It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I ready myself to leave Canmore. Before I leave, however, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have made my time here in Canmore something I will always treasure.
Canmore has an incredible community of people who are passionate and committed to preserving and celebrating Canmore’s heritage and culture. They help make the museum possible and they have made learning about Canmore, and getting to know them, an honour.
The museum has moved forward in many ways over the past few years, in no small part due to the Town of Canmore’s support – through the mayor and council – and our amazing staff and volunteers.
We have received Recognized Museum status, published a history of mining in the Bow Valley and put on exhibitions of all shapes and sizes. Our programs have reached hundreds of school children, residents and visitors, sharing with them the many unique stories and events that have shaped Canmore’s past and present. We have received numerous significant grants and developed important partnerships with heritage and geoscience organizations on local, provincial and even national levels.
It has been a pleasure to work for the museum’s board. In particular, I want to thank Cathy Jones, who took a chance on me when I first moved here; and Richard Green, whose passion for the museum has been an inspiration. We have had an incredible group of individuals on the board, all of whom have contributed to the museum in their own way. Thank you for your investment in the success of the museum.
The staff have been amazing as well. We have had the same great core of staff as we have grown – Mary-Beth Laviolette, Debbie Carrico and Lindsay Walker have been essential for the museum’s success. Thank you for your patience and grace over the years. Our summer students have been enthusiastic and it has been exciting to watch many of them continue to grow and succeed after their time with us.
There are, of course, many others to thank. Many people have encouraged me – Rob Alexander, Priscilla Janes, John Borrowman, Dea Fischer and Bob Sandford spring quickly to mind – but the list is far longer than that. I am honoured by the way that many of Canmore’s “longtimers” have embraced me, and how they were always ready and willing to spend time with me and share their stories and lives. Jimmy Fitzgerald, Ernie Lakusta, Eddie Latvala, Lena Shellian, Helmi Bracco, Bob and Mary Smith, Walter Riva and many others have been generous and gracious with their life stories and knowledge. Canmore is truly a fascinating place and that is because of its people.
It has also been inspiring to be part of Canmore’s dynamic and creative community. The time I have spent as a participant in artsPeak and as a member of CAAG, as part of the Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation board and the Canmore Public Art Committee has been educational and inspiring. I will miss the art community’s energy and excitement. In particular, I would like to thank Chris Bartolomie and Cheryl Baxter for their tireless commitment to, and support of, Canmore’s artistic community.
Thank you to all who have helped make our programs, events and activities such a great success. The museum is an amazing institution, and I am confident it will be in good hands.
Please continue to support the museum. Everyone involved – from the board and other volunteers to members and staff to longtimers and newcomers – has a part to play in the continued preservation and celebration of Canmore’s rich and varied history. In order for the museum to be able to tell Canmore’s story, it relies on your donations of time, money and artifacts, and your support.
Remember: History Never Sleeps.
Edward Van Vliet,
Curator, Canmore Museum