From Arrowheads / To Anvils
The Nose Creek Valley Museum was established in 1987 as a permanent, public, not for profit institution. The museum collects meaningful historical objects from the Nose Creek Valley and Airdrie area, from 1780 through to the present.
The doors to the Nose Creek Valley Museum officially opened on July 1, 1988. By 1993, the museum had outgrown its original size and an extension was added in order to be able to display more local artifacts.
Today, the museum houses more than 25,000 items and includes a collection of First Nations arrowheads which is the largest collection of its kind in Western Canada.
To collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret objects of a cultural, historical, or socially significant nature to the Nose Creek Valley area. The public is invited to share these objects through education and discovery.
Favourite artefact in the museum: General Store
Laurie began her involvement with NCVM as a summer student and volunteer in 1998. Laurie completed her BA in History, and became Curator in 2001. Throughout her more than 20 years with the NCVM, Laurie has worked on over 35 exhibits (research and exhibit development), has had over 12 summer students and 5 practicum students, has worked with 27 board members, and has attended over 18 Alberta Museums Association, Canadian Museums Association, and international conferences.
Committed to life-long learning, Laurie has also taken certificate courses through the Alberta Museums Association and the Archive Society of Alberta on topics including emergency preparedness, museum collection management, museum operations, fundraising, and how to handle different types of archive collections. Laurie and her often volunteered husband, Jonathan, both grew up in Airdrie and raise two boys here in Nose Creek Valley. They are both active volunteers in the community.
Favourite artefact in the museum: Topographical Map
Karen has been involved in the museum from the beginning and has watched an idea become a reality, while seeing the Nose Creek Valley Museum thrive for the past 30 years. In 2009 she assumed the role of interim curator and upon Laurie’s return from Maternity Leave, was invited to continue on in the role of assistant curator. Karen brings to the position a deep-seated knowledge of the community as well as a passion for life-long learning. She co-ordinates the museum’s education program, and over the years has guided over 500 individual school tours through the museum.
The Alberta Museums Association leads, facilitates, and supports museums in their vital role with communities.
A regional network to support and learn from each other. CARMN represents community initiative and efforts to collaborate and learn together.
The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is the national organization for the advancement of the Canadian museum sector, representing Canadian museum professionals both within Canada and internationally. The CMA works for the recognition, growth, and stability of the sector.
The Western Museums Association is dedicated to serving museums, museum professionals by providing vision, enrichment, intellectual challenge, and a forum for communication and interaction. The WMA is primarily comprised of members across the Western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, the Western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the Pacific Islands, among others.
Do you have more artefacts than what’s on display?
Yes, as with all museums, we just can’t exhibit it all. There are several reasons for artefacts to be in storage. The care of the collection is our primary reason, the longer items are on display the more harmful it is. Humidity, light, and temperature can be potentially harmful for most artefacts.
Not all artefacts will be interesting to the public; it is important for museums to provide context for the items on display; without that, it is just 'stuff'. The items on display are chosen because they assist with telling the story that we want to tell at that time. We hope that some time in an artefact’s lifetime, it will be displayed.
Does the museum appraise artefacts or other old items?
No. The museum does not provide appraisal or authentication services.
How do I donate?
If you would like to donate an object to the museum collection, it is best to call or email to talk to the curator or assistant curator. NCVM has been collecting the Valley’s history for over 30 years and we are reaching capacity. To that end, we have had to narrow our collecting mandate to only objects relevant to the Valley’s heritage. Once a month, the NCVM Accessions Committee meets and goes through all offers to the museum.
We are looking to make sure we don’t collect duplicates to objects already in our collection, what condition the object is in, and the historical significance of the object to our collection area, among other criteria. If your object does not fit in with our criteria, we do have a list of other museums still collecting that we can help you with.
Is photography allowed?
Non-flash photography is allowed for personal, non-commercial use, but keep an eye out for signage indicating specific objects or areas that cannot be photographed. Just be courteous to other visitors. Show us your best pictures by tagging @NCVMuseum on Twitter and @nosecreekvalleymuseum on Instagram and Facebook.
My Family donated something to the museum when it opened. Can I come see it? Why wasn’t it out when I came to visit?
We love when families come to see what their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents donated to the museum. However, if the item is not on display when you visit, don’t despair, we can locate it. Not all artefacts are on display all the time. It is not good for the objects and we only have so much space. If you know you are coming for a visit, give us a call or email beforehand; that way we can talk to you and perhaps bring the object out of storage for you to view.
How are you funded?
NCVM is self-funded through a variety of efforts, which includes meeting room rentals, fundraising, donations, and admissions. We are always looking for support from our community to keep improving our services.
We want to thank all of our volunteers for all of their work and time. If you want to get involved, we have a lot of great ideas for you!