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Tourism, Culture and Recreation
June 30, 2011

The following is being distributed at the request of The Rooms Corporation:

Two New Exhibitions Highlight Reopening of
Renovated Provincial Seamen’s Museum

The newly renovated Provincial Seamen’s Museum officially reopened yesterday evening in Grand Bank. The $1.3 million recapitalization project has resulted in significant improvements to the museum and its ability to offer Grand Bank residents and visitors an enhanced museum experience.

“The Provincial Government is delighted to see the renovations of the Seaman’s Museum completed,” said the Honourable Terry French, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. “Our government’s commitment to the Provincial Seamen’s Museum and the people of the Burin Peninsula demonstrates our ongoing dedication to ensuring our province’s cultural facilities are current, accessible and meet the needs of the community.”

Improvements to the facility include a new chair lift to the second floor permanent exhibitions, increased accessibly to washroom facilities, and upgrades to the museum's sprinkler system. Additionally, the capacity of the permanent exhibition galleries has been increased by one-third its previous size, allowing for the presentation of hundreds of additional artifacts. Other gallery improvements include new lighting and a moveable wall system that will allow for the presentation of new programs and temporary exhibitions.

“The Provincial Seamen’s Museum will celebrate its 40th anniversary this September and it has truly been an integral component of not only the cultural community of Grand Bank, but also a significant tourism attraction,” commented the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and MHA for Grand Bank. “Now with our government’s reinvestment; the Seaman’s Museum will be an even greater resource for Grand Bank and the Burin Peninsula as we continue to welcome visitors to our community.”

To celebrate the reopening of renovated exhibition space, the exhibition 25 for 25 was unveiled. This exhibition from The Rooms Travelling Exhibitions Program and organized by The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery Division presents 25 years of collecting activity by the Provincial Art Bank Program. It features works by artists such as David Blackwood, Christopher Pratt, Mary Pratt, and Gerald Squires, as well as works by emerging artists. 25 for 25 will be on view at the Provincial Seamen’s Museum from June 22 until October 12.

“The Provincial Seamen’s Museum is an essential component of The Rooms regional museums’ network, a network which includes the Labrador Interpretation Centre and the Mary March and Logger’s Life Provincial Museums in Grand Falls-Windsor,” said Dean Brinton, CEO of The Rooms Corporation. “Our museum network allows The Rooms to extend its reach throughout the province, bringing artifacts, exhibitions and our valued provincial collections into communities where people can enjoy and learn from them, and in this case, artifacts that were formerly stored in St. John’s and unavailable for viewing, are now on view.”

In addition to 25 for 25, Living the Life: Objects of Identity, a new permanent exhibition was unveiled. Living the Life features artifacts from the provincial collection, including tools from the 1800s to the present day, used in sustaining a living from the land and the sea.

The Provincial Seaman’s Museum project received $1.17 million from the Provincial Government and $178,400 in support through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

The museum renovations were designed by MacCallum Architecture Ltd. The construction contract was completed by Bennett’s Construction of Grand Bank.

The Provincial Seamen’s Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m., and from 12:00 p.m. until 4:45 p.m. on Sundays and July 1. A special open house offering free admission will be held June 29 to July 3 as part of the reopening celebrations. For more information on the Provincial Seamen’s Museum, visit: www.therooms.ca/museum/seamens_museum.asp.

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Media contacts:

Deanne Fisher
Director of Marketing and Development
The Rooms
709-757-8070, 709-691-0835
Diana Quinton
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 631-8155

2011 06 30                                                                        9:15 a.m.

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