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Alberta museum looks to document COVID-19 pandemic for future generations

The question around Canmore: how many businesses will survive the pandemic?.
The question around Canmore: how many businesses will survive the pandemic?. Global News

As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, one Alberta museum is looking to document the historic event by collecting artifacts and stories from residents experiencing the pandemic.

Canmore Museum’s curator, Amy Herr, said the facility is looking to create a collection that envelopes how life-changing the pandemic has been for the community.

READ MORE: Guelph Museums asking residents for coronavirus-related items

“This is such a monumental event of the 21st century,” Herr said.

“This is really the first opportunity I’ve had to do something like this in real time, where you’re witnessing such a historical event while it’s happening,” Herr said.

Herr said the new collection will offer a sense of understanding to future generations of what it was like to live through the pandemic.

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“It’s an opportunity for people to consciously make things, which I think is a really neat thing because they can decide what they want the future to understand about their personal experience during this time,” she said.

LISTEN: Canmore Museum documents COVID-19 pandemic in real time

The museum is conducting interviews with people in the community and will be accepting stories and any items of significance to residents in the area.

“We’ve really been asking locals in Canmore to choose what they think is important,” she said.

“Most people don’t realize what might be of interest to us. But for museums to tell the stories of the past and for researchers to understand what the experience was like, those objects would be really important for them.”

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The museum is also asking residents to keep daily journals or write letters that document their experiences as the pandemic continues.

READ MORE: Saskatoon’s Western Development Museum seeking images for coronavirus exhibit

With ongoing closures and event cancellations, the facility is also accepting photographs, art and music made at home and online amid the pandemic.

While the museum only accepts submissions from residents in and around the Canmore area, Herr said anyone in Calgary or Edmonton looking to donate their own pandemic-related artifacts should contact the provincial archives of Alberta.