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Entry fees being reinstated at Boundary Museum

The Boundary Museum in Grand Forks will reinstate entry fees after the Canada Day long weekend.

This year’s budget has estimated the Boundary Museum Society would collect $8,000 from memberships and donations at the door.

Speaking with Vista Radio, society treasurer Blair Macgregor says they’re finding donations aren’t enough.

“We found that with the number of people we’re getting through there, the donations do not match what we suggested – the suggested amount that people should donate,” Macgregor said.

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He says the fee, which would be around $5 for children and seniors and $8 for adults, is similar to other B.C. museums.

The museum previously charged admission, but when it reopened last month it experimented with a by-donation model.

Macgregor and director Daniel Koochin provided a quarterly update to city council today on the museum’s activities.

They’ve been able to hire four staff: a summer student, an office manager, a curator and a part-time bookkeeper while staying within budget. It’s also showcasing an antique firetruck display.

“All the antique firetrucks that the fire department has restored over the last 20 years are now in the building up there being on display and it in itself is quite a display,” said Macgregor, who incidentally is also a former city fire chief.

After off-and-on closures due to the pandemic, the museum opened on May 21 and had 196 visitors in the first week, council heard.

Some councillors heaped praise on the new executive and the museum’s turnaround.

The museum had a rocky winter where the city moved to withhold an installment payment until it held an AGM and then four members of the board quit.

“I am just thrilled at the progress you have made and where you’re heading. It’s been a long hard road and I just feel you’re on the right track. It makes me feel so happy that some of the things are actually coming to fruition,” Coun. Cathy Korolek said.

Coun. Christine Thompson said she was “extremely impressed” with the work at the museum – an organization she credits with getting her “into where I am today, in this chair” on city council.

The museum receives just over $100,000 from the regional district and the City of Grand Forks for operations.

The Boundary Museum will host Canada Day celebrations and will be accepting donations.

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