Museum fundraiser exhibit coming up

“Preserve the Past,” an exhibit of art to be sold in support of the Fort Frances Museum’s renovation campaign, will run here from Oct. 27-29.
Curator Pam Hawley said artists are invited to step forward and contribute in helping the museum renovations committee meet its fundraising goal.
“The upgrading of the museum galleries, and continued support of artists and the exhibitions, is an important element in the renovated museum,” noted Hawley.
“What better way to invest in it than in the art.
“I’ve had some new artists in the community I never knew existed contact me about doing something,” she added. “And all the well-known local artists are always good about supporting causes like this.”
Local painters, photographers, jewellery-makers, sculptors, and even collectors are invited to exhibit and donate pieces for the fundraiser.
The art will be integrated within the museum’s exhibits, and will include historic photographs and ads copied from the archives, noted Hawley.
“Adopt-an-Artifact” pieces also will be dispersed among the displays, which people can “adopt’ for the cost of $20 each. The money will go towards the museum renovation campaign.
Art pieces reflecting Rainy Lake, views of the past, and other images from a variety of local artists also will be on display, Hawley said.
The opening evening on Thursday, Oct. 27 promises to be full of fun with silent bids, surprise and mystery items up for auction, and live auction plans currently in the works.
The auction gala will run from 7-9 p.m.
“This is a great opportunity to purchase a unique art piece for yourself or perhaps an early Christmas present, and support the museum at the same time,” said Hawley.
Those items that aren’t sold that evening will continue to be on display for two more days, during which time the public can drop by, browse, and, if they so choose, buy them.
It’s even possible some of the silent auction items will be up for bid for all three days, she added.
For more information about the fundraiser, or to donate to the event, contact the museum at 274-7891 or e-mail Hawley at
In related news, almost 75 percent of the museum renovation committee’s goal of $75,000 (combined with partners to $130,000) has been attained.
So far, Abitibi-Consolidated (Fort Frances division), the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, and the local Business Improvement Association have made major commitments to this project.
“As we finalize renovation plans, we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to become involved. Contact the museum about pledging your support,” said Hawley, who is encouraging businesses, in particular, to open their wallets.
The town has a dedicated reserve of $420,000 towards the $900,000 renovation project, with still more funding to come from senior levels of government.
As previously reported, the museum renovations are part of a larger heritage tourism plan devised by the consulting firm of Hilderman, Thomas, Frank and Cram—a $2,725,974 project that has designated the museum as the centrepiece of a tourism strategy designed to draw visitors to the downtown area and riverfront.
The plan also includes parkway and gateway linkage with signage and interpretive panels, “streetscaping” and upgrading of the museum property and the Scott Street/Victoria Avenue routes to the La Verendrye Parkway, and waterway development, including fort interpretation and relocating the Hallett and Lookout Tower to the riverfront.
The newly-renovated museum and gateway then would be marketed via a joint tourism marketing strategy with regional museums and historical centres, such as the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre (Manitou Mounds) and museum over in International Falls.