Heritage society gets financial boost

Heritage society gets financial boost

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Preserving the community’s heritage just got a little easier for the Oliver and District Heritage Society.
Last week the group received $44,886 in funding under the federal government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas made the announcement during a special ceremony at the Oliver Museum.
“By preserving our history we build a stronger western Canada,” Albas said.
The funding will help the society improve the museum through renovations, featuring a multipurpose community room, new washrooms, a new HVAC system and new storage facility for artifacts.
Community Heritage Manager Tracy Johnson said the funding will help convert the traditional museum into a vibrant gathering place for heritage interests and cultural activities, with accessible exhibits and interactive programs for all ages.
She noted an important part of the renovation project is to make the building safe for the public . . . and to have a working bathroom on the main floor, she said to laughter.
Johnson said they will now be able to fit a whole classroom in the museum, which will host school programs.
Mayor Ron Hovanes said this is the largest funding announcement in the 30-year history of the society. “This is a huge move forward for longevity.”
Area C director Allan Patton commended the society for working very hard to further Oliver’s heritage and raise everyone’s quality of life.
Patton said the museum will be a great educational tool for local school children.
Since July, the society has increased its membership by 30 per cent, and has a string of new and returning volunteers.
The museum is located in the Town’s former
provincial police station and lock-up built in 1925.
Over the years, the building’s interior became a sorry state with asbestos issues, galvanized
plumbing, limited accessibility and inadequate storage for the artifacts.
The renovations consist of converting two small exhibit rooms on the main floor into one multipurpose community and volunteer space to host heritage projects, meetings, events and school programs.

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