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Boundary Museum part of VR showcase in Germany

The Boundary Museum in Grand Forks is on the world stage this week.

It’s being highlighted in Germany at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit, which started today.

Executive Director Mathieu Drolet says it’s part of a virtual reality program to bring its exhibits to classrooms in B.C. and beyond.

“Somebody comes into your museum, takes a 3D view of all the artifacts and then what it does is, once you’re in the classroom, then you have access to not only the room but then you can click, for example, on one artifact and have the description,” Drolet explained.

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The VR Voyage Classroom program was launched last month and other museums in Creston, Osoyoos and the Doukhobor Discovery Center in Castlegar are taking part.

The program was born out of the pandemic by anthropologist Bryce Mathew Watts as a way for museums to make money because their doors were closed to visitors.

Classrooms pay a fee for the museum tours and can add a la carte options like lectures. In the case of Grand Forks, that could be a talk on the Doukhobor history and culture. The money goes back to the museums.

Watts is presenting the concept at the Hamburg summit to inspire museums in other countries to do it as well.

Drolet is happy the Boundary Museum is part of the world showcase and says the region’s cultural history is also international.

“There is obviously people all across the world that would be interested in the Boundary heritage since we have people from all across the world that came to live in the Boundary Region,” Drolet said.

Drolet says, as of last month, about 60 per cent of the archives have been digitized but the museum itself hasn’t been recorded digitally. That will happen over the winter.

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