The Fernie Museum is open once again, following a four month hiatus. File Photo

The Fernie Museum reopens its doors to the public

Among changes, the Fernie and District Historical Society is also forming a new restart committee

Submitted by Rebecca Hall

The Fernie Museum has finally reopened following a near-four month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Museum staff member Rebecca Hall said the community reaction to the re-opening had been fantastic.

“We’ve had many locals dropping by to say hello, and we saw over 200 people visit the museum over the long weekend. Visitors were very understanding about the necessary occupancy restrictions and were also very generous with their donations,” she said.

”Looking out onto Second Avenue, it is wonderful to see our downtown vibrant once again, with people enjoying the patios and stores. We are doing everything we can to offer a safe attraction to our visitors and local residents, and somewhere to escape from the heat for a few minutes.”

The museum identified a significant debt load this year and will be undergoing restructuring over the coming months. An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) was held on July 22 to inform the membership and partner organizations of the scope of the problem. The community has shown a great deal of interest in supporting the Fernie and District Historical Society (F&DHS) as it works toward a resolution and more stable future.

“We are ardent supporters of the Fernie Museum,” said Gordon Sombrowski, director of the IGS Group of Companies. “It is an important part of our tourism strategy and a key component of the heritage strategy. The museum and archives are critical to preserving our past and conserving our present so that we can learn today and in the future!”

The F&DHS’s annual general meeting (AGM) will be held on August 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fernie Archives Centre. The meeting will take the same form as the EGM, with a limited number of people able to attend in person, and additional guests able to attend by Zoom. Members will be advised of voting procedures prior to the meeting.

The society is currently seeking expressions of interest in a restart committee to be formed immediately to discuss necessary actions to be taken in the short term. The committee will be lead by Kevin Allen, a community volunteer.

The society is also seeking expressions of interest for the board of directors. A full slate of new directors will be elected at the AGM for a two year term. Interested parties may sit on the committee, or board, or both. Directors must be a member of the F&DHS. It is important that future directors understand the scope of the role and are ready to do the work involved in establishing a solid new future for the organization.

The Museum will be open through the late summer and fall from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Thursday to Sunday. The museum will also be open on September 7 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is by donation.

For questions or to express your interest in the committee or board, please email info@ferniemuseum.com.

Membership renewals are currently being accepted and can be purchased at the Museum or online at Fernie-museum.square.site/product/2020-memberships/82?cs=true.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

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