Go to the Jasper Centre, and the first person you meet could well be Jean-Luc Mudingayi.
The 22-year-old has been hired for the summer as Assistant Museum Curator. He started on May 24 and will finish at the end of August.
His job involves a wide range of responsibilities, including manning the front desk, receiving guests, providing information, preparing the centre for exhibitions and shows, working with artefacts and programs, and entering data for inventory.
“I am looking forward to meeting many people this summer,” he said.
Jean-Luc was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved with his family to Maple Creek in 2008.
His father, Dr. Kabuya Mudingayi, often referred to as “Dr. Joe”, has become a well-known figure in Maple Creek.
Jean-Luc, Dr. Joe’s second child, attended Sidney Street School and Maple Creek Composite School, where he earned distinction as a two-times provincial silver medallist in the 4 x 100 metre relay team (2014 and 2015). He also enjoyed playing basketball.
After graduating in 2016, Jean-Luc enrolled at the University of Calgary, where he is taking two degrees: Business and Political Science.
Jean-Luc does have a previous connection with the Jasper Cultural & Historical Centre after volunteering for a children’s program six or seven years ago.
He also worked at the Town Office in 2019.
Jean-Luc is enjoying his new role, which has deepened his understanding of the history of the community and fostered a great appreciation for the land and respect for Indigenous people and the settler pioneers.
He is keen to promote the centre as a cultural hub and help it fulfil its mission to enrich lives in the community.
Already he has become knowledgeable enough about local history to refer visitors to a 1950s aerial map of the area, and point out some of the landmarks.
So when you are next in the Jasper Centre, be sure to give him a very warm welcome.
Donny White, Jasper board chair, is delighted to have Jean-Luc on his team this summer, describing him as high-energy, enthusiastic, productive and extremely personable.
“We are very fortunate to have hired him,” he said.