Hudson’s Hope Museum Plans Expansion To Showcase Peace Region’s Fur Trading and Cultural History


2012 - Hudson's Hope is situated on the banks of the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia. A small rural town of 1,100 people, Hudson's Hope was established in 1805 by the Northwest Trading Company as a fur trading post. Hudson's Hope is home to one of the world's largest earthen dams, the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and also serves as the inspiration for the name of the Hudsonelpidia dinosaur. The Hudson's Hope Museum is a must-see location for many visitors travelling in the Peace region.

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    Elinor Morrissey
    Hudson's Hope Historical Society

    Dean McKinley
    Director, Economic Development
    Northern Development Initiative Trust

  • The museum is home to so many historical artifacts that many of them are kept in storage due to the lack of space for exhibitions. In 2009, the museum underwent the process of conducting a study to determine the feasibility of expanding the museum and creating a subsequent business plan.

    This project determined that the expanded Hudson's Hope Museum could serve as a regional community museum and heritage hub for the Moberley Lake-Bear Flat corridor including Dinosaur Lake, Williston Lake, Beryl Prairie and Halfway River. The museum complex will be a showcase for the cultural and natural heritage of the region, incorporating dynamic, interactive exhibits focusing on three main themes: Trackways, Trading Routes, and Outfitters; Pioneers and Homesteaders; and Energy, Resources, and Community.

    The museum expansion will enable the Hudson's Hope Historical Society to position their facility as a focal point and 'must visit' destination for visitors to the region, while affording the society the opportunity to adequately store, preserve and display its collections.

    Positive Economic Impacts in Hudson's Hope

    The new museum facility will attract and retain significantly more travellers than currently stop in the community. The enhanced experience that comes from the expansion, and subsequent inclusion of unique displays, will serve to entice many visitors to stay at least one extra night in the region. The study notes that Hudson's Hope can expect an average family of four to spend up to $500 per day on food, souvenirs and accommodations within the community. As a direct result of expanding the museum, there is potential to strengthen the region's tourism sector, increase business activity and ultimately create new jobs. In addition, the facility could stimulate the establishment of new businesses in the areas of overnight accommodation, food service, retail, and tour/guiding operations.

    During the expansion project, a project manager would be hired and construction of the new building would provide revenue for a building contractor and local tradesmen. Upon completion, there would be the possibility of increasing permanent and seasonal staffing in the museum.

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