The Parksville Museum was closed “indefinitely” and staff laid off Nov. 3. — Lauren Collins photo

Parksville Museum closes ‘indefinitely’

Funding shortfalls blamed for sudden staff layoffs

The Parksville and District Historical Society will host its annual general meeting this Saturday with a couple of burning issues to settle. Such as, when will the museum open again? And how will the society pay for its operation?

The society, which operates the Parksville Museum and archives, abruptly closed the facility on Nov. 3 and laid off its staff. The move followed an Oct. 24 meeting of the society’s executive.

“What we’ve done is we’ve basically reached a point in our budget where we can’t have staff at this point, while the museum is closed,” said David Haynes, current society board chair.

Haynes said decisions on the short- and long-term future of the museum will be made by the new board to be elected at Saturday’s 2 p.m. AGM in the museum’s Tryon Room.

“We want to have a fully operating museum; there’s no doubt about that,” said Haynes, who added that he will be stepping down as society president at the AGM.

The decision to close the museum and lay off staff met with strong disapproval from two members of the executive, Pippa Olivier and her daughter, Meryl Olivier, who did not attend the in camera meeting called at Serious Coffee in Parksville Oct. 24.

Haynes said he understood the two women were upset — “and justifiably so. We all are,” he added — but pointed out they did not show up at the meeting and hadn’t studied the budget as well as the attending members of the executive.

In an email, Pippa Olivier disputed the characterization that she chose not to attend the meeting, and said she was given conflicting descriptions of the gathering as either a budget meeting or a subcommittee meeting.

“I let him know I couldn’t attend due to work commitment,” Olivier wrote. “He knew that when he scheduled the meeting.”

Haynes said the motion to close the museum indefinitely came after the board members present reviewed a forensic budget audit indicating the museum was running a deficit roughly equal to the salaries paid to museum staff during last year’s “experimental” winter opening.

“Indefinitely is a deliberately chosen weasel-word,” Haynes said of the closure. “It could be three days, three months, three years. We don’t know. We have to restructure what’s going on with the museum. We couldn’t afford it.”

Saturday’s AGM at the museum is open to the public, and those interested in attending or signing up for membership are welcome to attend. The museum is at 1245 E. Island Hwy.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Infringing festival finds a way to dance during pandemic

Crimson Coast Dance Society holding drive-in, micro and physically distanced events July 10-19

Nanaimo sees Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic

Nexus Primary Care Clinic opened in late June in south end

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

Learning outside the classroom suits VIU’s carpentry program just fine

Vancouver Island University has partnered with KSG Consulting Ltd. to provide hands-on learning

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read