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.

Just Posted

Nanaimo Fire Rescue lauds boys after rescue from cliffs

Nanaimo firefighters responded to call near Departure Bay Road Saturday afternoon

Coins converted to Christmas toys

Coins for Kids raising cash for Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, Boys and Girls Clubs

Nanaimo mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Lantzville, Snaw-Naw-As asking for lower speed limit on Island Highway

Safety concerns cited by municipal council and band council

UPDATED: Transportation Safety Board finishes work at plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Apartment residents evacuated due to fire near downtown Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to structure fire on Prideaux Street around 1 p.m.

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Beefs & Bouquets, Dec. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read