What is going on with the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum?


What is going on with the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum?

In July 2017, The Bridge River Valley Community Association purchased the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Motel (nee Office) with the intention of relocating the Bralorne Pioneer Museum into the building.

It is the intent of the Bridge River Valley Community Association in partnership with the Bralorne Pioneer Museum Society to create a space for the Museum that will become an attraction for visitors and a place to celebrate the area’s rich heritage.

The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Motel, first opened in 1939 and was the site of the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office. Now that the building has been purchased, the next step will be to renovate a significant portion of the building to become the new home of the Bralorne Pioneer Museum, which was established in 1977.

The remainder of the building will be activated for purposes of revenue generation, including long and short term rentals of both office space and residential, a gift shop and coffee shop. The revenue streams will create new professional jobs in the community and will also help to ensure the ongoing maintenance of an important heritage building.

This project would not be possible without the generous support of many funders including; The Government of Canada – Gas Tax Fund – Community Works Fund program, the Province of BC and the BC Museums Association – BC| Canada 150: Celebrating B.C Communities and their Contribution to Canada program, the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum Society, Northern Development Initiative Trust – Community Halls and Recreation Facilities Program , the Squamish- Lillooet Regional District – Northern Payment In Lieu of taxes fund, as well as several private funders.
The Bridge River Valley Community Association sincerely appreciates the support and we are thankful to our funders who are making this project a reality.

Project Background

In 2010, the Bridge River Valley Community Association conducted a building assessment and cost analysis of the Bralorne Pioneer Museum’s existing location.  The structure, which had housed the museum since the 1980’s was constructed in the 1950’s as a temporary class room for the Bralorne High School’s Industrial Arts programme. The 2010 report advised the Museum Society not to renovate the museum’s existing building due to advanced structural damage. The report concluded that the best course of action would be either to construct a new building on the existing site or find a suitable building in Bralorne in which to relocate the museum. The community determined that constructing a new building on the existing location would be cost prohibitive.

By 2014, the Museum building had deteriorated to the point that the most vulnerable items in the collection had to be moved to a temporary leased location to ensure protection from environmental damage.

During this time, the community identified the possibility of relocating to the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office (Motel) as the most beneficial solution. It is the only building in the Bralorne townsite both large enough and in reasonable enough condition to occupy.  The building is prominently located in the centre of Bralorne and has been well cared for since it became privately held in the 1970s when the mine closed.

Further, the building served as the Mines office from 1939- 1971 and carries historic significance to the community. Coincidentally, the Mines Office building was the original home of the museum when it first opened its doors in 1977. However the museum had to be relocated when the office came under new ownership in the 1980s.

Through this project, the Museum will come full-circle and return to its original home, while providing other economic opportunities for the community and a self-sustaining revenue source to maintain the building.

Bridge River Valley Community Association
104 Haylmore Ave., Gold Bridge, BC
V0K 1P0

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