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Favrholdt announces he will soon step down as Osoyoos Museum’s director and curator
The Osoyoos Museum is losing its executive director and curator Ken Favrholdt, who will be stepping down later this year for health and family reasons.
Favrholdt, who has been with the museum for three years, is resigning effective Dec. 31, but his last day on the job will be Dec. 9 because he is owed holiday time.
Osoyoos Museum Society Board president Mat Hassen expressed regret about Favrholdt’s decision, but said the board understands his reasons and wishes him well.
“I was really sorry,” said Hassen, who first learned of Favrholdt’s decision in a conversation earlier this month. “Ken works hard. He’s done a number of really good things to revitalize and reactivate. But I also have to accept somebody at their word when they say that they can’t continue on.”
Hassen said the board won’t try to recruit a replacement right away, but will look at its options during the next while as the museum enters a quiet period, probably not choosing a replacement at least until the spring.
The museum really has two jobs that need doing, but can only afford one person, Hassen said.
It needs somebody to continue the job of running the museum and curating the exhibits, but it also needs someone to head up the project of planning a new museum on Main Street.
“That’s another set of skills and we’re already trying to decide how best to use the resources we have,” said Hassen. “The winter is not necessarily a very good time to recruit people and so we’re going to take some time just to keep things running.”
Kara Burton, the administrative assistant, will continue on and will take on additional responsibilities as assistant director, he said.
Hassen will serve as managing director on a volunteer basis. Vice president Lise Mathieu will chair meetings of the board and continue to work closely with Hassen. Museum volunteers will also play an important role, Hassen said.
The board’s New Building Planning Committee, chaired by Mathieu, will continue to prepare for the move to the new location at the present Home Hardware Building Centre, likely in 2016, the museum society said in a news release.
Martha Collins, chair of the Legacy Committee, will continue to raise capital funds.
During his three years at the museum, Favrholdt led the development of several important exhibits. These included a fur trade exhibit in 2011 marking the 200th anniversary of the first Europeans in this area; an online exhibit about the 150th anniversary of the first customs operation at Osoyoos; and most recently an exhibit about the War of 1812 in the West.
He has also developed and conducted walking tours of Osoyoos and has written about numerous articles and columns for the Osoyoos Times.
Favrholdt was also involved in developing the museum’s five-year business plan, providing support for the successful referendum campaign and overseeing the upgrading of the museum’s website.
Most recently he brought in the traveling exhibit Behind the Wire about the internment of Ukrainian Canadians between 1914 and 1920.