Skipsey to step down, replacement must love museums

Time to let someone else take the helm

Art Skipsey (right) is stepping down as president of the Qualicum Beach Museum

Art Skipsey (right) is stepping down as president of the Qualicum Beach Museum

After eight years at the helm, Qualicum Beach Museum president Art Skipsey is calling it quits.

The former mayor of Qualicum Beach said he plans to retire at the museum’s annual general meeting in October.

“It’s time to retire,” Skipsey said. “I guess at this stage it’s good to have somebody younger. I think that this is a challenging time and I have been through the same problems so many times I think it’s time somebody else had a crack at them.”

Besides, he added, his late wife, Cora, held the post for eight years prior to his tenure.

“We’ve been hogging the position,” he said. “It’s time to share it around.”

Skipsey said he plans to take a lesser role with the organization, likely as past president or possibly as a director.

“We need somebody else to deal with the challenges of the position and there are many, particularly at this time, when we trying to have a new building and we seem to be stalemated right now,” he said. “We have not been able to meet our objective and get general support. We started out realizing this was bigger than a museum project and had to be a community project and we’ve had trouble getting to that position.”

Over the past eight years, he said, the museum has grown tremendously, to the point where they have no option but to expand.

“We are a victim of our own success,” he said. “We can no longer continually take in all the artifacts unless we have new and bigger quarters.”

The biggest accomplishment of his tenure, he said, was the development of programs that exposed the museum to a wider audience.

“We found out we were invisible in the community and we got very much more engaged,” he said. “We are only open part time in the winter and the other day we had about 80 people come through. We’ve tripled our annual attendance.

Skipsey said the museum is looking for someone who is willing to devote the time necessary to build on that success, noting a snowbird who spends six months of the year down south likely wouldn’t fit the bill.

“We are looking for a person who is willing to add their time to the museum and that’s hard to find in this day and age,” he said. 

They also, he said, must have a love for museums, something he has always had and still has to this day.