Like many organizations around town, the Maritime Heritage Centre (MHC) is coming out of the pandemic with a big release of pent up energy.
“Everyone’s just got this renewed drive,” said Erika Anderson, the MHC’s still-relatively-new executive director. “Everybody’s really enthusiastic and optimistic about the future right now.”
Because the centre is dependent on rentals, the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll.
“The centre had a really hard time during the pandemic because they are so dependent on rentals,” Anderson said.
But it’s bouncing back strong and taking some time to examine its mission and say, “Okay, are we doing what we want to be doing?” Anderson said.
The centre has reached out to the community looking to collaborate with other organizations to work on projects. And the response has been positive.
“I’ve just been finding, the more I talk to people in the community and the more groups I partner with, the more are coming to us,” Anderson said.
And besides partnering with other community organizations, the centre has built up its programming. There are school programs, senior programs and you can’t ignore the hugely successful knot-tying workshops.
And there’s more to come..
“We’ve been working with the aquarium really closely to work on Ocean Week in Campbell River,” Anderson said. “So there should be announcements around that pretty soon.”
The MHC is also going to be hosting a Destination Campbell River tourist information pop-up site during the summer.
Another big project this summer pertains to its mission to collect and preserve the area’s marine heritage. The MHC has been funded for a student this summer who is going to work recording and editing videos of some of the oldtimers who have stories about the restored BCP 45, the fishing vessel that is the centre’s signal exhibit.
“So that’s huge. That’s really exciting that we’ve got that project which is going to be launched this summer so we can start to make sure we don’t lose some of those stories that some of these people have,” Anderson said.
There will be a lot of effort made on the educational side of things and the interaction with the heritage of the artifacts in the centre. Related to that is the need for more volunteers, notably tour guides, greeters and security as well as maintenance people.
“So, we’re looking for volunteers because we’re trying to do a lot of things and a there’s a lot of projects in the works,” Anderson said.
If you’re interested in helping out, contact the MHC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-286-3161.