The Courier

A new display at the Cold Lake Museums showcases the history of The Courier News at 4 Wing Cold Lake – All photos by Mike Marshall / The Courier News

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A special exhibit featuring an over 60-year-old fixture at 4 Wing is now on display at the Cold Lake Museums.

The Museums celebrated their opening for the season on Friday, May 19th and patrons of the Air Force Museum can now take in an exhibit dedicated to The Courier News. The display includes memorabilia, equipment from the past, and some highlights from the news outlets’ history.

Air Force Museum Curator Wanda Stacey says the idea to showcase The Courier’s history came from when it moved offices at CFB Cold Lake. 

“The Courier News staff were finding so many interesting things in the process of moving offices. The idea to put it on display came from [current Manager] Janae Wandler.”

The ability to showcase a bit of the publication’s history is a great feature for guests, says Stacey.

“I am delighted to have this exhibit here! The Courier has such a unique history, beginning as a volunteer-led organization, and progressing through so many stages, from the old methods of laying out and pasting up a newspaper, preparing it for press, and then moving to the desktop publishing era and their online platform. They are an integral part of 4 Wing Cold Lake’s history as well as the whole community.”

Janae Wandler and her current Courier staff had the opportunity to take in the finished exhibit at a sneak-peek gala held on May 17th. The publication means a lot to her, so she’s thrilled to be able to share its story.

“The Courier News has been a big part of my life just as it has been for CFB Cold Lake. I first started my professional career at the newspaper back when we were still pasting it on layout boards. I was able to help with the transition to creating the editions electronically.”

“After lending my skills in different areas of the Personnel Support Programs organization, I made my way back to The Courier where we made the exciting transition to being a digital platform. I hope to be a part of the many impressive things that the Courier News still has in store!”

The display is part of a few new attractions to be found at the Museums. As Stacey says, the fact that some of the displays change every year makes them unique.

“Many people view museums as static displays, but in fact, we are constantly changing. For the 2023 season, we have also added a 401 Squadron exhibit, a new interpretive panel for the history of CFB Cold Lake for the 2010’s decade, and greatly enhanced our Demo Jet display, including some footage of artist Jim Belliveau and his team actually painting a CF-18.”

“Visitors will also notice a new feature in our Cruise Missile exhibit as well. Throughout the museums, there are improvements to exhibits and a beautiful new doll clothing collection in the Heritage Museum, along with new showcases in our long hallway that connects all four museums. In addition, we are gearing up to celebrate the RCAF Centennial on April 1, 2024.”

The Cold Lake Museums are comprised of four different galleries showcasing four distinct galleries: Air Force, Oil & Gas, Heritage and Indigenous. Admission rates and hours of operation can be found on their official website. 

Staff from the past and present pose in front of The Courier News exhibit at the Cold Lake Museums (from left – current Manager Janae Wandler, former Editor Joy Smith, Sales/Administrator Carmin Reid, Communications Coordinator Mike Marshall, former Editor Jeff Gaye)

Former Courier News Editor Joy Smith looks over artifacts inside the Cold Lake Museums


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