Sidney museum reaches out

Success of Family Day Lego event prompts partnerships

The Sidney Museum and Archives wants to play a larger role in the community and met with local stakeholders Saturday, May 4 to begin work on coordinating their efforts with others on the Peninsula.

Society president Peter Wainwright says the museum saw success with its Family Day Lego event this year — so much so that it surprised a lot of people, including them.

“The unexpected success of it surprised people,” he said. “Some just weren’t prepared for the turnout of people. There were opportunities missed in closed stores and not enough staff on hand at some businesses. Even the museum had a large lineup and people went elsewhere.

“We expect we can do better.”

What would have made things better, Wainwright said, was more communication and planning from the get-go.

“Next year, we are already talking about making it a three-day event,” he said.

“Also, it’s the 100th anniversary of the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department and as a historical society and museum, we are interested in getting involved. An idea was floated (Saturday) of combining the Lego event with fire trucks. It could be a great theme.”

To make it a success, Wainwright said the museum wants to coordinate their efforts so as not to step on toes or compete with other events.

They want to make sure their involvement in any event makes it better.

“We have a few ideas about events that we might have a role to play in, in a partnership with other areas of the community.”

Some of thoese ideas include the 50th anniversary of te incorporation of the District of North Saanich in 2015, as well as the 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017 (also the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Sidney).

Next year, Wainwright said the 443 Helicopter Squadron marks its 25th anniversary of relocated to the Victoria airport. He said planing for that is still early and requires more discussion.

Wainwright also noted that the museum’s work with the Peninsula News Review for its 100th anniversary last year opened up potential events. One of those, he continued, could be a retrospective of the Sidney Poets Group or even a historical look at Sidney’s Booktown.

Wainwright said in its effort to be more involved in the community, the society has joined the Sidney business improvement area (BIA) as an associate member. He added the weekend wrkshop was the first step in the musuem’s outreach efforts to come.

In the meantime, their expansion continues, with the rennovation of their new space next door expected to be complete by June.