Press Release
For Immediate Release

Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242 3984

June 27, 2007

While much attention was focused on the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery and its official opening on June 27th, further new Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF) exhibits in the Community Centre have been developed and opened.

Dr Charles Helm (TRMF President), Acting Mayor Brenda Holmlund, Bev Whalen (great
grand-daughter of Alex Monkman) and Alberta historian David Leonard at the opening of the Alex Monkman exhibit in Tumbler Ridge on June 23rd. Photo credit: Daniel Helm

One of these, entitled "Who was Alex Monkman?" was formally opened on June 23rd by Bev Whalen, Monkman’s great grand-daughter, during the visit of a tour group from Alberta that explored the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail and was treated to a TRMF presentation on this topic in the Library. The group was welcomed by Acting Mayor Brenda Holmlund.

The exhibit was compiled with the assistance of Alberta historian David Leonard, and was prompted by the plethora of items named after this heroic pioneer: Monkman Provincial Park, Monkman Glacier, Monkman Pass, Monkman Lake, Monkman Creek, Monkman Falls, Monkman Way etc. Many people have expressed a need to know more about him and the projects he initiated in the Tumbler Ridge area. This exhibit also mentions the praiseworthy efforts to preserve and restore the Monkman Homestead and Barn (northwest of Grande Prairie) which are the oldest surviving buildings in the Peace Region (1906).

A smaller ornithological exhibit was also opened. This features interesting new research on the region’s most famous bird, the Winter Wren, as well as focusing on the importance of areas like Tumbler Ridge as a meeting and overlap point for eastern and western species.

A future exhibit is planned to celebrate the life and works of Euphemia McNaught, the pioneer artist of the Peace who derived much inspiration from her Monkman Pass expeditions, and created the first, and some of the finest, art of the Tumbler Ridge mountains, lakes and creeks. A funding proposal has also been submitted to BC2008 for the creation of an exhibit focusing on First Nations History and archaeology in the Tumbler Ridge area, with a special focus on Culturally Modified Trees. This exhibit will be developed in partnership with the Tumbler Ridge Circle of Friendship.

The Tumbler Ridge Archives has been moved into the Tumbler Ridge Public Library, representing another productive partnership. Material in the archives will be used to create a “Coal and the Creation of Tumbler Ridge” exhibit in 2008, in partnership with the District of Tumbler Ridge. Until the creation of the planned Peace Region Museum of Natural History in Tumbler Ridge, which will be of international standard, the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery and the wide range of exhibits in the Tumbler Ridge Community Centre provide visitors and residents with a foretaste of what is to come.

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