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Board names new executive director

All systems go at Fort la Reine Museum

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

(Submitted photo)

(Submitted photo)

It appears as if all is well again at Portage la Prairie’s Fort la Reine Museum.

The museum board announced last week the hiring of Madison Connolly as its incoming executive director – she was briefly introduced to the facility Friday and will begin her tenure later this month.

“She’s very well qualified and really happy and excited to be coming to the Fort la Reine Museum,” museum board chair, Dale Wood, says of the new executive director. “(The acting ed’s will) transition her in through July and August and let her feel her way around. I think for this year, everybody will just work together.”

Connolly brings with her a wealth of experience including a Masters degree in Museum Studies and most recently worked as a recreation director in St. Rose du Lac, Man. With museum job vacancies few and far between in the province, she opted to explore the recreation path, but is thrilled to work in an industry more aligned with her passions.

“There is nothing wrong with rec and recreation is so important but I love history and I love more educational workshops, so this is just perfect,” she says. “I’m very excited. There’s a lot to take in, a lot to learn, as you can imagine with running an organization. This whole summer is really going to be a transition period.”

Acting directors Barry and Allison Loewen, along with a group of dedicated volunteers, will aid Connolly in her transition into the new role. Barry was named the museum’s accountant and will keep track of the books while also offering his museum expertise. The board also announced that Rachel Head, who has been instrumental in keeping the facility afloat through the transition period, will be the museum’s assistant director.

Fort la Reine Museum opened earlier this month and will be operational Wednesday through Sunday until the end of August. Connolly will officially begin her term June 25. The museum has a pair of exhibits currently on display - Clovis the Caribou Hunters and Climate Change is Here – the former tells the story of the Clovis people, believed to be the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, including the Portage area while the latter features a photographic exhibition showing National Geographic photos detailing earth’s changing climate.

The museum board also announced that because of high volunteer interest, it will be undertaking larger projects thanks to the influx of manpower – including the replacement of a fence at the south end of the museum. Those interested in volunteering or looking for more information are encouraged to contact Rachel Head at 204-857-3259.

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