The HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM) summer exhibit “THEIR FINEST HOUR-Stories of the Second World War” can be seen at 625 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. Photo supplied.

HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial redesigns summer exhibit to accommodate social distancing

The HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM) has finally reopened to the public on June 1, 2020, after being closed due to Covid-19 response.

Due to the cancellation of local Canada Day events (and in particular the parade), HAMM redesigned its summer exhibit “THEIR FINEST HOUR-Stories of the Second World War” so that the entire facility can be experienced while still practising social distancing.

In addition to subtle changes made at its memorial, HAMM has teamed up with The Dominion History Project to present “Mask-arade Week,” to celebrate Canada Day and our nation’s history. The Dominion History Project was founded in 2002 as a Canada Day event that has interactive displays regarding Canadian culture, history, heritage, and fun facts. DHP was a feature attraction in the Courtenay Canada Day festival for several years, ending in 2010 when DHP was commissioned to attend other Canada Day events on the Island. Visitors will be required to use hand sanitizers before and after using the interactive displays.

HAMM has scheduled special hours for Canada Day Week to allow more flexibility for families to experience this highly unusual Canada Day 2020. The museum and exhibits will be open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. beginning Sunday, June 28 and ending July 4. To provide visitors with health concerns a way to safely visit HAMM on Canada Day, there will be a special two hour Mask-arade from 8-10 a.m. before the general public will be allowed into the main facility. It is suggested that families interested in visiting during this two-hour period call ahead with any special needs.

Being a “mask-arade” HAMM will require all visitors to have mouth/nose coverings of their own and ready to put on if others outside your family circle are present. Canada Day flags, paper crane folding, and other fun things will be available for free at the front desk, as well as disposable masks for visitors who forget to bring their own.

Another interesting feature at the museum is a new Hiroshima display model of the Genbaku Dome (Hiroshima Peace Memorial) made from recycled paper cranes folded by visitors to the Hiroshima Peace Centre.

HAMM has recently received a donation of 1,000 miniature folded cranes, from an American in California, who had heard about the HAMM display and wanted to contribute.

There is no admission to HAMM, though during these difficult times, donations are very welcomed.

For more information you can visit http://www.alberniproject.org, phone 250-897-4611, or visit HAMM at 625 Cliffe Avenue.

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HAMM has recently received a donation of 1,000 miniature folded cranes, to complement the Hiroshima display model of the Genbaku Dome. Photo supplied

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