Museum opens today

Mickey Dumont

The Portage Citizen — Farmers are enjoying this billion dollar rain, but staff at the Fort la Reine Museum, well, not so much.

The museum opened this morning under rainy skies, but opened nonetheless after being delayed since May 10.

A permanent curator/executive director has yet to hired to replace Tracey Turner who was abrubtly let go with less than two weeks to go before the museum was scheduled to open. The Fort la Reine Museum board decided not to renew Turner’s contract, though negotiations to do so were underway. The Portage Citizen has been told Turner learned her contract would not be renewed at the meeting with the board where she expected it to be signed and ratified.

Officialy the board has said “we’re going in a different direction.” An audit of the museum’s finances is expected almost any day, but it is unclear if the audit has anything to do with the board’s decision to not renew the experienced curator’s contract.

When asked immediately following  its decision to not renew the contract if there was any financial concerns, board chair Dale Woods said, “We’re not going there.” Woods did not say then an audit had been underway or asked for by the museum board.

The Fort la Reine Museum board will release further information about staffing changes and reasons the contract for its curator of seven years at the Manitoba Star Attraction was not renewed following the release of the financial audit.

The board chair is also scheduled to meet a group of disatisfied community members whom quickly banded together to form “The Friends of the Fort la Reine Museum”. The friends group held a meeting May 24 that attracted about 70 like-minded citizens. It is possible The Friends of the Fort la Reine Museum may seek avenues to gain operational control of the museum it feels is not being run as it should be.

The shortened season will see the museum open from Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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