The Sooke Region Museum is reopening to the public on Monday, after being closed since mid March.
The new hours will be slightly reduced, as the museum will be open Monday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lee Boyko, the museum’s executive director, said the reduced hours will allow staff to do deep cleaning. A variety of sneeze guards have been placed throughout.
Boyko saidthe flow through the exhibits has changed so people move in one direction.
“Fortunately a lot of our exhibits are outside, so that will be helpful,” said Boyko, noting the museum will only allow 15 people inside at a time. “We want to provide a safe environment for visitors, staff and volunteers.”
There will be no summer gallery, programs, or camps running in the foreseeable future, but Boyko said they are planning to have a scaled back version of a night market in coming weeks.
“We are hoping to open the night market on July 2, but there is still some planning that needs to happen,” said Boyko. He said residents can expect a reduced number of vendors, local produce, and potentially food trucks at the night market.
Boyko anticipates a busy summer, regardless of the circumstances, and predicts a higher percentage of B.C. residents to come through for a visit. In the fall, the museum will look at hosting more workshops and programs again.
The museum’s focus has been building more of an online presence, by hosting trivia over the past couple of months, as well as launching an online photo archive. Boyko hopes to start putting more exhibits up online as well.
The photo archive project has been in the works since 2015, and curator Montana Stanley said she’s still working on the design of it, and is adding photos every week. So far there are about 2,696 photos on the online archive.
“We hope to see people back at the museum, and we are looking forward to serving the public again,” said Boyko.