When you have an exceptional story to tell, it’s important to start with a compelling beginning — something that draws people in and sets the stage for what’s to come. Professional museum designers describe this as the “arrival moment.”
That moment officially arrived at the Parksville Museum on Sept. 22, according to a news release by the museum. In celebration of the completion of the new open-air entrance pavilion and welcome exhibit, Mayor Ed Mayne and Susan Wismer, Parksville & District Historical Society (PDHS) president, cut a ceremonial ribbon.
A small gathering of the museum’s supporters, including donors, dignitaries and the tradespeople who worked on the project was also on hand.
A pre-existing museum shelter was repurposed to form the ‘bones’ of the entrance, according to the release. This allowed for an environmentally conscious design that is architecturally unique, old and new at the same time.
Photo and information panels line the structure and include acknowledgement and recognition of local First Nations. On arrival, visitors are welcomed and introduced to the story that is about to unfold as they explore the museum site.
“In addition to providing an ‘arrival moment’, the new entrance addresses a number of pressing issues that came to our attention in the past couple of years,” said Wismer. “First and foremost was safety and access for people of all abilities. Previously, pedestrians and vehicles had to share a roadway.”
Wismer also explained that with COVID-19 restrictions, many area residents were looking for outdoor activities. People who had never visited the museum discovered its family-friendly programs, such as the Sunday afternoon music series and Railway Day.
“People kept describing the museum as ‘a hidden treasure’ during the pandemic, but we don’t want to be hidden,” Wismer said. “We want everyone to find us. Our shared roots grew into the vibrant community we take pride in today.”
The Parksville Museum is located on the corner of Highway 19A and Northwest Bay Road. The new entrance and parking are on the NW Bay Road side, adjacent to the Parksville Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Centre. Now closed for the season, the grounds are open year-round for self-guided tour, according to the museum.
— NEWS Staff, submitted