Behind the scenes tour of Prince Albert Museum a chance to see their secrets

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Prince Albert Historical Society president Fred Payton manned a table where families could guess what historical artifacts were at the Prince Albert Museum on Saturday afternoon.

The Prince Albert Historical Society invited the public for a look behind the curtain at the Prince Albert Museum on Saturday with a behind the scenes tour.

According to Museum Educator Joanna Wreakes, the tour is part of a larger community grant program that allows them to offer free afternoon programming until March, 2022.

“We do the second Saturday of every month and we offer different tours or activities for people to come to the museum,” she explained.

The behind scenes tour was the museum’s activity for November. Staff have a different activity planned for each month, with sessions running on the second Saturday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

“When you come to the museum, you want to see the secret stuff,” Wreakes said. “So for this month, that is what we decided to do for the activity.

“Sometimes we do more hands on and crafty activities and sometimes we do more interesting tours as well,” she added.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Joanna Wreakes, Museum Educator for the Prince Albert Historical Society, gave a behind the scenes tour of the Prince Albert Museum on Saturday afternoon.

Wreakes said that the tour was a chance to look at archive storage where they keep items such as photographs, documents, clothing, and the Prince Albert Daily Herald’s archive.

There was also an activity at the entrance to the Museum giving visitors a chance a more interactive experience.

“They can handle some of the artifacts and try and guess what they are used for, because when you go to the museum you want to touch things,” Wreakes said.

Another example is the Museum’s large collection of photographs. Wreakes said it’s something many residents don’t know about, although they try and promote it on social media.

“You would see if you follow our Facebook and Instagram page,” she explained. “In particular, there was one photographer, William James, who 100 years ago , had the first professional photography studio here in Prince Albert, and his daughter actually donated his collection of photographs.”

The photographs include former residents, different lcoations around the city, and pictures of notable event that happened in Prince Albert. Wreakes said summer students play a big role in organizing their photo collection, which is so large the museum can’t display them all at one time.

“I think that is super cool (that) they are on display throughout the Museum,” Wreakes said. “There are so many. There are a ton just in the archives that are just being stored and there for reference, and hopefully one day we will get to swap them out and get them on display too.”

Attendence typically depends on what time of the year the museum holds an event, and on external factors, but Wreakes said she was satisfied with Saturday afternoon’s turnout.

“Any of our open house events range from being wildly popular to being a no show kind of thing,” she said.

According to Wreakes the plan for the second Saturday in December’s activity is probably something in the Christmas spirit. The time will again be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“People should come in and see it,” she said. “It’s a great chance to tour the museum for free and we have family friendly activities.”