Vibrant Community: Lighting the Way
Thanks to purposeful planning on the part of residents of the Donalda area, the Donalda Museum and Art Gallery stand as bright examples of re-creation and resiliancy. You will want to click on the "COMMUNITY PLANING" box to the right, to here curator, Kash share a little, on the town, and her own intertwining with it!
Watching the Birth of a Boomtown:
Beth and Don Lawson began, what has now become, the world's largest museum housed collection of oil- burning lamps. The two donated 500 lamps to Donalda, on one condition: that a museum be built to house them. The community of Donalda went over and above this wish, when they created a structure that would house a museum, a library, and a town complex! I dare say, one would be hard pressed to find a more efficient, quaint and endearing commuity hub!
The Donalda Gallery resides in what was the oldest remaining operational architecture of its kind, for the Imperial Bank of Commerce. The building dates back to 1928 when it replaced a burned out Bank of Montreal. It operated as the Imperial Bank of Commerce, then the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, until 1996, when it was sold to the museum for the sum of one dollar!
Today, the structure is home to many art classes, and displays. In the background, the original vault doors remain. You might even be able to peek through the hole in the ceiling that bank workers used, during a flu epidemic that hit the town in the earlier part of the century. Customers would converse with the tellers, through the floor/ ceiling, in order to avoid contamination.
The photo gallery below will give you a taste of the treasures that are waiting at the Donalda Museum and Art Gallery. Even though oil lamps provide an excellent foundation for the collection, you will notice their numbers have more than doubled from the original five houndred, and the collection now boasts many other aspects of local history, including an impressive Metis presence, along with many pioneer and settler artifacts.