By Brianna Shambrook
The Sooke Region Museum had a very exciting year with its collections and exhibits. In 2015, we had three new temporary exhibits and made big strides in getting our artifact and archive collection more organized.
We started out the new year with a continuation of our exhibit Accommodating the World. Then from March 28 to May 30 we hosted the ARTiFACTS show, which was organized by Linda Gordon and featured 15 local artists. Linda will be organizing the second annual ARTiFACTS show and it will open at the museum in mid-April.
The exhibit Fashion Files: Dressing Sooke featured the museum’s own textile collection and was displayed from June 28 to Sept. 20. This exhibit had approximately 800 visitors over the summer.
Currently on display is our exhibit presenting the unique metal sculptures created by late artist Jan Johnson. Tales of Woe and Whimsy opened Oct. 24 and will run until March 31. This exhibit has seen an exceptional number of visitors. Approximately 600 people have viewed the exhibit in less than two months. The museum gift shop is also selling photo prints featuring images of the sculptures.
In the 2015 calendar year, we acquired 33 new archive and artifact collections. Amongst these collections are 362 individual objects that our team carefully recorded, photographed and stored. The data for each of the 362 objects was then entered into our museum computer software, Past Perfect.
This year we made it our top priority to only accept objects that are related to the Sooke region and its residents. We want our entire collection to follow our policy as much as possible. Our current collections policy says we want, “to gather and preserve information, records and objects of educational, historical and cultural value associated with the area …” Making our collections more focused will cut back on the amount of storage we need and the number of hours we spend processing donations.
Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming projects. In 2016, our summer exhibit will focus on local agriculture and we will be hosting a travelling exhibit from the Canadian War Museum in the fall. We will also continue working away at inventorying and re-organizing our archive collection.
Brianna Shambrook is the collections and exhibits manager for Sooke Region Museum.