Museum seeks staff, new opening day

First posted May 4

Mickey Dumont

The Portage Citizen—

“Clovis the Caribou Hunters” the Fort la Reine Museum’s first exhibition of 2018, will arrive May 7 at 8 a.m., says the museum board chairman, Dale Wood.

“We (the museum board) had a good meeting (May 3)”, Wood said on May 4. “Our exhibits are all coming, this one Monday morning. “It will be business as usual.”

Wood said The Fort la Reine Museum board’s decision to not renew its executive director – curator Tracey Turner’s contract with less than two weeks before opening day was not done in haste.

Tracy Turner
Tracy Turner, former Fort la Reine Museum executive director/curator. The Fort la Reine Museum board did not renew her contract which expired April 30.

“It wasn’t hasty. It wasn’t quick. There was a lot of thought to it,” Wood said. “The city council, the RM council and the museum board…it was discussed for quite a while.”

The museum chair said the separation from Turner was not controversial from the board’s perspective. “We’re just going in a different direction,” he said.

The planned major exhibits – “Clovis the Caribou Hunters” and the National Geographic’s “Climate Change is Here” photography exhibit are still scheduled.

The museum will accept shipment of the “Clovis the Caribou Hunters” display, but a new opening date for the museum has yet to be worked out.

“Originally it was going to be May 10, now we are hoping for ‘as soon as possible’,” Wood said. “We have to hire three summer students and find another executive director. We don’t want to open until we have staff on.”

The museum board may not be looking for a museum curator, but instead, an executive director to manage the museum.

“We need somebody in charge, somebody to run (the museum). We don’t know what’s out there. We need somebody that can take over,” Wood said.

The museum chair said some on the board lean towards hiring a museum curator while others are happy to have someone in a managerial position.

Turner was a curator with professional museum credentials

“It’s a bad time of year to be having to do this,” the museum board chair admitted. “Her contract ended April 30.”

There was no exit strategy, Wood admits, but the delay in opening the museum will not be too inconvenient.

“We’ll be fine. The city and the RM fund it, somewhat, and…we’ll be okay. We just want to get the doors open.” He said there should be enough time to get a team in place to accommodate pre-booked tours and programming.

“Nothing is going to change other than different people there.

“This past week was up in the air. Everybody is very positive. Everybody is going forward.”

Wood does not gamble on a possible new opening date. “Pretty hard to put a date on it. Hopefully before the end of May.”

The museum board is now advertising to replace three summer students whom were hired but chose not to return for personal reasons arising from Turner not being there and for an executive director or a curator.

Major displays planned

Spaer throwers
“Clovis, the Caribou Hunters” tells the story of the “Clovis people” – a people that are considered to be the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, and likely the first “Manitobans” and will be the first major exhibit at the Fort la Reine Museum in 2018.

Clovis, the Caribou Hunters Exhibit
Travel back to 10,000 – 12,000 BC and meet the true explorers of the new world. This exhibit celebrates and educates about the existence and development of Aboriginal people as a distinct culture and recognizes the importance and contribution they have made in Canada. Using archaeological evidence and theory, the exhibit “Clovis, the Caribou Hunters” tells the story of the “Clovis people” – a people that are considered to be the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, and likely the first “Manitobans”.


Climate Change is Here is an outdoor photography exhibition based on the striking imagery of the award-winning National Geographic Magazine.

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