New home, new name for the Regina Plains Museum

By: Shaunna Grandish November, 2013

The Regina Plains Museum is now called the Civic Museum of Regina. Besides a new name, it also has a new address.

For over 50 years, the museum has been located in the heart of downtown Regina; but during the past year, the museum has been in the process of moving to a new location in the city’s Warehouse District with the goal of reopening to the public in late fall of 2013.

“It’s definitely been exciting,” says Shari Sokochoff, executive director, Civic museum of Regina. “But wow! What a year it’s been! It’s been a lot of work.”

For the past 15 years, the majority of the museum’s artifacts have been housed in a warehouse on Winnipeg Street.

According to Sokochoff, visitors to the museum’s old location only had the opportunity to see about 1,400 out of 19,000 artifacts on display. The remaining pieces resided at the warehouse location where they were subjected to water and humidity issues, and were unseen by the public.

With the new location at 1375 Broad Street, the museum has room to display significantly more, up to 30 to 40 per cent, of the entire collection. It began to move artifacts from the Winnipeg street warehouse.

“This was such a huge project,” explains Sokochoff. “Not just because of the time involved, but the magnitude of moving these huge artifacts.”

Sokochoff further explained that a huge fur press had to be transferred down the street by a forklift because it was so massive.

The other big change for the museum is its name: the Regina Plains museum will now be referred to as the Civic museum of Regina.

The name change was initiated by a lack of public understanding about what the Regina Plains museum was all about, said Sokochoff.

Sokochoff further explained that despite the name change, the museum is still very much a pioneer collection. The museum hasn’t actively acquired new items over the past two decades, but it intends to change this practise.

“The collection will get you to think about how Regina has changed over the years and how it has grown. What is this place I call home all about? I think the museum has a serious role and responsibility to all the citizens and guests visiting the city, who not only want to learn more about its pioneer roots, but also its more contemporary history,” adds Sokochoff.

In the new location, people will get the chance to see little known pieces of more recent Regina history such as the first ATM machine, with technology pioneered by Conexus Credit union.

“To tell the story of the past, we have to be able to appreciate culture and heritage,” says Sokochoff. “But moving forward, it’s just as important today to reflect today’s more recent history that is being created.”