An agreement in principle has been reached with the Board of Directors of Eastend's T.rex Discovery Centre Inc. that will see the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) assume the on-going operation of the centre this spring.
“The RSM has had a long involvement with the T.rex Discovery Centre and is well-positioned to operate the facility because of its expertise, not only in palaeontology, but also in exhibits, programming and visitor experience,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Kevin Doherty stated in an announcement today. “The RSM will operate the facility in alignment with its mandate for palaeontology, heritage and cultural stewardship.”
Under the agreement the T.rex Discovery Centre will continue to be community-owned. Parks, Culture and Sport will lease the facility including the current RSM lab and office space. A marketing strategy will be developed that will focus on cross-promotion between the RSM’s operations in Regina and Eastend to increase visitation at both facilities and raise the centre’s profile as a tourism destination in southwest Saskatchewan.
"The Board is extremely pleased that we've reached an agreement in principle that will help the centre realize its great potential and assure stability in the operation for the future,” T.rex Discovery Centre Inc. Board Chair Jim Fletcher said. “We look forward to working with the RSM and the ministry towards strengthening the centre going forward."
“We expect to increase synergies between the RSM’s operations in Eastend and Regina,” RSM Director Harold Bryant said. “For more than 12 years, the RSM’s palaeontological activities have contributed to the centre, which is also an excellent venue for the RSM’s travelling exhibits and other outreach programs. At the same time, it will provide a field facility for all of the RSM’s scientific programs, several of which involve research conducted in the province’s southwest.”
The 1991 discovery near Eastend of the first T. rex skeleton found in Saskatchewan, and one of the most complete in the world, was the catalyst for the building of the centre to showcase the area’s rich palaeontological history. The T.rex Discovery Centre opened in 2000 and later this year a life-sized cast of the T. rex skeleton will go on display for the first time.
The RSM’s palaeontological fieldwork and research continues to increase our understanding of the province’s fossil history. One research project that is currently underway with colleagues from the University of Regina is the examination of fossils, including some from the T.rex, using the Canadian Light Source (synchrotron) in Saskatoon.