hiring someone to design the Olympic display, but will be looking to the committee to supply content and to organize a focus group to test the displays. Natural history is also a major focus of the exhibit, and local experts will be consulted in that capacity as well.

“We want the museum to stay relevant and put out everything we’ve got, making sure everything’s present that people care about in the community,” she said.

The museum currently has a collection of over 5,000 artifacts and 116,000 documents. Having a larger space will allow the museum to put more of its collection on display, while also showing the potential of the museum in a larger space. Several options are currently being considered, including one of the legacy buildings that may be left in Whistler from an Olympic Plaza of Nations.

In addition to moving the collection into a new facility and developing an Olympic exhibit, the museum is also hosting Valley of Dreams walking tours of the resort. Tours leave daily from the Visitor Information Centre during the months of July and August. Tickets are $10.

For more information on museum activities, visit www.whistlermuseum.org.

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