Exploring the future of Strathcona County’s local history

October 24, 2018

Exploring the future of Strathcona County’s local history

With the aim of imagining of how the County’s history is reflected in the future, Strathcona County, along with its consultant (Prairie Wild Consulting), presented its Strathcona County Museum and Archives Review to Priorities Committee on October 23, 2018.

The operational review, which began in May, 2018, included an assessment of the local museum and archives’ programs and services, staffing levels, management and the limitations that pertain to service delivery in its current facility at 913 Ash Street, Sherwood Park. In addition, the consultant reviewed best and promising practices in museum management and operations in similar-sized municipalities.

Throughout May and June, a total of 916 people participated in online and intercept surveys, stakeholder interviews and community meetings throughout the engagement process. Resident feedback indicates value in having a local museum and archives to share the County’s story over time. There is support for a museum that tells the unique story of Strathcona County through archives, artifacts, experiential learning, stationary and rotating exhibits, programs and activities.

In addition, this review examined important links to other County initiatives, including the Community Hub Feasibility study, Recreation and Culture Strategy development, Bremner House Heritage Site and proposed Heritage Village, Centre in the Park area redevelopment plan, Strathcona County Art Gallery @501 and the Strathcona County Museum and Archives’ board and staff initiatives.

Next steps include Council’s consideration of this review as part its upcoming budget discussions for the County’s 2019-20 budget cycle. Budget considerations could examine funding for a feasibility and functional program study in 2019-20 to help determine timing of a potential new museum and archives in Strathcona County, as well as an evaluation of governance models. If the budget request is approved, Council will be provided an update on findings in the third quarter of 2019.

Housed in a municipally-owned building, the not-for-profit Strathcona County Museum and Archives has been implementing its mission to ‘preserve and promote the history and heritage of Strathcona County’, since opening in 1997. Strathcona County supports the museum by providing the municipally-owned space and contributing to staff wages.

View the report.     Agenda item 5.7

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.


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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595