Teck’s donation will help launch Phase II of the Rossland Museum’s expansion. (Ron Wilson photo)

Teck’s donation will help launch Phase II of the Rossland Museum’s expansion. (Ron Wilson photo)

Teck grant makes Rossland Museum’s renewal plans a reality

$700,000 will go to creating a replica underground mine exhibit

The Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre has received a huge boost to its expansion plans with a $700,000 donation announced Thursday by Teck Metals Ltd.

The smelting company gave the museum the cash to launch the fundraising campaign for Phase II of its renewal project.

The money will be used to create a replica mine experience at the centre.

“It’s very exciting,” says Libby Martin, the president of the Museum and Archives Association. “We’re very pleased.”

Martin says the museum has been in talks with Teck for several years, since an underground tour closed several years ago, about creating the simulated mine experience.

Phase II has an overall fundraising goal of $1.2 million. In addition to the mine experience, the renewal project includes integration of the existing world-class geology collection and a new atrium space housing a visitor centre, programming space and gift shop.

The atrium will be at the front of the existing building, while the mine experience exhibit will be attached to the rear of the structure.

“The museum is excited this much-anticipated mine experience will soon become a reality,” said Martin. “Without the support of Teck, this vision would not be possible. We thank Teck for their guidance and commitment to helping the Museum succeed.”

“The City of Rossland is thrilled with Teck’s generous donation to the second phase of the Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre’s renewal project,” said Mayor Kathy Moore. “The history and rise of Rossland is intrinsically tied to the history and success of Teck. It’s a natural and much-appreciated collaboration.”

“The Rossland mines are a significant chapter in the history of mining locally, in BC and Canada and were the impetus for the founding of Teck’s roots in this region,” said Thompson Hickey, General Manager, Teck Trail Operations. “The replica mine experience will celebrate this prominent Canadian mining story and help build an understanding of the importance of the industry to modern society.”

Martin says getting such a large single grant can help in fundraising efforts.

“Well, I think it probably should,” she says. “This substantial amount … will help provide some leverage for further funding for the project.

“The overall projected cost is about $1.4 million. This will go a long way towards helping us with that.”

Construction of Phase II is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020, with a grand opening planned for the summer of 2021.

Phase I, which opened in the summer of 2017, included building a new entrance gallery, archives, offices and washrooms.

The new mine experience exhibition will hold displays of mining life and technology in the Rossland area.

 

Libby Martin, president of the Rossland Museum board, and Joelle Hodgins, museum director, stand in the new entrance gallery in the spring of 2017. Phase I of the renewal has been completed, and this donation by Teck launches Phase II with a bang. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

Libby Martin, president of the Rossland Museum board, and Joelle Hodgins, museum director, stand in the new entrance gallery in the spring of 2017. Phase I of the renewal has been completed, and this donation by Teck launches Phase II with a bang. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)