The “Friends of the Fort Frances Museum” have been developing a new calendar that will spotlight local history as it occurred on the upper Rainy River.
Called “Discover the Stories: Facts & Photos about the Rainy River,” the 2016 calendar will be launched on Thursday, Nov. 5 during the group’s annual fall fundraiser gala at the museum.
It is a follow-up to their 2015 calendar.
“We were overwhelmed with the success of our first foray into developing a calendar,” said “Friends” president Duane Hicks.
“We sold several hundred and knew immediately that we had to do another one this year.
“We brainstormed and came up with several ideas for a theme, and decided the river was a perfect one,” he added.
“The river has been integral to the lives of everyone who has ever lived here, and fortunately the museum has a wealth of photos and information we were able to able tap into to use in this calendar,” Hicks noted.
Over the past few months, “Friends” members spent time sorting through photos and deciding which ones were most interesting and accurately would reflect the various industries and activities associated with the river over the past century.
“We found some terrific ones—the Russell Bros. boat-building business, a ferry service between Fort Frances and the Falls before the international bridge was built, the flood of 1902,” said Hicks.
“Well, I don’t want to give away everything before people get their hands on the calendars,” he added.
The calendar is in the final stages of production but will be ready in time for the Nov. 5 gala, Hicks assured.
They will cost $20 each, with proceeds going to museum arts programming.
The Nov. 5 gala also will be the perfect opportunity for patrons to buy T-shirts, barbecue aprons, beer glasses, and tote bags which the “Friends of the Museum” first launched this past summer.
Meanwhile, tickets are now available for the wine-and-cheese fundraiser that will run from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the museum.
They cost $35 each or $60 for two, which are available at the museum and the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre.
They also will be sold at the door (if there’s any left).
The evening will highlight the museum’s current exhibit, “The Artistry of Rug Hooking,” which has been guest-curated by Debbie Ballard and showcases rug-hooking from across the district and province.
The gala also will feature live music by the Rainy Lake Orchestra, which has been busy learning danceable tunes in line with the “Cut a Rug” theme.
An area will be cleared for a dance floor.
“We have had very good attendance at our events in the past, and we hope many of the same supporters come out on Nov. 5,” said Hicks.
“But we’d also like to see some new faces there, perhaps some of the young professionals we have in our community,” he added.
“We want to send the message that our museum is a vibrant cultural centre.”
The event also will include a silent auction, with some sought-after items up for bid.
A few of the items donated so far include art by Cher Pruys, framed photograph prints by Paul Pirie, and handmade wooden paddles.
The “Friends of the Museum” is asking for any donation, large or small, for the auction.
Pieces can be dropped off at the museum any time (its current hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday).
And what gala would be complete without food and drink?
It will feature hors d’oeuvres prepared by local chef Mark Nagant, who catered the previous three galas, and “Friends” member Judy Kielczewski.
A selection of wines also will be available, along with punch and tea/coffee.