What have we been up to lately?

It’s been a strange few months.  As with most people, Museum staff have been adjusting to new conditions.  We are planning for our re-opening June 2, so there is a flurry of activity in preparation.  The building was never totally quiet though.  We take our responsibilities of caring for the community’s treasures very seriously, and the collections and building need to be monitored for insects, water damage, and security breaches.  Some of us have been working at home, others in the building (although we were careful to limit the number of people in the building at any one time).  Today we are going to check in with a few people who work at the Museum to ask, what were you up to when the Museum was closed from March 17 to June 2?

Sandra, Executive Director

“Initially, I thought that our closure would provide some uninterrupted time to work on some of those projects that you never seem to get to.  That was not the case.  Without the added responsibility of having to homeschool children I spent much of the closure working in the building.  From coaching staff on their initial use of Zoom to making sure that they were each supported and generally navigating the Museum through these difficult times it has been a challenging few months.  As we prepare to open I look forward to welcoming people back into the building and a return to normal, albeit a “new normal”.”

Roslyn, Museum Shop Manager

“I have done a big cleanup of my back office.  I was discovering ‘gems’ from the past 16 years such as past product development ideas and articles and publications from the Museum’s past.  I was learning more about my book inventory, and took some time to be a tourist in my own Museum and to learn a bit more about the exhibits.  It has been a great learning experience for me!”

Lorna and Edna, Visitor Services

“Edna Roberts, our new Visitor Services Associate, had just started prior to the COVID shutdown.  It has been a productive time to orient her to the many services, transactions and bits of information we provide to our visitors.  We have also kept busy organizing and updating our work area, both at the reception desk and in other common areas used by staff at the Museum.”

Beth Boyce, Curator

“Since the museum has had to close its doors, I’ve had to almost completely re-imagine the rest of my year, as most of the projects I had been working on have had to be postponed. I have been working from home to support both our Education and Public Programs departments in the development of new virtual programming for our website.  I have been going ahead with hiring our new crop of Summer Students (we did Zoom interviews for the first time this year), and preparing for their start on June 16th. Their summer will look a little different this year, the puppets are going online!  And I have been continuing research work on a project with the Homalco First Nation. The Museum is partnering with the band to develop interpretive signage for their operations at Orford Bay. So although the timeline has understandably had to be adjusted, the research work has been able to continue.  This has been a really fun partnership and project, and I have been learning lots.  With my daycare being closed due to COVID-19 I have also been spending a lot of time with my son Logan gardening, playing outside and reading lots of stories.  On occasion Logan has been my enthusiastic office assistant.”

Ken Blackburn, Public Programs Manager

“The pandemic certainly introduced me to an entire new world of Zoom.  It is amazing how quickly a technology becomes a new working method.  In isolation, working from home was surprising productive, having created a series on Sybil Andrews, hosting a series on Online Check-Ins with local arts organizations, interviewing authors Eden Robinson and Haley Healey and collaborating with Beth on a series that examined the photography work of the Baldwins.  Isolation has also provided me with more studio time and it has been surprising creative.  Many artists are accustomed to creating in isolation, even in the best of times.”

Megan Purcell, Collections Manager

“For years, we’ve organized our artifact collection using a database system. However, up until recently we didn’t have a database that would work for our archive collection. My pandemic project has been to start organizing our archive collection to put into the database. It’s going to be quite a while until it’s completely organized, but I’ve been able to make a really good start on this lately. Also, even though we’ve been closed to the public, I’ve still been working with researchers, when possible, to get them the information and photos that they need, virtually.”

Erika, Marketing and Membership

“I have been working at expanding the amount of outreach we do digitally – through Facebook, Instagram, our Blog, and our You Tube Channel.  For example, I have uploaded quite a few older documentaries that the Museum has done onto the You Tube Channel.  I have had weekly themes on Facebook, with each week culminating in a knowledge-testing crossword puzzle.  We officially launched our new membership program recently, and have been reaching out to past members to consider renewing their memberships and supporting the Museum right now.  I spent a lot of time working from home and homeschooling my son & my niece.”

Scroll to Top