Skeleton on display of the long-necked dinosaur (diplodocus) they found tracks of around a decade ago. Evidence shows the dinosaur was being pursued by a carnivore, acrocanthosaurus. Sparwood Museum photo.
Nicholas L. M. Allen
May 17, 2023
“We've got casts of the prints and then skeletons in a diorama of the two different species of dinosaurs that were found.”
The Sparwood Museum celebrated their grand re-opening on May 7, with the inclusion of a brand-new exhibit.
After five months of being closed, the ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 11 a.m. on May 7 to display the new dinosaur exhibit designed by Dinosaur Valley Studios from Alberta, featuring distinctive tracks from two separate dinosaur species.
Approximately 150 million years ago, acrocanthosaurus, a predator on its hind legs known as a therapod, pursued a group of long-necked diplodocus, a sauropod, along the shores of an ancient lake.
These two dinosaurs left footprints behind, which were discovered many years ago at Teck Coal’s Line Creek Mine between Sparwood and Elkford. It is one of only a few times in Canada where two different species, a carnivore and herbivore, were found in a set of tracks.
The Manager of Sparwood Museum, Kim Pryhitko, has been with the museum for a year and a half after starting in September of 2021.
She said the museum was originally closed to facilitate the installation of the new dinosaur exhibit. The exhibit takes up two rooms and features the prehistoric tracks found at Line Creek.
“We've got casts of the prints and then skeletons in a diorama of the two different species of dinosaurs that were found,” said Pryhitko.
There were several other changes made to the museum while the new dinosaur displays went up, including the repainting of the inside of the museum and changes to many of the existing exhibits already in the space.
The museum is home to pictures and artifacts spanning over 115 years of the region's mining and settlement history. The museum displays highlight the story of the early mines and communities of Corbin, Michel, Middletown, Natal and the story of Sparwood and mining in the area today.
“I sort of revamped the rest of the exhibits that were in here,” explained Pryhitko, “There's a few items that are similar for sure, but [there are] new things on the walls that nobody's ever seen before.”
She said they have gotten great feedback on the new dinosaur exhibit as people roamed through it on Sunday.
“As for the rest of the exhibits, the Michel-Natal [exhibit] has changed rooms and I've added items and then I've put a storyline on the wall that is all brand new,” said Pryhitko.
She said the grand re-opening was “fabulous” with close to 150 people in attendance for the event. She added this is the first time the museum has had merchandise available apart from a few books and small items, which really helped them increase sales.
“Now we have some dinosaur jewellery, some dinosaur teeth and dinosaur T-shirts,” said Pryhitko.
Starting near the end of June, the museum will have Culture on the Lawn every Friday, with the first being June 23. This event features an evening of live music and/or artistry to celebrate Sparwood’s culture, both past and present. This event features local talent and a special museum exhibit.
“Last year was just fantastic and we really hope to build on that this year,” shared Pryhitko.
Running from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Culture on the Lawn runs until September 1. The museum itself is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Fridays when it is open until 6:30 p.m.
Pryhitko said getting the museum open again was a “labour of love” with the reception of the grand re-opening being a “phenomenal” experience.
More information can be found at sparwoodmuseum.ca or by visiting the Sparwood Museum Facebook page.