Canadian Ski Museum in trouble

The Canadian Ski Museum is in serious financial trouble and will move from its west end location in June.
Jean-Luc Brassard of Grande-Ile, Que., is one of the honoured members of the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, which is in financial trouble. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

The future of the Canadian Ski Museum is in doubt and it will move out of its west end location in June.

The museum on Scott Street in Westboro, also home to the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, is in serious financial trouble, says President Ivo Krupka.

The board of directors is meeting next week to discuss the future of both the museum and the hall of fame, with options including going virtual or moving the museum's collection to the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau.

The museum has been open since the early 1970s and has been located in the same building as the Trailhead outdoor enthusiasts store for the past 10 years.

Displays include country's first Olympic gold

The museum's displays include century-old wooden skis, champions' winning outfits and Canada's first Olympic gold medal.

"It's a huge collection," said Don Runge, a member of the board of directors. "It's probably one of the most important collections, I think, in North America of ski memorabilia."

Runge said, like other museums across the country, they're not receiving enough funding.

The manager of Trailhead, which is the museum's manager and landlord, said the news is not a surprise. 

"I think they've had a really hard time generating traffic," Karen Fitzgibbons said. "You know the museum itself isn't as interactive as some of the other museums…I think it's quite sad that we're losing a bit of our ski heritage here, and it's always been such a nice fit in the building."

Shaun Fripp, a silver medalist during the 1958 Commonwealth Winter Games and one of the 140 inductees in the hall of fame, was still hoping for a miracle.

"Maybe somebody (will) come and back it," he said, laughing. "But that's dreaming in Technicolor, I guess."


With files from the CBC's Ashley Burke