After being closed since mid-March, the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is opening, by appointment, June 11. (GVMA photo)

North Okanagan museum dusts off for opening

Three-month COVID-19 closure comes to an end

Following three months of collecting dust, another local attraction is ready to open its doors.

The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is excited to begin the gradual process of welcoming members of the public back on site, starting with registered visits. Like much of the province, the GVMA has been closed to the public since mid-March. This resulted in reductions of work duties for all employees, including management.

“Despite this reduction we’ve continued to serve the community through a number of new initiatives,” executive director Steve Fleck said.

While the museum has been closed to the public, curator Cuyler Page has been working on a new permanent exhibit. Page conceived of and has begun construction a new Children’s Museum in the natural history area of the museum, building displays to explore the wonder of the natural world.

“Truly, it will be one of a kind,” said Fleck. “We’re so thankful for the financial support of the Friends of the Museum Society for their donation in 2017, which is being used to purchase building materials.”

Since the museum closure, the GVMA programming team has taken the lead role in the Regional District of the North Okanagan’s Isolate and Create project. Gwyneth Evans, Barbara Bell, and Laisha Rosnau created and manage www.okcreateonline.com. The website hosts and highlights arts and culture content and opportunities shared by other project partners in the North Okanagan.

READ MORE: North Okanagan gets creative with pet pics, foodie fun and more

“It helped us envision – in short order – new ways to provide content and material by connecting with visitors virtually,” program coordinator Rosnau said. “This experience has already had an impact on how we think about curating historical content and engaging people across through a variety of media.”

In addition to increased virtual content and online engagement, opportunities for public onsite visits will be gradually reintroduced.

“The first step is to open the archives for research appointments,” explains Fleck. “We know there are people in our community who depend on being able to access the wealth of historical information available through our archives.”

Beginning Thursday, June 11, the archives will be open by appointment by booking through mail@vernonmuseum.ca. For the month of June, the time slots available will be 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday mornings and 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. Appointments are first come, first serve, and will be, for the time being, limited to one visitor (or household) at a time.

“As staff return to some shifts in the building, we’ll be working together to ensure we can then open the museum to the public in some capacity as safely as possible,” said Fleck.

Once health and safety measures are in place, the GVMA will shift its previous drop-in visitation to having visitors make advanced bookings to visit the museum over the summer, or limiting the amount of visitors in the museum at any one time.

“Our hope is that these planned visits by individuals and families, in much smaller groups than our usual summer tours, will foster connection and discussion between staff and members of the public,” Fleck said.

A launch of the new GVMA website will coincide with the reopening so public be able to find out the hours, days, and public guidelines for the gradual re-opening process.

“We’re thankful to everyone that continues to engage our team, both online and as we move toward gradual reopening,” said Fleck. “You make us better.”

For more information on the hours and guidelines for access to the GVMA, visit www.vernonmuseum.com or mail@vernonmuseum.ca.

READ MORE: Okanagan film society screening for scholarships


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMuseum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Deer and moose die after being chased by dogs in Naramata

BC conservation officers are asking the public to control their pets

Two facing charges after RCMP search Penticton motel, find firearms, drug-trafficking related items

Samuel Prescott-Perreault, 32 years old, and 27-year-old Paige Rist are facing charges

Morning Start: There are over 200 dead bodies on Mount Everest

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Princeton ATV rider slapped with numerous charges after complaint of near miss on the KVR

‘I would never defend actions like that’ - Ed Vermette, Princeton ATV Club president

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

LETTER: Customer service builds strong support

Company showed positive attitude and swift response

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

COLUMN: Fiscal sticker shock

Deficit and debt increasing while Canada’s credit rating has been downgraded

Most Read