Running a visitor-oriented public museum during a pandemic has been a difficult chore for the people who promote and preserve B.C.’s maritime heritage and culture.
Admissions, donations and government grants have traditionally kept the Maritime Museum of B.C. afloat, but the pandemic has made things increasingly tough. They’re open Fridays only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment only, and have been running their unique Nautical Nights and Tea and Talks ticketed programs, and various children’s, youth and adult programs online.
“While we’re all very excited to turn a new leaf and welcome 2021, we know this year will bring its own challenges. Emergency government funding will end this year and we are still a way off from resuming normal operations and re-opening our traditional revenue streams,” museum associate director Brittany Vis said in a release.
To boost operational funding, the museum’s Float the Boat campaign is accepting donations now through March 31. The fundraising goal of $25,000 aims to help run the variety of programs offered by the museum.
With donations already coming in, staff are periodically filling a tank with water at the museum to indicate the campaign’s progress. Potential donors can visit mmbc.bc.ca/float-the-boat.
While work on the Pacific Maritime Centre project in Langford has been slowed somewhat by the pandemic restrictions, the plan remains to ultimately move the Maritime Museum of B.C., currently on Humboldt Street, and its sizable collection there, Vis said.