Summer students at area museums shared their new projects and plans with peers during a special tea hosted by Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins.
For the past several years, Calkins has hosted these small tea events to celebrate two federal grant programs that pay for students’ summer work; Canada Summer Jobs and Young Canada Works. This year’s tea was hosted at the Fort Ostell Museum Tuesday, July 19 and brought museum staff and student workers from around Calkins’ riding and other parts of Red Deer.
Museum representatives from Millet, Bentley, Alix, Ponoka and Red Deer’s Waskasoo Museum, the Museum and Art Gallery and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame attended to share some of the projects underway, including archiving old photographs in a digital format, looking at bridal styles from the early 20th century or old bridges from the 1900s.
Calkins feels it is important to highlight the importance of museums saying they have important stories to tell their home communities.
“It’s just nice to let people know there are summer students here. Their tax dollars are coming back to the community,” said Calkins.
Plus the tea gives students a chance to share new ideas and collaborate on innovations at their respective museums with other staff, he added.
With museums operating on tight budgets, these grant programs help ensure important projects can be managed during the summer months, according to officials.
“Not only remembering our past, but learning the various ways to preserve it, protect it and display it in a way that is informative and interactive,” added Calkins.
While the summer employment programs offer a modest amount of money, Calkins says museum directors have been able to take those dollars and stretch them into valuable community assets.