In December of 2020 the volunteer Shops Group of the Manitoba Electrical Museum & Education Centre received an Award of Excellence from the Association of Manitoba Museums for its work with collections care and management. The Award of Excellence "recognizes outstanding projects and achievements...that demonstrate and maintain high standards" in museum practice.
The Shops Group is a group of 15 volunteers who maintain and look after the Museum’s collection. They accession items, catalogue, photograph and organize artefacts. In the spring of 2019 the Museum was informed by Manitoba Hydro that the warehouse in which the larger items in the collection (such as appliances, electric organs, and hydro testing equipment) were stored, had to be vacated. This was an enormous task as it involved finding a new location to house the collection and then moving some of the largest and heaviest items in the collection.
While the move of the large artifacts was happening the Museum received news that their other storage location which housed smaller items (like toasters, lamps, and books) was being repurposed by Hydro and they once again had to move the collection to a new location. The new building for the smaller artefacts is conveniently located down the street from the Museum, but is smaller than the previous location.
The move of the collection, which consists of over 4,000 items, was completed entirely by the volunteers under the leadership of Wayne DeJaegher. Each item was condition reported before it was moved, sorted, documented, and organized in its new location, each stage following the Association of Manitoba Museums standards of collection care and management. The collection also needed to be downsized due to the smaller size of the new locations, which involved removing duplicates in the collection.
The storage building located down the street from the Museum at 720 Harrow St. will be turned into a ‘Museum Annex.’ The building will be open to the public and volunteers will offer specialized tours showing the storage methods of the museum as well as artefacts that are not displayed frequently. This is still in the planning stages and will likely open once the pandemic is over.
This move would not have been able to happen without our volunteers. Thank you to the volunteers of the Shops Group for all your hard work!