ESTEVAN - The Estevan Art Gallery and Museum is celebrating the completion of a restoration project at the North West Mounted Police Museum (NWMP), which is located on the EAGM’s grounds.
Opening for the season was held on June 9 as part of the EAGM’s art night. Members of the public could drop by and tour the building, which is the old NWMP barracks and one of the oldest buildings in Estevan.
The opening also coincided with kickoff to the Museums Association of Saskatchewan’s convention, giving many delegates an up-close look at the police museum.
EAGM curator-director Amber Andersen said the exterior of the NWMP building has been re-sided. The upstairs floor and ceiling has been painted, new signage has been installed outdoors, and the wheelchair ramp and front door have been repainted as well.
“These are all things that took place this year, but they’ve all been things that we’ve been working on over the past year,” said Andersen.
They have also added the display for Bud McArthur of the Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation to the upstairs of the museum last year, and they reworked collections that are downstairs.
“It’s a continual process, so we’re always working, but we’re very pleased with how things have come together. It looks really fresh. We’ve had a lot of really positive responses so far, just from the community and tourists, and just from the visitors who came who were part of the conference.”
The re-siding was finished last fall and the other works wrapped up in the spring.
Re-siding the museum was integral for the project and new insulation will help maintain the integrity of the building, she said.
“That actually protects not only the artifact, which is the building itself, but it also protects all of the artifacts that are housed within it,” said Andersen.
From a structural perspective, the museum was becoming problematic because it hadn’t been redone during Andersen’s 11 years in the community.
“It was something that was a pressing necessity, and I think this puts us in really good stead in ensuring that we’re protecting everything,” said Andersen.
The EAGM received support from the City of Estevan, Affinity Credit Union, Kingston Midstream and Canadian Heritage.
Andersen noted the work inside the NWMP museum is constant, like any other arts and culture facilit4y. There are things they will keep working on in terms of displays, display cases, lights and features. But they are happy with the current stage.
“In terms of discussion and strategies, and in terms of working with Bud (McArthur) and getting in different employees to work that process, we’re talking about a three or four-year process.”