As a stuntwoman, Brianna Goldie has been on fire. She’s jumped off buildings. She was even knocked unconscious at one point.
None of it was as gruelling as her latest gig: Painting. And designing. And transforming an old building in downtown Niagara Falls into a place people will eagerly photograph.
But after three intense months, she has opened Queen Street’s latest attraction with Goldie’s Museum. The converted bank and newspaper office is now a selfie studio with 25 vibrant, colourful rooms in which people can photograph themselves or each other.
Much like the recently-opened Ripley’s Selfie Studios on Clifton Hill, the space allows visitors to walk freely among several specially-designed rooms and backdrops tailor-made for social media.
Goldie, who went to high school in Niagara Falls, says the museum is a different — and less painful — step in a career that includes design and photography.
“When you have a little one, you start to wonder, ‘Do I really want to be jumping off buildings and crawling through fire to make a living?” says the St. Catharines mom of a two-year-old son. “I still enjoy it, but I don’t want to be beholden to it. If you ask a 45-year-old stuntperson how their body feels, you’ll hear some stories.”
The museum is in the former Guaranty Trust bank at 4424 Queen St., which was also home to the Niagara Falls Review when it moved out of its Victoria Avenue building.
One of the newly-designed rooms is inside the massive vault, held over from the bank.
Goldie says the museum is perfect for wedding parties or weekend get-togethers and she has spent three months working 16-hour days getting it ready. It involved scouring for furniture and lots of (mostly pink) paint.
“When I see a space, I tend to see what’s not there,” she says. “I see the beauty that it could be.”
Goldie, who grew up in Port Dover, has done stunts for movies that include “Suicide Squad” but it’s on TV she has been most busy. Her body was put through the wringer on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Expanse” and “The Umbrella Academy.”
As much as she loves it, she realizes every job comes with the chance it could be the last. The concussion was a reminder.
“All it takes is that one bad day and all the other things that I could be doing are gone,” she says.
She’s eager to be part of Queen Street’s new blood, which will rely on the arts and outside-the-box thinking.
“It can’t just be me or one or two businesses on the street,” she says. “It really needs to be a community strategy to make it happen.
“If I need to paint a mural or need to build something that will help direct traffic here, I’m all for it.”
Goldie’s Museum is open Thursday to Sunday. Admission is $32.99 for two hours, $26.99 youths 12 and younger.