Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242
February 8, 2006
In an eventful and well attended evening on February 8th,
the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF) accomplished three
goals: a new exhibit enhancement was opened, the TRMF explained
its achievements, vision and goals, and it made its annual
presentation on the previous year’s fieldwork.
A 37 inch LCD screen, donated by the Lake View Credit Union,
has been connected to the Sci Tech North interactive exhibit,
which has also been upgraded. Lori Ackermann of Sci Tech North
and Scott Trim of Lake View Credit Union each said a few words,
then it was over to Rodger Legault, the TRMF’s hi-tech
expert, to explain the technology and introduce Mayor Mike
Caisley, who with a touch of finger opened the exhibit in the
Tumbler Ridge Community Centre by activating the Mayor’s
Welcome Message. Mayor Caisley also introduced Mayor Evan Saugstad
from Chetwynd, who presented a $5000 cheque to the TRMF from
The crowd of 144 then moved into the Library where Dr Charles
Helm, TRMF President, spelled out the achievements of the foundation,
returning repeatedly to the themes of scientific, heritage
and economic importance. The TRMF has raised a total of $602
000, employs BC’s only vertebrate palaeontologists, has
established the province’s only dinosaur preparation
lab and collections area, and is well into BC’s first
dinosaur excavation. The resulting research is leading to numerous
scientific publications, and the programs of dino camps, dino
tours and exhibits are all well established and expanding.
The resulting national and international media exposure has
been huge and has promoted tourism for the region.
Dr Charles Helm, President of the Tumbler
Ridge Museum Foundation, addressing the audience of just
under 150 on the TRMF's achievements, vision and goals on
February 8, 2006.
Tumbler Ridge has thus become the leading centre in BC for
vertebrate palaeontology, and in Canada for fossil footprints.
Prior to this, internationally significant regional fossil
specimens were often removed from the province. Thanks to the
work of the TRMF, for the first time many of these priceless
resources have been saved for study and display in the Peace
Dr Helm explained that the same discipline, passion and diligence
which have enabled all this to be accomplished in under four
years will lead the TRMF forward towards its goal of an internationally
renowned regional museum and research facility in the $50 million
range, which will be a Centre of Excellence, and will celebrate
all the TRMF themes,. The TRMF is moving ahead, securing funding
for the necessary business plan, feasibility study and site
selection, which form the next step in the process.
Dr Helm concluded by saying that the TRMF has proven the value
of the resource and what can be done with it. Elsewhere in
the world discoveries of this magnitude and importance lead
to great museums, and there is no reason why the Peace Region
should be any different, especially in light of what it provides
to the rest of BC in the way of resources.
Palaeontologist Rich McCrea then presented a ninety minute
talk on the busy 2005 season. Three impressive dinosaur trackways
were flown in by helicopter, one of which also contained ancient
bird tracks. A number of new dinosaur bone sites were identified,
and intriguing new fossil plant discoveries were made. One
of the highlights was the first professional visit to the mega-trackway
site in Kakwa Provincial Park under the aegis of B.C. Parks,
and McCrea presented magnificent images of this remarkable
Looking towards 2006, the immediate priority is the construction
of the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge, which should
immediately become another reason for increased tourist visits
and extended stays in the area. McCrea and his colleague Lisa
Buckley also anticipate a third year of work at the dinosaur
excavation site, prospecting throughout the region for new
sites, and spending more time at the Kakwa site. It is shaping
up to be another busy year for the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation.
Scott Trim of Lakeview Credit Union officially
attaching the commemorative plaque to the screen.