Founders Hall should be provincial museum: Bevan-Baker

The Green Party leader is urging the provincial government to turn Founders Hall into a provincial museum.

Idea supported by the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation

The Green Party leader thinks Founders Hall would be a great site for a provincial museum, something P.E.I. governments have been exploring but have not acted on for years. (Charlottetown Area Development Corporation/Canadian Press)

The Green Party leader is urging the provincial government to turn Founders Hall into a provincial museum. 

"I think it would be a fantastic opportunity for the province of Prince Edward Island to finally have its own provincial museum. We're the only province in Canada without one," said leader Peter Bevan-Baker. 

He also thinks the timing is excellent given that Founders Hall is up for sale, and Ottawa is taking applications for infrastructure dollars specifically for social and cultural projects like this. 

P.E.I. Green Party Leader Peter Bevan Baker says the timing is good because Founders Hall is up for sale, and Ottawa is accepting applications for infrastructure dollars specifically tied to social and culture projects like this. (Green Party of P.E.I.)

"So the dollars are there to be had, and if we had a provincial government with the will to do something, then to my mind this is the perfect time," said Bevan-Baker. 

"Not to mention the fact that next year is, of course, the 150th anniversary of our country, which, of course, was founded here in Charlottetown." 

Bevan-Baker said this would be an excellent legacy for that anniversary.

"Do we want our infrastructure legacy in the 150th anniversary of our country's history to be a perimeter highway, or do want it to be a place that celebrates the unique and the rich varied history of Prince Edward Island?"

Museum and Heritage Foundation supports idea

The suggestion of using Founders Hall for the museum was made by the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation three years ago.

The current board chair still believes Founders Hall would be an excellent location 

"We are at capacity at our storage facilities in Charlottetown," said Carolyn McKillop.

"The ideal solution would be to have our artifacts out where everybody could view them and enjoy them." 

McKillop said more people are donating important historical items to the foundation for further generations to enjoy, but that's not happening with them stored in the Artifactory at the West Royalty Industrial site.

She said having a provincial museum would help Island history come alive, especially for younger Islanders.

Provincial response

"Government continues to discuss a provincial museum but they have not reached  a point where‎ sites are being considered," said the province in a written statement.

CBC News was not given an answer whether a funding request has gone to Ottawa for a provincial museum.