Claresholm Museum proud site of new McKinney addition
The Claresholm Museum is set to expand a small, currently existing exhibit of Louise McKinney at the Claresholm Museum and that expansion will include a bust of McKinney herself. Louise McKinney was the first woman elected to a legislature in the British Empire, being elected to the Alberta legislative assembly in 1917.
“United Farmers Historical Society (UFHS) recently received confirmation from Alberta Culture and Tourism that it will receive an $8,000 grant under the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund to expand the on Louise McKinney at the Claresholm Museum,” David Klug of the United Farmers Historical Society said. “The bust of Louise McKinney is one component of the exhibit, but is not included as part of this initial grant under the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund, and therefore, no commission has yet been confirmed.”
The expansion, Klug says, will allow for redevelopment of the exhibit, which includes expanding the actual exhibit and digitizing many artifacts. Expanding the exhibit will also include making the new exhibit interactive by including augmented reality elements, new panel displays, and touch screens for visitors.
“Digitization will also allow many aspects of the exhibit to be accessed via the internet so a greater number of people can learn more about this incredible woman who made such tremendous contributions to the agricultural community and to both Alberta and Canadian society,” Klug said.
McKinney, Klug says, was a passionate leader in rural Alberta in the early 1900’s and was instrumental in the development of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA).
Klug says that McKinney was also a member of the “Famous Five,” women who successfully argued the “persons case” to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1929.
The ‘persons case’ was where women were formally declared “persons” under the law and therefore eligible to be appointed to various positions, including the right to be named and hold a position of Senator in the Canadian Parliament.
McKinney and her family made their way to Claresholm and it was there that she ran and secured victory as the candidate for Claresholm in Alberta’s Non-Partisan League party in 1917. Ultimately, Louise McKinney passed away in Claresholm in 1931 at the age of 63, but her legacy lives on. She will never be forgotten with the expansion of the exhibit.
Work on the expansion of the exhibit, Klug says, is expected to begin in late 2018 and is anticipated to take approximately six months.
“This will be a permanent exhibit at the museum,” Klug said. “Events to mark the opening of the exhibit will be announced at a later date closer to its opening.”
To learn more about Louise McKinney and her mark on Canadian history, visit http://www.famou5.ca/ louise-mckinney.