Parksville Museum wants to know what the community needs in a museum and is asking for people to share their feedback via a short survey, found on their website.
Over the last few years, Parksville and District Historical Society has been working hard to revitalize the organization and establish itself as the primary steward for local history.
The biggest challenge to this goal has been finding a way to reintroduce themselves to the community so that everyone knows who they are and what they stand for.
The inception of the annual Friday night Farmers Market has helped accomplish their goal.
Since its start in 2013, the general attendance to the museum has increased by 450 per cent, and that has allowed the society to reach a much wider audience. With ongoing support from the city — council recently approved the society’s request to run the market again this year — the museum is gearing up for its third consecutive Farmers Market and wants to improve and expand on what it’s offering its patrons.
“Some might think that a museum hosting a farmers market is a little unconventional, but it’s been a wonderful way to create a stronger sense of community, whilst supporting our local food producers,” said museum manager Nikki Gervais.
“The market has really taught us that a museum can, and should, be a place where innovative ideas can live quite comfortably.”
Gervais and the society board are working on developing activities and events that will allow them to tell the district’s story in an engaging and entertaining way.
So far they’re working on developing a Blacksmithing Club, hosting traditional carving demonstrations and much more, but they soon realized that the best way to tell the story of a district was to reach out to the residents and get their feedback.
A survey was developed and shared throughout the community via the city website and various community organizations, and the society is hoping to get as many responses as possible.
“The three things we’re hoping to determine is what kind of activities and programming matters most to our community,” said Gervais.
“What kind of exhibitions really appeal to our regular visitors? And what would encourage a resident to take out a $10 membership and support the museum?”
The Society expects that the responses will provide valuable insight into the needs of the community when it comes to protecting local history, and how best to provide visitors with an engaging and entertaining experience.
“The more information we collect the better we can share our district’s fascinating history with residents and visitors alike, so please encourage local friends and family to take our survey!” Gervais said.
The survey will run until April 1 and is found on the museum website at www.parksvillemuseum.ca.
A summary of the results will be posted through social media and the museum website by the end of April.
— Submitted by Parksville Museum