Sunday June 13, 2021 | SOOKE, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
This is the second summer within the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and throughout the various waves and phases the Sooke Region Museum has carried on.
The Sooke Night Market which has run on Thursday nights through the summer for several years now did of course see a cutback on the number of vendors and visitors in summer 2020. That was amidst the uncertainty of pulling out of the first wave, before even knowing if there would be a second wave.
Mostly food truck vendors set up on the grounds of the museum on Phillips Road last year. This year a few more vendors such as crafters will be there during the 5 to 8 pm weekly event in addition to about four or five food trucks, says museum organizer Bev Mars. Things will start to feel like they’re getting back to normal.
There will also be an opportunity for people to go inside the museum — with their masks on and maintaining physical distancing — to use the washrooms and maybe pause in the gift shop. Though locals should not linger to chat just yet, as the whole thing about not ‘sharing air’ during the pandemic is still wise to observe. In and out is good, and everyone is welcome to do that.
The gift shop which offers truly one of the most unique and varied array of local and regional creative merchandise did see a slow down in 2020, but this year orders have been put in to be fully stocked and ready to go for the summer, fall and Christmas seasons, says Bev.
She says that around now people are buying gifts for teachers and retiring principals, through the summer there’s souvenir shopping, in the fall and into November-December there’s Christmas gift shopping.
The indoor exhibits at the Sooke Region Museum have not been active during the pandemic. The annual summer BBQ (usually held at the end of June, including salmon cooked over a traditional First Nations fire) is also paused in 2021, as it was last year.
The upstairs gallery space is closed; the planned summer exhibit on the history of the arts in the region will not be presented this year.
Moss Cottage and the Triangle Island Lighthouse are not be open for tours at this time.
The grounds are open seven days a week during daylight hours only. There are a variety of outdoor exhibits that can be viewed safely.
Regular indoor hours & COVID protocols:
The Sooke Region Museum & Visitor Centre is open to the public with all current COVID-19 procedures in place. Physical barriers, social distancing and personal protective equipment are in place to protect visitors, volunteers and staff. The number of visitors in the museum building is limited to 12 people at a time.