August 8th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 32
Crowsnest Museum’s micro-rebrand
focuses on functionality, not flash
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Archive photo
Crowsnest Museum
Pass Herald Reporter
This year’s Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival may have come to end last weekend, but the Crowsnest Museum & Archives continues to celebrate our cultural history each and every day.

With the grand opening of the APP Barracks last summer, 2018 was largely focused on the new building and exhibit, making certain administrative and organizational tasks to fall to the wayside.

Now, with the successful APP project behind them, the Board of Directors for the Crowsnest Historical Society are taking a look inwards with a micro-rebrand. Their work may not be manifested in the flash and flare of a brand-new exhibit, but the often unseen behind-the-scenes work is equally as valuable.

“The APP Barracks were a fantastic large project for us and was such a success, but when you have a large project like that and opening a whole new building and a brand-new exhibit, things get pushed to the wayside,” says executive director of the Crowsnest Historical Society Board Chris Matthews. “We're doing a very targeted rebranding to get a refresh going. The major work is on governance aspects, policies and procedures that doesn't come out in our displays or events, but it really does help our organization get healthier and stronger.”

One of the targets is increasing awareness of their membership options and creating more intimate links with their members.

“We want to be member-driven, build relationships with our membership and increase our membership. We want to make it fun. We want to have more events and more interaction with the community and our members. We want ppl to proudly display that they're a member of the museum and how important it is to them and their community,” says Matthews.
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Membership subscriptions undoubtedly help historical records become richer and more complete, and are one of the museum’s primary sources of funding, along with government grants.

"We want to build up a better sense of community and cooperation with our membership. If we had half the community of Crowsnest Pass and just 100 businesses be members, that would almost cover half of our budget on an annual basis. That's huge for us,” says Matthews. “It really goes a long way to helping our bottom line it makes it so our fundraising doesn’t have to be as often or our grant applications can go a lot further. We can use that money for matching grants.”

Members receive free general admission to the Crowsnest Museum, a discount on items in the gift shop, exclusive museum newsletters, invitations to special members nights and a discount for guests.

“There’s perks to it but really, it's about supporting your local community in preserving the history of the place, and it's not just the museum. We're at all the heritage events and all the heritage outreach, so it does go outside of the museum and the APP walls,” says Matthews.
While the micro-rebrand involves more behind-the-scenes work, museum-goers can always appreciate the more visible work that is in constant development at the Crowsnest Museum: their constant additions of artifacts and displays of new mementos of our past.

In their upcoming displays, for example, there’s the Boer war regiment fiddle coming from the Royal Tyrrell Museum that is tied to the union labour movement of the Crowsnest Pass, an assortment of donated masonic items, an old school desk from a local school and old maps of area mines transferred from the Revelstoke Museum & Archives.
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During last weekend’s Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, you might have seen a certain special item on display...

"We just got the Sam Jones pocket watch, which was part of the train robbery in the Bellevue Shoot-Out that helped lead to Auloff’s arrest,” says Matthews, referring to the 1920 train robbery that eventually resulted in three killed officers. “It was in the Medicine Hat [Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre] in their collection because that's where the Jones family retired and passed away.”

If you missed seeing this striking piece of Crowsnest Pass history, the pocket watch will be on display at the APP Barracks.

“We're working hard here because we think it's important and we feel the privilege of protecting the Crowsnest Pass history and we take that very seriously. We appreciate the support that we get from the community in coming out to events, volunteering, donating, buying a membership... All those avenues of support have to come together in one big piece that keeps this place alive and well,” says Matthews.

To purchase a membership or receive additional information, visit or stop by the Crowsnest Museum.
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August 8th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 32
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