By Trevor Doctor
The National Air Force Museum in Trenton has finished its $1.2 million renovation expansion and is now open to the public.
The renovations took place over the winter, beginning in October 2012. The museum was open during the renovations but the expansion that houses the Halifax bomber was closed off to the public.
Museum public relations coordinator Barb Neri said, “We have new interesting displays being built. Revamped and much more interactive display coming for our great escape exhibit. We have displays on different forms of training starting back in the 1930’s. With the BCATP, which is the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, was established in Canada with other Commonwealth countries. So that this would be the place where all their flight people were trained. Before they were shipped back over to Europe to go to war.”
The museum was given a $1.2 million grant from the Directorate of History and Heritage. This group helps to preserve the history of the Canadian Forces. They are responsible for maintaining archives, records and collections. As well as also funding museums, which look after the same things.
The museum has two more renovation phases to come. They hope to have them completed within the next 5 years. Future renovation plans for the museum include a new larger gift shop, more collections, and more permanent archival storage.
The museum hopes to have its whole collection moved into the addition, which houses the Halifax. They hope to use the old curling rink portion as workshops for restorations, and offices and storage.
“This won’t be completed over night. I say probably 10 years from now. The museum only has a limited budget. So we are taking small steps towards the bigger goal, “ said Neri.