There had been some talk earlier in the year about the possibility of the Hay River Heritage Centre being open during the Arctic Winter Games in March.

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
The Hay River Heritage Centre is closed for the season and won’t be reopening until May, meaning it won’t be open during the Arctic Winter Games.

However, that is not going to happen.

“We were considering it,” said Brad Mapes, the chair of the Hay River Museum Society.

However, Mapes said keeping the centre open for the games would have meant it would have had to be kept open pretty well the whole year.

“We just don’t have the funds to keep it open,” he said.

This winter, the museum has already closed for the season.

Mapes said there had been some discussion with the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games Host Society about possibly keeping the museum open, but the discussions didn’t go very far and the society has more pressing things to deal with than if the museum will remain open.

It would have cost about $25,000 to keep the museum open for the games.

Mapes said that’s because heat and the water and sewer would have had to be kept on throughout the winter.

“There’s not much insulation in the building,” he noted. “You need a lot of work to get it to be winterized.”

The museum closed just after the last performance of the radio play It’s a Wonderful Life on Nov. 26.

However, another plan has been developed to display at least some museum items for visitors to the Arctic Winter Games.

Mapes explained some items will be moved to the Hay River Visitor Information Centre, which as of this winter will be open year round.

That will include a display about Pat Bobinski, a well-known biathlon coach and volunteer who died in July.

Mapes noted that Bobinski was a key part of the Arctic Winter Games.

“And many of the visitors that are going to be coming to the games, a lot of the oldtimers, would have known Pat Bobinski,” he said.

Mapes said the display about Bobinski will include his old coats from the games, pictures and some awards.

In addition, the temporary display at the Visitor Information Centre will include other items from the museum, such as some fossils and some pictures.

The Hay River Heritage Centre will be reopening in May.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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