Sidney Museum located in the old Post Office building could be charging admission. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney museum could start charging admission

Executive director Peter Garnham raises possibility during presentation before council

The museum serving Sidney and North Saanich could start charging admission if local municipal officials do not support its operations with additional funding.

The public heard that possibility earlier this month when officials from the Sidney Museum and Archives appeared before Sidney councillors to update them on activities during committee-of-the-whole. Access to the museum is currently by donation. Current projections show $40,000 in donations by the end of 2019. The museum’s operating budget through the end of 2019 is $157,000 (inclusive anticipated grants) with $87,000 coming from Sidney and $10,000 from North Saanich.

Peter Garnham, executive director, said the museum will ask both Sidney and North Saanich for $20,000 each to hire a full-time staff, would work as an assistant archivist and education programming. Garnham said this addition would allow him and his assistant director Alyssa Gerwing to spend more of their time on revenue-generating tasks such as grant writing and the striking of sponsorship agreements.

If the museum would receive only $20,000 from either Sidney or North Saanich, the museum would fall back to a part-time staff, he said.

RELATED: Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

“And then if we get nothing, we would consider charging admission, which of course does have a negative side to it,” he said. “We have always been reluctant to do it, but it is a consideration, and it is possible,” he said. “We would essentially dial back a bit back on what we are trying to do, because at the moment, Alyssa and I often are working well into the evening to get everything done. It’s not overtime. It’s more volunteer work. We would be able to continue with some of it, but to maintain the pace that we are doing would be a real challenge.”

Gerwing said later that charging admission could create a barrier for low-income families to access the museum, which has considered charging admission in the past. “But it is not something that we would undertake lightly, just because of barriers to admission,” she said.

The public had also heard earlier from Garnham that the museum has been reluctant to charge admission for fear of losing funding.

“If we started charging admission to get that extra revenue, then the funding we get from both you and North Saanich might be scaled back,” he said. “It is one of the possibilities that could happen. We don’t know that it would happen.”

Garnham said an internal survey of all museums in British Columbia found no prevailing funding model.

“Some of them are going to [charging] admission,” he said. “A lot of them are going from [charging] admission back to donations, and a number are staying with just donations,” he said.

RELATED: Sidney Museum brings back Lego Exhibition bigger than ever

Sidney councillors for their part appeared to open learn more about the funding request by forwarding it to budget deliberations.

The public had heard earlier that the museum plans to digitize its collection, present more travelling exhibits, create new and expand existing programming for all age groups, and work more with local First Nations among other projects.

The museum is currently exhibition on Chief Dan George until the end of the month, which has drawn more than 2,000 visitors so far. This said, one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal figures, has proven no match for the power of LEGO. An exhibition running from early January to the end of March drew more than 12,000 visitors.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Oak Bay United preparing entirely new development application

Three scenarios being considered for Granite Street redesign

Reynolds Secondary principal pens letter to parents after student involved in fatal crash

Various supports available to students, staff and community

Latin American film fest celebrates 10 years of storytelling on screen

Festival runs Sept. 17-22, features works from Mexico, Paraguay, Argentina, Peru and Spain

Victoria police arrest man at gunpoint for allegedly assaulting two people with a knife

The man was arrested Monday night after in incident in the 900-block of Pandora Ave.

Sidney’s Star Cinema puts on the ritz for Downton Abbey

Special screening of the aristocractic period piece marks theatre’s 21st anniversary

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Most Read