What We Do
In a normal year we entertain over 20,000 visitors and locals visiting our two facilities and participating in our various programs. We run the Museum and the North West Mounted Police Barracks in Canmore and this is what you will discover when you visit the two venues:
Our main facility is our Museum, at the Canmore Civic Centre in the centre of Canmore. As of March 2016, our new permanent exhibition: “From Coal to Community” tells stories of both the geological and social history of the area. There are hands-on opportunities for everyone and videos provide information about the history of the Canmore area. The Museum is open seven days a week, all year long, except for a couple of days at Christmas.
The other facility is the North West Mounties Police (NWMP) Barracks, situated on the high Street in Canmore. This attractive, white-painted, log cabin style building was erected in 1893 to house a contingent of the NWMP as the area developed rapidly due to the arrival of the railway. This is a heritage building and a small exhibit in the building tells the story of the arrival of the “mounties” and the subsequent history of the people who lived in it. This is where we tell the rest of the stories, especially of life in the early part of Canmore’s history. During winter months we rely on volunteers to run the facility which is open, on average, three days a week including the weekends. During the summer we employ students who keep the facility open seven days a week.
A third component of how we carry out our mandate is the development of education programs, particularly those to complement grade school curricula. We recently partnered with Lafarge to develop a program for grade 3 classes whereby the children visit the Museum and Lafarge’s premises at Exshaw to learn all about the rocks and minerals of our area and about making cement out of the raw material found in the valley.
In addition to permanent exhibits, we plan a series of temporary exhibits within the permanent space over time. The first of these exhibits will feature Graymont’s quarry operations (as opposed to Lafarge’s) in the Exshaw area. This exhibit is currently being developed and is scheduled to open sometime in the Spring of 2017.
We have a board of directors, comprised of twelve people, who meet regularly once a month to work on normal board activities such as fundraising, planning, governance, etc., and who also roll up their sleeves and get involved directly in many of the programs of the Society.
Our 2017 annual budget is $457,000, funds to be provided as follows;
- $145,000 Town of Canmore grant
- $101,000 Other grants
- $121,000 Donations
- $51,000 Retail
- $39,000 Admissions and programs
This budget includes a provision for raising at least $100,000 for the Lamp House project. To learn more click here: Calgary Herald: Making Canmore Lamp House a provincial historic site.