The New Westminster Museum may have had to close its doors temporarily because of COVID-19 but it’s gearing up for a busy fall with online and in-person offerings.
Along with other civic facilities, the museum closed in March in an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. On Sept. 2, it reopened its doors to the public with new visiting procedures and physical distancing measures.
Community members can visit the museum and the archives in Anvil Centre Wednesday to Sunday, with the first entry time being at 9:50 a.m. and the final visit beginning at 3:50 p.m. Visitors can visit the museum at no charge on a timed-entry basis after pre-booking a ticket online at booking.nwmuseumarchives.com.
“To maintain visitor and staff safety, only six people per bubble can enter at a time,” said a press release from the city. “The museum now has a one-route through most parts of the gallery, directional signage and cleaning each hour. For the safety of our staff and guests, visitors over the age of two are required to wear face masks and use hand sanitizer while inside the museum and Anvil Centre.”
The archives space is also open, and anyone wanting to do in-person research is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org to get details about its new visiting procedures and to book an appointment.
Visiting the museum is just one way to take advantage of its offerings, as a number of online and registered programs are being offered this fall for folks of all ages.
In Virtual Story Gathering, people from a broad base of different backgrounds will be invited to come together to listen to stories and then share their experiences of the pandemic through a recorded Zoom-based interview. Sessions are taking place on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 1 to 2 p.m. and on Monday, Oct. 19 from 6 to 7 p.m.; register by emailing email@example.com.
A Photographic Tour of Post-War New Westminster gives community members a chance to join archives registrar Allan Blair on a virtual tour of two photography collections from the archives that highlight favourite images from Frank Goodship and the Croton Studios. Croton Studios operated for decades as commercial and documentary photographers, while Goodship spent five years working as a photojournalist in New Westminster.
According to a press release from the museum, Blair has viewed every one of about 20,000 of these post-war images as he digitized and conserved them during the last 23 years. A Photographic Tour of Post-War New West is taking place on Sunday, Sept. 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. and on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 6 to 7 p.m.; register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Westminster Museum is still reaching out to community members from different backgrounds who may have a story to share about the city’s COVID experience. Via an interview on Zoom, it’s making audio and video recordings of people’s experiences during the pandemic.
“New Westminster residents have already shared stories about running a sushi restaurant during the pandemic, making friends during the 7 p.m. cheer and writing group novels,” said the press release.
If you have a story to share about the COVID experience in New West, contact the museum at 604-527-4640 or email museum curator Oana Capota at email@example.com. More information about the project can be found at www.nwmuseumarchives.ca, under Covid-19 Historical Documentation.
The New Westminster Museum and Archives is also continuing to offer digital versions of its most popular school programs. Teachers and home learners can download the free programs at www.nwmuseumarchives.ca.
*Mobile Museum, which is for students in Kindergarten to Grade 5, includes activities that have been inspired by artifacts.
*First People of the Northwest Coast, which is for Grade 4 to 8 students, is an interactive program designed to educate students using resources made available by local Indigenous people and the museum. Through this program, students will be able to try traditional foods, create and visit Coast Salish art and design, and listen to stories that help people to think about the changes brought on by colonization.
For more information about the New Westminster Museum call 604-527-4640 or go to nwmuseumarchives.ca.