Just forget the words and sing along

Friday, February 29, 2008

Mark Cappis's Day Off

I'm playing hookey today!

Well, I guess it's not really hookey when you go through all the proper channels and book the day off a month ago.

But the way I figured it, if you're going to cut loose and go nuts, why not on February 29...a day so rare and special that it only comes around once every four years?

I threw it out there on my blog a couple of days ago as to whether I should go see the Royal Alberta Museum or the Telus World of Science - Edmonton. And today I decided....

The Royal Alberta Museum!

Why? Well, that was always kind of my original plan, and let's face, the Museum needs the attendance so the government will finally get off their duffs and start their expansion.

The gross simplification of the issue: back in 2005, when the Queen was visiting the province for the centennial, and she proclaimed the Provincial Museum of Alberta to be the Royal Alberta Museum, Premier Ralph Klein figured that a great centennial project would be to finally build a much-needed expansion to the museum and truly turn it into a world-class facility. The cost? $200 million.

Flash-forward about a year and a half. Klein retired and Ed Stelmach came to power. Because construction costs are so huge in Alberta, the final expansion plans came in at more than $200 million. I forget the exact number, but I think a fair guess is between $300 and $400 million. (That's just a guess...feel free to correct me if you know the correct number.)

So, the Museum went to the government in early 2007, asking for more money. Stelmach said, "NO!! $200 million is all you're getting! Now, you go back to that drawing board, and come back with a $200 million plan!"

In the original plan, the Royal Alberta Museum was to be closed by now, as construction was going full-bore on the renovations. But, it's now stuck in permanent limbo, as construction costs keep going up and up and up and $200 million won't buy that much anymore.

So I figure the Museum needs all the help it can get.

and besides, as my best friend pointed out, I should save the Telus World of Science for June, because that's when they're bringing in the world-famous and controversial Body Worlds.

Woo! Spending a day at a museum. When I cut loose and go nuts, I really go nuts.

But then, as Tom Hanks's character in Saving Private Ryan said, there are some things I keep just for me.

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