Sandra Parrish, Executive Director of the Museum at Campbell River, re-opened the Museum June 2 after having closed it March 17 due to COVID-19. “Like with any organization during this challenging time, the Museum has had to find new ways of going forward. We work in a public service, so having to close the doors to the public was really hard.” During the closure, staff still needed to be in the building to ensure the safety of the collection, and perform some basic functions. Several staff members, such as the Curator and Public Programs Manager, were able to work mostly from home, but had to find a new approach to their work. “When we closed the doors I suddenly had to re-imagine the rest of my year as most of the projects I had been working on had to be postponed,” explains Curator Beth Boyce.
The lack of tourists and the cancellation of summer programs will leave a gap in revenue this year, but Parrish is confident that the organization will weather the storm. “It won’t be an easy year for us – but neither will it be for the community, the country or even the world. We truly are all in this together, and thankfully we have some other revenues, such as emergency COVID-19 related government funds, that will allow us to keep the doors open and fulfill our core functions.”
The Museum opened initially with reduced hours, but as of June 15 are back to normal summer hours of being open daily from 10-5. They have some special scavenger hunts for kids, and the Museum Shop has a “Welcome Back Sale” until the end of June.
So what’s next for the Museum? Now that the doors are open, Parrish is looking towards the new normal and what that means for the organization. “We have done all sorts of digital programming the last couple of months, but we want to ensure that what we are doing moving forward aligns with people’s interests. We currently have a survey out to try and guage what kind of programming would allow us to continue to connect with the public and build the relationships that are now more important than ever. We can’t have our usual gatherings in the building, but we have full intention of engaging the community to the best of our abilities.”
To fill out the survey click here before June 24, or e-mail email@example.com. The survey should only take about 2 minutes and asks what kind of digital programming you have seen, what you have participated in, and what you would like to see more of.