Qualicum Beach Museum manager Netanja Waddell and vice president of the board, Norm Whiteford, stand in front of part of the museum’s paleontology exhibit, which the museum hopes to build new cases for and move upstairs. To accomplish this and several other projects, the museum is looking for a fundraising volunteer. — Adam Kveton

QB Museum look to build new digs for old bones

Staff, board hope to continue revamp momentum by finding fundraising volunteer

If you have a knack for raising money, the Qualicum Beach Museum has a volunteer position just for you.

It’s been a busy few years for the museum, which is in the midst of a multi-year plan to revitalize the space.

The effort has already paid dividends, with museum stats showing admission and sales have doubled compared to five years ago, museum manager Netanja Waddell said.

But to keep momentum, the museum is in need of a volunteer to lead fundraising efforts as larger projects loom.

“People that have been in here, say, four or five years ago but not since, will notice a lot of improvements. But we still have a long way to go to realize our ultimate goals,” said Norm Whiteford, vice-president of the museum’s board.

He said the museum isn’t in need of funds for day-to-day activities, but some of the upcoming pieces of the five-phase plan will require “bigger pieces of funding.”

Perhaps the largest undertaking is the revamp of the paleontology exhibit — one of the museum’s three main offerings — in addition to the social history section and First Nations focus. The plan is to move the paleontology exhibit upstairs, build new cases and arrange the exhibit based on the time period the pieces are from.

“Some of the initial work will be, we’ll say, north of $100,000,” said Whiteford.

And while the museum has been successful in securing a number of grants, with more opportunities coming up, many of those require that the museum comes up with matching funds, or more funds than the grant is worth, he said.

“For a small operation like this to come up with $50,000, as an example, to go ahead with a project to get matching funds, is a challenge,” said Whiteford.

The museum currently has more than 20 weekly volunteers, with many more taking part less frequently, said Waddell.

With two part-time employees, volunteers are a very important part of the equation.

“We wouldn’t be able to run at all without volunteers,” said Whiteford. “Not a chance.”

The push for a revitalization began about four years ago, with a consulting company out of Victoria being hired to study the museum and come up with a game plan to revamp it.

Since then, work has been completed on the interior of the main building, especially in opening up the front entrance and creating a gift shop.

Old school gym doors were also replaced with new ones, featuring glass with etched designs of the local ecosystem by Bowser artist Paul Crawford.

The chain-link fencing around the site was also replaced, and a post-and-beam portico was built at the main entrance, all of which helped to get away from the “penitentiary” feel that it had, said Waddell. “It was not an inviting place.”

The museum has also worked on improving its relations with larger museums, as well as with the Qualicum First Nation.

The latter effort was pushed ahead by summer student and Qualicum First Nation member Jesse Recalma, said Waddell.

The museum and the Qualicum Nation developed an agreement on returning cultural belongings. Now, if the museum has a piece from a first nation culture, the museum asks what the nation would like to do with the piece – take it back or let the museum display it with the understanding that the band can take it back when it wishes.

The Qualicum Nation helped the museum to refurbish a totem pole carved by Simon Charlie of the Coast Salish Nation in 1966, and which was installed on the museum’s grounds last summer, said Whiteford.

“We’re really happy about our evolving, developing relationship with the Qualicum First Nation,” he said. “It’s a long-term effort to establish trust and respect.”

Just Posted

RDN seeks guidance for Area F projects

Five-year Project Plan to be updated

UPDATED: Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

RDN to create conceptual designs for fire halls

Committee endorses standardization design of buildings

UPDATE: Oceanside RCMP say teen has been located

Police asked for public assistance last week while looking for Isaiah Taylor

VIDEO: Seaside Cruizers Show and Shine in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Hot rods, American muscle and more featured June 15-17

Coastal Community expands wealth services presence in Qualicum Beach

New offices are located in heart of Qualicum Beach’s business district

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Most Read