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Summer students create special clothing exhibit at Parksville museum

Details history of families from the 1800s
Sarah Mar and Natalie Klassen-Chequer with the Parksville Museum exhibit they designed. (Michael Briones photo)

The Parksville Museum is telling history through a new medium this summer – clothing.

It’s all thanks to two summer student workers, Sarah Mar and Natalie Klassen-Cheque, who had the idea to create a clothing exhibit that represented different periods of history through garments. There’s a variety of items that span from the mid-1800s to 1950.

“The exhibit is basically the history of Parksville through clothing, so it’s showing different eras of clothing throughout the years that we’ve had in the Parksville museum archives,” said Mar, a Grade 12 student at Ballenas Secondary School. “A lot of the pieces are actually from pioneer families from the region.”

READ MORE: ‘You’re sitting here looking at history’: Parksville Museum opens June 20

Third-year UVIC student Klassen-Cheque said they chose the items based on what piqued their interest. The pair both love period dramas, a big inspiration for them both wanting to create the exhibit, and worked with archivists at the museum to find the right fit for the time periods.

“We went through with that kind of in mind, and there’s a lot of stuff in there that we could have used, but was not properly stored and stuff like that, so we tried to pick stuff that we thought would be safe to be out in the open,” she said. “It was definitely eye-opening… to see the stuff actually authentic to the time period, like a beautiful 1913 dress or something like that, or a 1920s flapper dress that’s in immaculate condition.”

The by-donation museum is open from Thursday to Sunday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at 1245 East Island Highway in Parksville. They are hosting outdoor, socially distant concerts every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. More information can be found at

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