FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Museum will soon be opening an exhibit titled “Soaring over the North Peace” dedicated to the history of aviation in the region.

This permanent exhibit will open to residents on January 19th and is the last in a series of three transportation exhibits the North Peace Museum has put together. The previous two highlighted the regional history of railways and boats, particularly steamships, in the North Peace.

Museum Curator, Heather Sjoblom, says she hopes residents walk away with an understanding of how aviation was key to connecting the region to the rest of British Columbia and other provinces.

“Aviation has played such an important role in our history. We just didn’t have the links to the rest of British Columbia, except for aviation,” Sjoblom said.

“We were so linked to Alberta. And the railway took forever to get here. It didn’t come until about 1958. So aviation was what connected us both to Vancouver and to Whitehorse with the beginnings of Yukon Southern air, which eventually became Canadian Pacific airlines,” Sjoblom explained.

The exhibit will feature a variety of artifacts, including a map of aviation accidents in the area, a flight suit, and suitcases from the late Sue Popesku with their original luggage tags.

It also tells the story of the first flight out of Fort St John in the 1930s.

“It was a mercy flight, a medical emergency. A guy had been injured, and all these citizens in Fort St. John pitched their money together and got a pilot from Alberta, Grant McConachie, who’s now one of the best-known Western Canadian pilots. He flew in, picked up the guy and flew him out,” Sjoblom recalls.

For more information about incoming exhibits, visit the museum on Facebook, or check out their website here.