BARRY’S BAY – On November 24, 2015, Madawaska Valley Council held a special meeting to evaluate the Railway Station as a building and cultural hub.
Members of council and volunteers went on a tour of the building from the basement to the former living quarters of the Station Master upstairs. Anya Gansterer and Danielle Paul, who share the role of Culture and Tourism Coordinator for the township, run the activities in this cultural hub. They split one full-time position between them. Both report to Paul Nopper, Recreation & Community Development Coordinator.
Nopper led the party on a tour of the outside of the building showing the state of disrepair. This neglect includes ice damage to the roof, lifting roof tiles and boards coming loose from the siding, paint peeling from the signage and electrical wires forming a knot at one end of the building.
Gansterer led off the party on the inside of the building where she began with a question for the council and volunteer party that she asks all potential employees. Gansterer asked, What is culture, and what role does it play in your life? She also asked, How does history impact your life?
Paul said that the Railway Station has a historic role in the community. It was built 125 years ago, forming a cultural hub for the community and enabling visitors to get to Algonquin Park.
The Railway Station now houses MV’s Visitor Centre and the South of 60 Arts Centre, which now embraces the culture and heritage of our community. Our heritage is the history of our settler families and those who have come since.
Get your November 25, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.