The Quesnel Museum will remain closed for the remainder of 2020 in order to facilitate the Museum and Visitor Centre renovation project.
The decision to keep the museum closed for the rest of the year was made by the Quesnel City Council during a council meeting on Tuesday, May 27.
The museum had already been closed to the public in mid March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and council agreed unanimously to the recommendation provided in a report by Quesnel Director of Community Services Jeff Norburn, that keeping it closed and moving forward with the renovation at this time was the best course of action.
The report noted that during the renovation project the Quesnel Visitor Centre, which shares a space with the museum, will need to be relocated if it is to continue to serve residents and visitors to the city and that the Billy Barker Day office in Lebordais Park would be an ideal location as it would not require the City to alter any signage directing patron to the visitors centre.
The Billy Barker Day office space is available as the annual festival has been cancelled for 2020 and the Billy Barker Days Society have requested that the City pay $200 per month in rent to use the space.
Council unanimously agreed to negotiation and enter into a month to month agreement with the Billy Barker Days Society to use the their office as a temporary visitor centre.
Council also agreed to apply to the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for eligible expenses up to 50 per cent of the $1.4 million Museum and Visitor Centre Renovation project. The cost of the renovation project was included in the 2020 capital budget and received funding from the Northern Development Initiative Trust, gas tax, and the Capital Reinvestment Plan. Therefore, any grant money received from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, which could be approximately $450,000 to $500,000, would reduce the amount of funding taken from the gas tax or the Capital Reinvestment Plan towards the project.