The Sault Ste. Marie Museum was just one of many around the world who celebrated International Museum Day on Saturday.
As part of Museum Month, which takes place May of each year, International Museum Day is is an international day of celebration that is held every year on or around May 18. This event, coordinated by the International Council of Museums, highlights a specific theme that changes every year.
Julia Piskiewicz, the Executive Director for the SSM Museum, told SaultOnline that the theme they chose this year – their third year involved in IMD – is based on community hubs.
“We wanted to invite as many of our community partners today to exhibit and set up a table and an interactive component so that they could show the community members that are coming in today, for free, what they are doing and what their relationship is with the Sault Ste. Marie Musem,” she said.
One of the seven exhibitors at the museum was the St. Mary’s River Marine Heritage Centre with a display set up for the M.S. Norgoma, as the ship is no longer accessible to the public.
“A number of people have really enjoyed just learning about the involvement that the Norgoma has had on local history,” SMRMGHC Board Member Krystin Miller-Jacques told SaultOnline, talking about the misconceptions about just how involved the vessel was in the Sault.
“I really enjoyed being able to showcase that to the community and help them understand just what we have to offer and show for our exhibits.”
A huge history lover herself, Miller-Jacques said she thinks being able to share the heritage and history and help people have a deeper understanding of what their hometown is and how it came to be is important.
“Being able to showcase that at things like International Museum Day where there’s free admission to the Sault Museum is really great.”
She said they hope to one day be able to offer free admission days on the Norgoma as well, depending on what the future holds in store for the vessel.
“We’re not going down without a fight,” she said.
Piskiewicz said this year’s turnout has surpassed the last two, with triple the amount of visitors during the morning alone. She said she thinks this event is an important thing for both the community and the museum.
“We are a community museum, so International Museum Day (and Museum Month) allows us to go out into the community and reinforce the fact that we are here for our community. That’s our sole purpose. Our collection is based on the surrounding area and the history that is here.”
For more information on the SSM Museum, visit their website here.