Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage go­ing to get busier

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Pincher Creek - BY HEATHER CAMERON

Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage is a pi­o­neer vil­lage in the heart of Pincher Creek and is sit­u­ated along the creek that runs through the down­town core. It is about to get even busier than nor­mal.

The Vil­lage also has sev­eral sea­sonal events through­out the year be­gin­ning with a cel­e­bra­tion at Hal­loween.

“Last year was our first 'Hal­loween in the Vil­lage,” notes Laura Kor­bett, the Mu­seum Ad­min­is­tra­tor for Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage. “We had busi­nesses dec­o­rate and hand out candy from our build­ings in the Mu­seum Vil­lage for school and com­mu­nity kids to 'trick or treat' at. We also had a Haunted Barn and pump­kin dec­o­rat­ing craft spon­sored by The Fam­ily Cen­ter. It was a big hit so this year we are of­fer­ing the same event the day of Hal­loween, but also adding more to it.”

Kor­bett says that this year's Hal­loween cel­e­bra­tions will in­clude Matthew Hal­ton High School spon­sor­ing haunted houses in the Vil­lage as part of their 'ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing' week.

The haunted houses, which in­clude a ver­sion for younger kids and a scary ver­sion for older kids, will be open to the pub­lic. The Vil­lage will also have an evening Hal­loween 'Spooky­town Af­ter Dark' gala for adults on the week­end be­fore Hal­loween with the sec­ond 'Hal­loween in the Vil­lage' be­ing held on Hal­loween Day.

Kor­bett says Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage, will then hold their fourth an­nual 'Meet the Au­thors' Book Sign­ing event on Fri­day, Nov. 30 and will fea­ture lo­cal and South­ern Al­berta au­thors.

Last year's event fea­tured 20 au­thors, as well as a few mu­si­cians, and the event takes place in con­junc­tion with Pincher Creek's Count­down to Christ­mas pa­rade and evening shop­ping day. The Pa­rade of Lights event is also on Nov. 30 and is an evening event hosted by the Pincher Creek Cham­ber of Com­merce on Main Street in con­junc­tion with the lo­cal busi­nesses' late night shop­ping event.

“Our events are planned by the staff and vol­un­teers at the Vil­lage with in­put and help from our board, The Pincher Creek and Dis­trict His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety,” Kor­bett says. “We en­cour­age and in­vite other com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions to spon­sor ac­tiv­i­ties at our events as well. We are a non-profit mu­seum so we rely heav­ily on vol­un­teer help, es­pe­cially at the events them­selves. Some of our events/pro­grams do get some fi­nan­cial aid from such groups as the Leth­bridge Foun­da­tion and Gov­ern­ment of Canada grants.”

The big­gest event for Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage, Kor­bett ex­plains, is Canada Day. Gen­er­ally there is well over 1,000 peo­ple who cel­e­brate, while other events get any­where from 80 to 400 peo­ple. Over­all, Kor­bett says, the Vil­lage's events are all very well at­tended.

“We have 27 au­then­tic her­itage build­ings full of ap­prox­i­mately. 30,000 ar­ti­facts on 6 acres of beau­ti­ful gar­dens and com­mu­nity gar­dens,” Kor­bett said. “Most of our ar­ti­facts and build­ings have a lo­cal area con­nec­tion/story to them. We house the of­fi­cial his­tor­i­cal ar­chives col­lec­tion for Pincher Creek and area. We are also the accredited Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter for Pincher Creek and MD. We also have The Coun­try Store, which show­cases lo­cal ar­ti­sans, a great se­lec­tion of books writ­ten by lo­cal area au­thors and about the his­tory and the area, CDs of lo­cal mu­sic tal­ent, and great coun­try and vin­tage-themed home decor.”

Kor­bett says that the daily ad­mis­sion to the Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage is $12 for adults; $10 for se­niors; $6 for Youth 17 and un­der; and free for chil­dren un­der 7. The Vil­lage also sells an­nual or life­time mem­ber­ships that start at only $25 and give un­lim­ited gen­eral ad­mis­sion and dis­counts on select items in the Coun­try Store.

Vis­i­tors to the vil­lage can tour through the Pi­o­neer Vil­lage, at­tend the many events, at­tend spe­cial school and youth pro­grams, use the ar­chives to find out in­for­ma­tion about the his­tory of the area and his­toric fam­i­lies, get in­for­ma­tion about the area and up­com­ing events and shop in The Coun­try Store.

Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage, Kor­bett adds, also rents out their grounds and build­ings for events in­clud­ing meet­ings, wed­dings, photo shoots, and fam­ily re­unions.

The Vil­lage also of­fers cater­ing ser­vices, and rents out tents, ta­bles and chairs. There are also beau­ti­ful gar­dens, in­clud­ing a her­itage rose gar­den, and com­mu­nity gar­dens and a li­censed deck area for vis­i­tors to en­joy.

Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage of­fers free ad­mis­sion to the events and en­sures that they are fam­ily friendly so the com­mu­nity at large can en­joy them.

The Vil­lage also of­ten has other com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions and busi­nesses spon­sor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties at many of their events so they can of­fer a broad range of ac­tiv­i­ties.

“These events are grow­ing each year and get­ting bet­ter with new ideas in­cor­po­rated,” Kor­bett said. “We ap­pre­ci­ate the help and sup­port we get from the com­mu­nity and like to give back. The Vil­lage is an amaz­ing fa­cil­ity in the town of Pincher Creek and it is great to see it get­ting used and en­joyed by all ages while also ex­pos­ing them to the area's his­tory. There is such a sense of com­mu­nity when we are able to have other com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses help us put on some of our events and pro­mote each other. Ev­ery­one leaves with a smile on their face and looks for­ward to com­ing back.”

File photo

There’s al­ways some­thing fun hap­pen­ing at Koote­nai Brown Pi­o­neer Vil­lage.

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