Museum seeking items for fundraiser Hallett tours go tomorrow

The Fort Frances Museum is looking for people to donate arts and crafts materials for a garage sale fundraiser being held this Friday and Saturday (Aug. 19-20), with proceeds going to the museum’s renovation project.
Museum curator Pam Hawley said Monday the sale, which will be held upstairs at the museum, already has seen donations of items ranging from old wallpaper to a candle-making kit.
She added she’ll accept anything related to arts and crafts or home improvement, whether it’s unused house paint, unfinished art projects, craft materials, books on history, arts and crafts, or even interior design.
Hawley noted the museum renovations fundraising committee is holding this sale will coincide with the BIA’s “Back to School” promotion, and is hoping people are starting to think about what they want to do for projects around the house this fall (whether that be arts and crafts or home improvements).
The museum is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Hawley noted the museum renovations fundraising campaign so far has raised about $37,000.
The goal for local donations is $75,000, not including significant pledges which have come in from partners such as the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, BIA, and Abitibi-Consolidated.
But she added the fundraising committee really will be kicking into high gear this fall, not only with an increased focus on getting donations from local businesses, but with an arts festival that will planned around a play by Fort Frances Little Theatre called “TV Through the Ages.”
The fundraising committee, spearheaded by former mayor Glenn Witherspoon, has been working since the spring to raise funds to help renovate the museum.
The work, which ideally will start later this year and be completed by next summer, will include an entrance to the south of the building, as well as a small addition there to alleviate receiving, crating, and shipping problems.
There also will be changes to the existing building to alleviate circulation and exhibition space problems. New heating, ventilation, air conditioning, safety, security, and electrical systems will be installed, too.
The total cost is expected to be around $900,000.
In other news, there will be tours at the Hallett on Wednesday (Aug. 17) from 2-8 p.m.
“We’ll do it Wednesday, rain or shine,” said Hawley, adding a similar event was cancelled Aug. 3 due to stormy weather.
Hallett tours also were supposed to be held back on June 12—“Rivers Day”—but these also had to be cancelled due to poor weather.
Hawley added it’s not only a good opportunity for the public to learn about the Hallett and the Pither’s Point Park area, but also learn about the museum’s plans, including to relocate the Hallett and Lookout Tower to the riverfront as part of a larger heritage tourism plan.
That plan, devised by the consulting firm of Hilderman, Thomas, Frank and Cram, has designated the museum as the centrepiece of a tourism strategy designed to draw visitors to the downtown area and riverfront.