A recent McDonald’s radio ad campaign, which implied that $5 is better spent on a hamburger than on a visit to the Museum, struck a chord in the museum community last week. A rally of protest from provincial and federal museums and museum associations resulted in the ad being pulled by McDonald’s one day after the ad was released on the airwaves.
So, what can your $5 get you at your local Sunshine Coast Museums?
The Sunshine Coast has a collective wealth of historical information held in its four Museums – the Powell River Historical Museum & Archives, Egmont Heritage Centre, Tems Swiya Museum (in Sechelt), and the Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives (in Gibsons). Also worth noting are the rich archival collections of the Sechelt Community Archives and the Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society.
All four of the museums on the Sunshine Coast are accessible by donation; your $5 goes a long way here. Collectively, these institutions provide permanent and temporary exhibits on such topics as the life and culture of local First Nations communities, histories of pioneer settlement, logging, fishing and maritime histories, the history of local music and culture, and wartime history.
But like most of today’s museums, your local museums are more than cabinets of curiosities, we are active participants in the community. We provide walking tours, workshops (such as Coast Salish weaving and basket making), fun and educational activities at festivals, and host seasonal events (such as the Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives’ annual Haunted House) – all of which are either free of charge, by donation, or for a low fee. We also work with school groups, providing class tours of our exhibits and/or developing programming alongside teachers to provide museum school programs. We also host events and develop temporary exhibits on contemporary topics – to get the brain juices flowing and promote community dialogue on hot topics – such as the SCMA’s feature exhibit on the idea of a “Fixed Link” to the Sunshine Coast. Your $5 goes a long way to help support these programs within your community.
If you haven’t visited your local museum, or it has been awhile, stop in and see what’s new. It’s a great way to nourish your brain and connect with your community.