Places to Go: Musée Morinville Museum

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by Stephen Dafoe

Nestled in the back of St. Jean Baptiste Park is the Musée Morinville Museum, home to the community’s rich cultural heritage and history.

Admission to the museum is free, but a small donation helps the museum do its work in preserving Morinville and area’s history.

Inside are a variety of displays on the way Morinville was in the early days, an exhibit provided by Alexander First Nation, and even a space dedicated to telling the story of Morinville’s rich history with baseball.

The opening of the North Central Alberta Baseball League’s Hall of Fame at the Musée Morinville Museum in April of 2017 coincided with the league’s 50th anniversary.

The museum also has travelling exhibits set up shop a couple of times each year, and a partnership with the Morinville Art Club has a regular art display in the museum, focussing on a different artist each month.

For those who are new to Morinville or have lived here a long time, the museum offers a number of opportunities and items to connect to the past.

“For people that live in Morinville it’s an opportunity to learn about the history of the founding of Morinville,” said Operations Manager Donna Garrett, adding that it is a good stop to take family members who are visiting Morinville residents over the summer. “I had a fellow from Toronto, and he was researching his family roots. We found a picture of his uncle. He’s on a bit of a family search.”

Garrett encourages people to come to the museum and says most people are thrilled when they visit for the first time.

“Some people recognize old items and talk to their children about it,” she said. “If there are grandparents and grandkids and the grandparents can tell them about life on the farm and growing up in that era.”

Six years after being officially recognized as a museum, the Musée Morinville Museum was given its accreditation for a second time until 2022.

The Recognized Museum designation comes from the Alberta Museums Association (AMA) and demonstrates the Morinville Historical and Cultural Society is committed to maintaining standards of professional practice as well as playing a strong and important role within the community.

In addition to preserving history inside the museum, the Historical Society and L’ACFA régionale Centralta partnered to do a number of historical tableaus in St. Jean Baptiste Park. The outdoor paintings cover Morinville and area’s history, including historic hotels, business and prominent Morinvillians.

The Musée Morinville Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. They will be open Canada Day for the festivities in St. Jean Baptiste Park.

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