Sidney Museum and Archives, located in Sidney’s historic post office, has closed for three months over the summer. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney Museum and Archives, located in Sidney’s historic post office, has closed for three months over the summer. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney Museum and Archives’ three-month renovation closure starts June 1

Facility has five months to reach donation goal of $25,000; nearly $15,00 raised so far

Renovations will see the Sidney Museum and Archives close for three months.

The closure takes effect June 1. The renovations, funded by Heritage B.C. will see a refurbishing of the floors of the facility, located in the basement and lower basement floors of the heritage-designated Old Post Office Building on Beacon Avenue.

The Sidney and Museum Archives Society has also requested permission to move the museum’s existing office, and to create additional collections storage in steps designed to improve the visitor experience and accessibility. An approved building permit is required.

The work is the latest project at the facility, which council museum society representative Coun. Scott Garnett said was in a strong financial position.

“They have accumulated 59 per cent, or $14,727.52 of their donation goal of $25,000 for 2021,” he said. The coming closure means that the museum has five months to make up the rest, he added. “Hopefully, they will be able to get there.”

RELATED: Sidney Museum and Archives names gallery after long-time executive director

According to Garnett, the average donation per visitor is $5.85, up significantly from 2019, when the figure was $1.99. The museum had hoped that number would be a little higher based on the decision to extend the popular LEGO display until the end of May.

“But the imposed (COVID-19) circuit breaker is believed to have impacted the numbers in a negative trajectory,” he said.

Museum visitors numbers for April 2021 (560) are comparable to April 2019, when 668 people visited, but are dramatically lower overall for the year, Garnett said. Whereas the museum had received 3,365 visitors through 2021 at last count, it had received 13,168 during the same period in 2019, he said.

Despite the lower numbers, the museum remains in a strong position, he said.

RELATED: Alyssa Gerwing to become new executive director of Sidney Museum and Archives

Garnett also used the occasion to praise museum executive director Alyssa Gerwing, who was among 190 individuals asked to attend a conference on the future of museums by the Canadian Museums Association.

“This is both an incredible opportunity and honour … to have been invited, and speaks to our community’s good fortune of someone running our local museum that is held in such high esteem by the profession.”

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