We are delighted to report on the success of a project that has happened over recent months, one that has seen us being able to purchase and install a variety of equipment across the Museum, all thanks to the Department of Canadian Heritage, via the Canada Cultural Spaces Grant.
Thanks to a grant of $40,000, which matched another two grants, we have been able to upgrade, replace and or implement a number of items that allow us to be enhancing our operations and exhibits, either by being more environmentally friendly or safer - or both.
Our Front of House staff were thrilled to see a complete replacement of our two way radio system - critical when we run underground tours. A new base station in our Gift Shop has dealt with an interference problem (from LED lights in the shop), and we've switched from analogue to digital as well; all in, giving us a much more robust system.
The grant completed the funding of our solar installation and propane conversion project which has been a highlight of our year. This project was high on our target list for green initiatives, as was the switching out of our Mill 3 building lights from halogen to LED. This Cultural Spaces grant has also allowed us to do that. Replacing those lights was something we didn't think we'd be able to do anytime soon.
Smaller items purchased included chemical storage cabinets, replacement LED cap lamps for our Interpreters underground, bear proof bins, a snow/leaf blower and an icemelt sprayer. All these items are much needed, but have not been high enough up on our priority list for funding. The positive impact these items will have on our operational staff are very real and will make a huge difference. For for-profit businesses, some of these items may seem run-of-the-mill and not a big deal, but for a non-profit organization with no core funding - running a historical industrial site, museum and visitor attraction - items such as these are often too much of an expense to warrant purchasing when so many other priorities are present.
Our temporary exhibits have now benefited from the addition of a 48" TV screen for showing video, two backlit LED panels for interpretive displays, and a 10" tablet for enhancing the interpretive content on an upcoming permanent display of mineralogical specimens. The screens are in use in our summer exhibit I Heart Carbon, where they are a welcome addition to the space.
All in all, this project has touched the lives of the staff here across the whole organization, making their roles easier and enhancing the professionalism with which we operate. We therefore sincerely acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada.
In the time of COVID-19, when our lives have been turned upside down, it can help to reflect on what has gone before, in order to find hope for what may come.