Established in 1955, the Rossland Historical Museum & Archives Association (DBA Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre) is a non-profit society and registered charity whose mission is to preserve and dynamically present the history and heritage of Rossland and area while inspiring and engaging the public through virtual and real life presentations that bring our history to life.
Our vision is that the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre will be:
The visitor gateway to the Kootenays and the Columbia Basin
A landmark site to congregate, create, and strengthen links between diverse communities in the region
An active presence in the community that supports the local economy, spurs partnerships, and regenerates tourism
The Rossland Historical Museum & Archives Association was established by the Rossland Rotary Club in the basement of the Rossland Court House in 1954 and was incorporated under the BC Societies Act in March of 1955. The present museum was built on the site of the Black Bear Mine in 1967 as a Canadian Centennial project thanks to Jack McDonald, Roger Terhune, and many other dedicated community members. The underground mine tour of the Black Bear Mine ran from 1967 to 2009, but is now permanently closed after a thorough review of options. The Rossland Museum Development Committee developed a “Renewal Plan” that prepared a six-phase capital program to update the museum, including Phase Two The Mine Experience: an above ground mine tunnel with interactive exhibitions and much more - the Mine Experience is slated to open to the public in 2021.
In the meantime, the main museum building remains open year round and houses thousands of artifacts on display and in storage rooms. The archives stores and preserves historic photos, documents, the Rossland Miner newspapers from 1896 to 1972, maps, and the City's early assessment and tax rolls, in addition to other important mining and community historical information.
The museum gift shop is home to many pieces from local artists including prints and cards in addition to books, toys, memorabilia, and geological samples.
The upper level of the museum houses the Geology building. This building contains an extensive collection of geological samples from all over the world. There is historic geological and processing equipment and a hands-on rock specimen display. We also have an industrial mineral collection showing the importance of minerals in Canada's history.
The museum is the sponsor organization for Rossland’s Destination BC Visitor Centre and has tourist information, maps, and guides pertaining to BC, the Kootenay Rockies, and other tourist regions as well as our local region. In addition, we have an interactive kiosk for visitors to use.
Our Mandate, Mission & Vision
Mandate: The mandate of the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre includes (a) The collection and exhibition of objects, documents, and books of any kind to illustrate and make known to the public the mining, skiing and social history of Rossland; and (b) The promotion of education, teaching, research and public programs and publication in any or all fields referred to above.
Mission: To preserve and dynamically present the heritage of Rossland and area and to inspire and engage the public through virtual and real life displays that bring our history to life.
Vision: To be the visitor gateway to the Kootenays and the Columbia Basin
President - Libby Martin | Vice President - Michael Ramsay | Treasurer-Secretary - Jim De Long | Trustee - Maureen Brown
Trustee - Geoff Coke | Trustee - Courtney Jewitt | Trustee - Mike Sloan | Trustee - Deke Baley | Trustee - Gabe Wiebe
Trustee - Jocelyn Laface
We acknowledge the support of the City of Rossland, the Province of BC, Columbia Basin Trust, and our many contributors and donors to operational costs for supporting our ongoing staff and contractors.
We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada, the Columbia Basin Trust, and the University of British Columbia for supporting our annual summer student programs.
Other Local History Organizations:
City of Rossland Heritage Commission
Rossland has a unique cultural and built heritage spanning over a century. There are currently many buildings and landmarks that originate from the resource mining days of Rossland's inception, serving as a reminder of the City's history. Continued and new efforts should be made to ensure the rich heritage of the City of Rossland is maintained and enhanced.
As part of these efforts, the City of Rossland adopted Bylaw 2439 in November 2009 which initiated the the establishment of a Heritage Commission.
The scope and duties of the Rossland Heritage Commission are:
To review and submit recommendations to Council on land use and planning matters which have heritage implications
To advise Council on any matter relating to heritage conservation as set out in Part 27 of the Local Government Act.
To recommend strategies and policies to Council and undertake programs for the support of heritage conservation.
To support heritage education and public awareness through programs such as Heritage Week displays and newsletters
To prepare a work program and an annual report
To raise funds and pursue partnerships for the support of conservation and promotion of heritage
Each year, Council shall include in its annual operating budget a sum of money deemed necessary for the operations of the Commission
Each year, the Commission will submit to Council an operating budget request outlining expected expenditure and revenues
The Commission may authorize expenditures provided for its annual operating budget, as approved by Council, but shall not otherwise have the authority to incur any expense, debt, or obligation to the City without prior approval of Council
Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History
The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History is a non-profit history society dedicated to furthering the documentation and presentation of our region's human and natural history. We are centred in Cranbrook, but work with regional partners to encompass the Columbia Basin region of British Columbia. We take as a first principle that 'all that has gone before has the potential to inform our present actions and shape our future ones'.
Kootenay Columbia Educational Heritage Society
The Kootenay Columbia Educational Heritage Society was incorporated in 2005. The Society is an initiative of the West Kootenay Branch of the BC Retired Teachers Association. Members of the Teachers Association began meeting as a committee of the Association in 2001 with the intention of preserving the educational legacy of School District No. 20 (Kootenay Columbia) by collecting and maintaining accurate historical records and preserving representative artifacts of former School Districts No. 9 (Castlegar) and 11 (Trail).Established in 1955, the Rossland Historical Museum & Archives Association (DBA Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre) is a non-profit society and registered charity whose mission is to preserve and dynamically present the history and heritage of Rossland and area while inspiring and engaging the public through virtual and real life presentations that bring our history to life.