The Princeton Museum is losing an asset…and the timing is “definitely unfortunate” according to historical society president Rika Ruebsaat.
Robin Irwin, who has been the part time manager of the museum for six years, is leaving that job for another position.
“It’s unfortunate because it is happening just as our tourist season is beginning, so it’s inconvenient, let’s put it that way,” said Ruebsaat. “From her point of view it makes complete sense and I wish the best for her.”
Ruebsaat had fulsome praise for Irwin’s contributions to the museum
“The museum looks the way it does right now largely because of her work. She was front and center in the remodeling and the re-visioning of the museum.”
Irwin was also key in introducing new exhibits and programing, said Ruebsaat, working with local schools and First Nations groups to raise the facility’s profile.
“She got the summer camps going for the kids…she’s gotten the paleontological mob in and gotten them involved and she’s really had her fingers in the community.”
The pressure is now on to find a replacement, said Ruebsaat, and the museum board is already advertising for applicants.
Funding for the position, which in past years has been provided by the municipality under the grant in aid program, is also up in the air.
“The grant in aid application was submitted and we applied for fulltime,” she said. Last year the part time position was attached to a $26,000 grant.
Director of finance Shirley McMahon said grants in aid will be reviewed by council over the next couple of weeks.
“What council is doing is bringing in all the groups to a committee of their goal to discuss them.”
In the meantime Ruebsaat would like to speak with people who are interested in the position of museum manager.
“Basically we are looking for somebody to work in the area of artifact management, exhibition management, educational projects, gift shop management and fundraising including grant applications.”