These have certainly been extraordinary times for everyone, and like other organizations on the Island, the Gabriola Museum has been closed to volunteers except by appointment since mid-March. However, the museum board and committees have still been working virtually behind the scenes, exploring how the museum can continue to offer programs and activities relevant to our community yet feasible and safe given the current and evolving public health and governmental guidelines.

Celebrating the museum’s 25th anniversary – as well as acknowledging Canada Day and National Indigenous Peoples Day, both popular community events at the museum – are also on the agenda in the months ahead. As of May 6, Premier John Horgan, BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and BC Minister of Health Adrian Dix have given the green light to permit BC museums to open soon, albeit while respecting restrictions on large gatherings and physical distancing guidelines. What that will look like for Gabriola Museum is still to be determined, but what is certain is that the museum will remain strongly connected with the island community over the summer. One project is a series of Sounder articles, called The People of Gabriola, which aims to highlight the historical aspect of various island groups such as the BC Ambulance Service, island medical services, the fire department, as well as settler and Indigenous histories.

Unfortunately, the museum’s traditional Opening Day event for the community this May long weekend has been cancelled. This has also been the traditional seasonal opening of our Museum Gift Shop, which is an important source of financial support for the museum in addition to donations for admission. The Museum Gift Shop also supports our island’s local artisans as a consignment venue to market their work. However, like other museums, Gabriola Museum has been working on what can be done virtually, through our website and other social media. As a result, the museum is formally launching its online gift shop on Sunday, May 17, 2020. This date would have been museum’s Opening Day for 2020 and the launch of the museum’s 25th Anniversary celebrations for the community.

Please check out the new online gift shop and support the museum by making a purchase; perhaps a thank you gift for a frontline or health-care worker who is helping to keep you and all the community safe and healthy. Or donate on their behalf to the museum to help support museum operations and programs. Here’s how you can support the museum and its work:

  • Become a recurring donor online through the website Canada Helps
  • Make a one-time donation through Canada Helps or by sending a cheque in the mail to: Box 213, 505 South Road, Gabriola, BC, V0R 1X0

Thank you, Gabriola, we are all in this together!