The Souris Valley (SV) Museum had another active year in 2014, with special events and activities that attracted hundreds of people to the building.
They're going to be busy in the fall, too.
Curator Katrina Howick said they had more than 800 pass through the museum's doors this year. More than 100 attended their annual Pioneer Fun Day in August, which was great, she said.
They also had five day camps for youths in the summer that were at capacity, and their senior social in August was well attended.
“Obviously everything out here is dependent on the weather, and on traffic on the highway and with construction, so it's always interesting to note how different things like that affect the museum, but we had a good year,” said Howick. “It was a bit of a slow start, but it definitely picked up.”
The museum will remain open from Tuesdays to Saturdays in September, if the weather cooperates, she said.
September will also be when the museum starts its behind-the-scenes work, Howick said. During the fall months, the museum's staff will be revamping some of its displays. Open storage will be employed for the first time, she said.
“Open storage is a fairly new concept, where you have things in storage that people can't touch, and normally wouldn't be on display, but you have them in a place where people can actually see them,” said Howick.
Their artifacts associated with sewing and spinning will be visible for the public, she said.
“We have several versions of sewing machines and spinning wheels, and we have some nicer ones than what are currently on display,” said Howick.
Two exhibits will be cleaned so that they can be used once again: one that is devoted to taxidermy, and another that is dedicated to First Nations. This year was the first time that they weren't exhibited, and Howick said a lot of people were clamouring for their return.
The First Nations artifacts will be combined into a display on the settlement of southeast Saskatchewan and the arrival of the railroad, she said.
“We're also working on some general maintenance around the museum,” said Howick. “The displays will look a little different here and there.”
Most of the museum's collection is currently in storage, Howick said. The average museum typically has around five to 10 per cent of its material on display, with the rest in storage, but museums are trying to reverse that trend, so that the bulk of their items can be viewed by the general public.
Howick said the SV Museum has about 35 to 40 per cent of its collection on display, and with the addition of open storage, and the reintroduction of some exhibits, the percentage will improve next year.