PEI

Matthew McRae named executive director of P.E.I. museums

Matthew McRae, who created something of an international sensation with an entry in a virtual museum display earlier this year, will be the new executive director of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation.

McRae takes over from David Keenlyside

Matthew McRae with Wheelie, an artifact from the P.E.I. museum's collection. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

Matthew McRae, who created something of an international sensation with an entry in a virtual museum display earlier this year, will be the new executive director of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation.

McRae is currently the curator of history for the foundation.

In that role in April, McRae submitted a photo of a 19th century toy from the P.E.I. museum's collection to a virtual exhibition sponsored by the Yorkshire Museum in the U.K. With museums closed by the pandemic, the Yorkshire Museum was promoting virtual exhibitions on Twitter. The theme for that week was creepy objects.

Wheelie, a small stuffed animal on wheels, has a reputation for being haunted. 

Against competitors such as plague masks and a lucky charm made from a human finger, Wheelie earned coverage in The U.K. Guardian, CNN and The Washington Post.  

McRae is taking over from David Keenlyside, who has been executive director since 2007.

"The board looks forward to working with Dr. Matthew McRae, who brings a strong professional background in museum activities and audience engagement," said museum board chair Vivian Beer in a news release.

"We are particularly interested in engaging the next generation to ensure that our Island's heritage is protected and celebrated."

McRae starts in his new role Sept. 1.

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