28 December 2015

Lack of funding leaves N.B. Museum's future unclear

CTV Atlantic News

Owners of the New Brunswick Museum have some tough decisions ahead of them with the problem-plagued Collections and Research Centre.

The facility outgrew the stately 1930’s-era building a long time ago.

“We have the information. We have the books and the plans for it. The question is where should that go," said New Brunswick Museum CEO Jane Fullerton.

The museum wanted to expand into an adjacent park, but faced opposition from nearby residents. 

Now, options are few.

"If we remain in the current location on Douglas Avenue then the current building cannot remain," said Fullerton.

The building would have to be demolished and replaced with an entirely new structure. The other option is to relocate.

This month, city council voted unanimously to support the museum stay in Saint John.

"It seems to me absolutely absurd that anyone would consider moving it to another community," said Peter Buckland, art gallery co-owner.

Buckland says the museum's link with Saint John could not be severed.

"The New Brunswick Museum is an incredibly important institution to this province and obviously to this city,” he said. “It makes a huge cultural contribution to this region as well as to the province."

Replacing the centre will cost about $46 million. The museum board is expected to decide the direction of the facility and the entire institution in January.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.