Parksville Museum society board inherits financial shortfall

New executive sworn in during contentious AGM

Making the Parksville Museum financially viable will be the biggest challenge of the new Parksville and District Historical Society board.

Taking over the helm as the society new president is Margot Banks, who, as the treasurer, relayed the bad news about the society’s dwindling finances to concerned members at its annual general meeting, held at the museum on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Tension was high at the meeting, with some members upset and disappointed over the indefinite closure of the museum and termination of staff on November 3. There were multiple questions raised over the decision and also the actual finances of the society, which operates the Parksville Museum.

Prior to stepping down as president, David Haynes explained why the decision was made. He stressed the society was operating way beyond its means. Revenues were down and were not enough to cover the salaries of the two full-time staff.

“At this point we just needed to stop the salaries so we could stop the bleeding for a short time,” said Haynes, who added that the board members who attended an Oct. 24 meeting debated the decision at length and that it was not an easy one to make.

“We need a better way to attract people to the museum as this model is not sustainable as it is,” he explained. “Hence, we are restructuring. The new board will determine how to do this. We, as a board, are unhappy about this. But it is our responsibility to look at the whole picture for the museum. The facilities (and) finance are paramount and we will not be able to reopen if we continue as we were going with employees at this time. We fully expect to have employees in the future.”

The museum’s income this year totalled $86,607, with 55 per cent of the funds coming from grants and fundraising efforts. Income from rentals, admissions, tours and the gift shop represent only 25 per cent of the total revenue. Salaries for the employees amounted to $102,848 and make up the bulk of the society’s total expenditures of $189,220.

“We need to find ways to substantially increase the revenue for more operations,” said Banks, who pointed out that for every dollar the museum brings in, it spends twice that amount. “We have a great museum here. We have a lot to offer people. We have a lot of plans and things to offer the people. So we need to keep moving forward on that.”

The society still has more than $600,000 in its coffers from a large bequest received nearly a decade ago, but that total has dwindled from nearly $1.5 million in 2012, as reported during that year’s society AGM. Banks said the society cannot continue to raid that account to pay for any shortfalls in its finances as it will lead to the permanent closure of the museum.

Banks was nominated to take over as president and she won by acclimation. She indicated that she is committed to making the museum a profitable operation. It will require major fundraisers and grants amounting to around $100,000.

“I absolutely want this museum to move forward for as many years as it possibly can,” said Banks. “We need to preserve that legacy money to do so. That’s my only job. I don’t know about artifacts and exhibits but I know how to run a business and I want this business to last.”

The new board now consists of vice-presidents, Jessica Aebig and Andre Pahl, secretary Mary Ellen Campbell, treasurer Peter Kawerau, and trustees Brian Taylor (for a two-year term) and Vivian Laniel (for one year).

For story tips: michael.briones@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Oceanside RCMP: ‘Steal from cars, go behind bars’

Man in custody after pair of vehicles broken into in French Creek; officer breaks ankle during arrest

Large ‘problematic’ tree removed from Qualicum Beach golf course

Lombardy Poplar tree taken down by town, member upset

RDN to share cost of Parksville’s goose harvest

City asked regional district to pay one-third of $35K expense

SD69 students set new mark at Skills BC event

Three elementary schools reach medal podium

Parksville’s Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor celebrate 50 years

Week of ‘60s-themed activities starts on April 26

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read