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Prince George steps up to give popular Terry Fox exhibit an extended stay

Terry Fox Running to the Heart of Canada will stay at The Exploration Place for another month
Terry Fox Run organizer Scott McWalter and Exploration Place CEO Tracey Calogheros. (via Hanna Petersen)

Prince George has stepped up and given the Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada exhibit an extended stay while it searches for a more permanent home.

The Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre is extending the showing of the exhibit for another month. 

The Terry Fox Centre is currently fundraising toward building a permanent home for the exhibit but is some years away from reaching its target.

“As we have gone through the run of this exhibit touring the country, we have come to the conclusion that it is far too important to Canadian collection,” says Tracy Calogheros, CEO of The Exploration Place.

“It’s iconic and Canadian society has been connecting with it across the country and no one wanted to see it warehoused for what could potentially be a number of years.”

The Terry Fox Centre is working with the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame to show an extended run of the exhibit at its facilities in Calgary.

“Calgary has also not yet confirmed funding for what they hope will be a three-year run for this exhibit, when it does leave here,” explains Calogheros. “Because Calgary hasn’t confirmed it is going there yet, it doesn’t make sense to ship it to Calgary and hope for the best.”

IMG_1514(via Hanna Petersen)
The exhibit also requires special Class A storage, meaning the artifacts have to be kept under controlled temperature, humidity and light.

In order to keep the exhibit, The Exploration Place decided to delay the incoming exhibit, Dishevelling – A Hair Raising Experience.

Calogheros says the incoming exhibit is science-based and does not have as many artifacts that require Class A storage.

“It makes way more sense to store Dishevelling than it does to store Terry Fox,” says Calogheros. “But how do you store a 2,000-square-foot exhibit not having warehouse space ourselves?”

She says The Exploration Place immediately reached out to Scott McWalter, who has been the lead Terry Fox Run organizer for the last four years, for help.

“Austin Kim and his family from the Prince George Recycling and Return it Centre have been perennial participants in the annual Terry Fox Run,” says McWalter.

“When they heard there was an opportunity to help out with The Exploration Place and the cost associated with the storage of the next exhibit, they stepped up to the plate right away and have made a donation to cover storage costs.”

The Prince George Recycling and Return-it-Centre will also be donating the proceeds from their donation bins to The Exploration Place (from Feb. 1 to April 30).

IMG_1517(via Hanna Petersen)
“(Being) able to extend this for another month is absolutely fantastic,” says McWalter. “It allows our entire community to pass on Terry Fox’s knowledge and educate future generations about this iconic Canadian hero.”

Calogheros says they expect Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame to make a formal commitment by the end of January, but if they don’t accept the exhibit by then, The Exploration Place will ship the artifacts to a larger Class A facility that can provide further storage.

The exhibit, which has already seen upwards of 14,000 visits, will remain on display at The Exploration Place until after Family Day weekend (Feb. 18).

The museum will also be open for extended hours to accommodate public interest.  Starting Wednesday, Jan. 22 and continuing every Wednesday for the duration of the exhibit, the museum will be open until 8 p.m.

 “I have had a lot of exhibits in here and I have never had an exhibit been this popular or generate so much repeat visitation,” says Calogheros.

You can find The Exploration Place at 333 Becott Pl.