How time flies. I suddenly realized I have not sent an update for months.
The Museum had a successful full visitor season in 2022, welcoming visitors back after being closed for 2020, and only open to visitors in August 2021. We hosted regular visitors, preschool tours, wedding photos, our Member of Parliament Ziad Aboultaif, and finished the season with the launch of the young adult book Lucas and the Ghost Train, written by friend of the Museum and former NAR brakeman Stuart Adams. It makes a good Christmas present and is available at Audreys bookstore.
Restoration season is well underway. Exterior work on NAR Business car Dunvegan is going well. On the north side of the car, metal cladding has been applied, and the south side is in progress. The windows have been removed and are being rehabilitated. Work is starting on tearing 1392 down for her 5-year, 1472-day inspection and boiler recertification. We very much appreciate the donation of time and scaffolding materials from AlumaSafeway. The scaffolding around Dunvegan and 1392 allows us to work safely.
Evidence of the upcoming holiday season is everywhere, from Christmas carols popping up on the radio, to holiday lights, to the annual shopping frenzy. One of the most important and welcome recent traditions is Giving Tuesday — an event that immediately follows the shopping excess of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Giving Tuesday is the “opening day of the giving season,” a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for Giving Tuesday. You can find more information at https://givingtuesday.ca/
We encourage everyone to reflect on institutions such as the Alberta Railway Museum that bring so much joy and learning to so many. Our organization, along with other not-for-profit historic and cultural groups have weathered the COVID storm, but the long-term ramifications — the loss of visitors and volunteers, possible funding cuts by governments coping with massive pandemic-related debts — are still unknown.
On behalf of the board, I thank you for your support on Giving Tuesday and throughout the year. We know that finances are tight for many. When supporting your favourite charities, please consider the Alberta Railway Museum. We will continue to share your commitment to preserving and interpreting railway heritage for future generations, thanks to the combined “horsepower” of our membership. As well, gifts in kind are always welcome. New or gently used tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and drills are put to good use.
We appreciate all donations, most especially the gift of time from our volunteers. If you have time to donate, we can find uses for an extra set of hands.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions or to make a donation. You can donate online at https://www.canadahelps.org/