Museum will toot its horn again next summer

Sharon Montgomery stands by part of the new museum gift shop.                       - Claire Paradis/Arrow Lakes News
Sharon Montgomery stands by part of the new museum gift shop.
— image credit: Claire Paradis/Arrow Lakes News

Looking for a uniquely Nakusp gift for someone? Well, if you can wait until the summer, the Nakusp and District Museum will have a new gift shop. The shop carries prints of the old paddle wheelers that used to plough the waters of the Arrow Lake carrying people and goods as well as some excellent t-shirts and books.

At the moment, the museum is still closed and being rearranged by Sharon Montgomery, co-chair. A little extra space will be a boon to the museum, as it’s stuffed to the gills with artifacts from the area. The gift shop is part of the museum’s reconfiguration which will include a Native diorama in the Centennial building’s new addition.

Montgomery is passionate about local Native culture, and gave an informal lecture on the lifestyle of the Sinixt Nation last spring to students at the Lucerne School in New Denver. The Sinixt are a hot topic, but for Montgomery there is no question that the First Nations people lived here on the shores of the Arrow Lake.

Involvement with Native culture doesn’t end with displays. The museum is an active member of the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement, Montgomery wrote in the museum’s 2012 year end report, and regularly attends committee meetings. The museum also hired a ‘priority’ student – a Metis university student – last year and are hoping he can return next year as he did a terrific job, according to the report. Taking part in the Aboriginal Day celebrations was another way the museum showed its support for awareness of Native issues.

The museum contains a variety of artifacts, not just Native ones, that attract visitors. Last season the wet weather, not great for camping or the beach, was good for museum traffic. Even without the Nakusp Music Fest, the museum saw attendance that weekend up 104 per cent.

“Rockers are definitely not historians!” the annual report noted.

Even though construction of the new addition to the Centennial Building took the SS Minto whistle out of commission until August last year, have no fear: you’ll be hearing the whistle blow in town this summer once again.


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