Nanaimo Museum is reopening with limited hours starting Thursday, June 18, and admission will be free, thanks to a donation from a local supporter that will cover the cost of admission fees until mid September. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo Museum reopening this week with limited hours, free admission

Donation from local supporter will cover museum admission fees throughout summer

As the province loosens up on COVID-19 restrictions, Nanaimo Museum will welcome visitors once more, with limited hours starting Thursday, June 18.

The museum’s gift shop will be open with COVID-19 precautions in place and visitors will be able to go on guided museum tours. Sophia Maher, Nanaimo Museum general manager, said the first week, the museum will be open noon-3 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Maher said she will likely host the museum’s first guided visit Thursday, which will require pre-registration.

Hosted visits will be less formal than guided tours and is a function the museum wants to have in place as hours are expanded throughout the summer.

“We’re going to have this hosted experience in the mornings when we’re open full time,” Maher said.

Opening hours will keep stretching as the weeks progress progress. Starting June 25, the museum will be open 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. Self-guided visits will begin that day, though registration will still be required. The noon cannon firings outside the Bastion will start June 26.

Thanks to a donation from local museum supporter David Stanley, those who want to visit Nanaimo Museum won’t have to pay admission fees throughout the summer months. The amount of the donation, which hasn’t been made public, was based on the admissions revenue received by the museum throughout summer 2019.

“So any visits this summer when you come to the museum, whether it’s a hosted experience or self-guided, will be free because of this generous donation,” Maher said.

Stanley, who will be on the hosted tour Thursday, June 18, said he is a big supporter of museums and visits them every place he travels.

“I thought the city’s trying to open up and people don’t have a lot of travel alternatives at this time … I thought maybe if they open the museum, people who are having cabin fever in Nanaimo can go down and at least visit the museum for the first time…” Stanley said. “I love museums and when I visit a place the local museums are the first place I go. I always research the museums in all the places I’m going and I do my level best to visit them.”

To learn more about Nanaimo Museum opening hours and current programs and exhibits, visit
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