As we close out our 2017-2018 Year end, I want to take a moment to reflect on and celebrate the achievements CHAPS has made through the course of this past year. In thanking all of CHAPS volunteers and members for your enthusiasm, participation and support throughout this past year. I hope you all take pride in all that we have accomplished together for CHAPS and the Town of Cochrane. The 2017-2018 year end was a hallmark one for CHAPS and it would not have been possible without all of you.
CHAPS continually assists and participates in many local and regional events, such as Downtown Cochrane Walking Tours, the Family Fun Heritage Festival, The Cochrane Art Show and Inter-active meetings with the Bearspaw Historical Society.
Our returning summer student, Jade Lewis, produced another short impressive historical feature film entitled A Rainy Royal Visit”. Jade exhibited more confidence, passion, enthusiasm and a proactive attitude in making The Cochrane Historical Museum even more successful this year.
An essential and important fun social event for many local residents is our biannual Spring and Fall fundraising dinners. Other successful sources of fundraising during the past year included the Alberta Gaming Casino, The Town of Cochrane, The Canada 150 Grant, The Cochrane Foundation, The Bow Rivers Edge Campground and The Cochrane Legion.
Special thanks to Mark Boothby and David Millican for using their imaginative use of social media, web projects and Facebook to bring CHAPS into the 21st Century. Museum websites provide facilities to global connectivity. Social media is an opportunity to “tell our story”, engage with supporters and get results. This social communication strategy will assist CHAPS in meetings it’s goals of community engagement and education, recruitment and fundraising.
What kind of museum do we want for our future?
We need to create a museum where people want to come and actually get experience. This means we need to be innovative and imaginative to be different, innovation is the key to attracting new visitors and retaining current ones; the future of our “cultural built environment” – The Cochrane Historical Museum – will be driven by adaptability, flexibility and visitor engagement.
I believe we need to expand our “house museum” mission beyond stewardship and interpretations to become a centre for creative learning and experience. Historical buildings and collections will always be our primary concern, but to what purpose?
New methods of engaging volunteers and visitors mean a new set of skills for all of us involved in CHAPS. We must become skilled in developing a dialogic relationship with our community, our neighbours and a variety of stakeholders.
There is always a certain memorable magic to be found inside our house museum. At the very least the Cochrane Historical Museum tells a local story that might otherwise be forgotten.
Cochrane Historical & Archival Preservation Society
September 19th, 2018