The Qualicum Beach Museum will wrap up work on the first phase of major ongoing renovation work in time to open in May.
“This is the first step in a significant investment over a five year plan to refresh the interior,” said Wendy Maurer, president of the Qualicum Beach Historical and Museum Society.
She said they know what the end product will look like in five years, but haven’t scheduled out exactly what will happen when, with a lot of it depending on when they get the funding.
“This winter we focused on the infrastructure,” she said of things like a fancier new entrance and opening up the interior space removing some walls.
The new entrance includes a glass door etched by Bowser glass artist Paul Crawford depicting the importance of the local ecosystem with sea life, mountains and a dog salmon, which is where the name Qualicum comes from.
There is a new post and beam portico at the main entrance with wood donated by Chris Berndt.
Inside they have moved the office from the front to the back corner, opening up an entry way and more retail space. They removed part of the wall beside the stairs brining in more light from the windows and took out the wall that used to divide the upstairs in two.
The goal next year is to move the palaeontology exhibit upstairs, giving more room for social history on the more accessible ground floor, though Maurer said they are committed to keeping the chair lift on the stairs.
She said they are still in the process of big picture thinking and continuing with the extensive community consultation on how best to serve their community.