Museum celebrates grand re-opening

Enthusiastic residents gathered outside the Fort Frances Museum yesterday afternoon as curator Pam Hawley and several town dignitaries unveiled its new look.
Mayor Roy Avis told the crowd on hand how excited he is about the beautiful museum that will help to preserve and showcase some of Fort Frances’ heritage.
“This is a beautiful new tourism destination that we are be very proud of,” said Mayor Avis. “Its exhibits show off some of Fort Frances’ history and provide great teachings for our children.”
The grand re-opening was right on target with the proposed June completion date.
The ceremony began with the native language students from St. Francis and St. Michael’s schools singing “O Canada” in Ojibwe. As well, Dr. Bruce Lidkea played the bagpipes.
Others who spoke about the museum renovation included Hawley, Christine Denby, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, and John Rafferty, representing local MPP Howard Hampton.
“This project and others make Fort Frances a great community to live in, work in, and visit,” said Denby, “Congratulations to everyone involved and to the community.”
Those who contributed to the $900,000 renovation project also were thanked during the ceremony.
After the ceremony concluded, the public was invited to tour the new exhibits and join the museum staff for refreshments.
The main floor of the revamped museum will be used for travelling exhibits, art shows, administrative purposes, and other programming.
The museum’s permanent exhibits are on display on the second floor while the basement is for storage.
The re-opening of the museum marks the completion of Phase One of the two-phase heritage tourism project here.
The renovation was done by Ed Kaun & Sons. Work began last July and was basically completed by January, which included everything from new flooring and walls to new plumbing and fixtures.
Meanwhile, planning continues for the second phase of the project.