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Comox Museum applies for more funding to help handle increased workload

COMOX, B.C. – The Comox Archives and Museum is looking for a funding boost from the Town.

And on that end, the museum has applied for increased funding from the Town.

The museum currently receives $25,000 a year from the town, an amount that has remained unchanged since 2006.

Over the same time period, the museum’s gaming grant has gone from $1,700 to $5,000.

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“These increases reflect the increase in cost of living and our greatly expanded service,” said museum part time assistant Barbara Price, in a presentation before Comox’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday.

Under the guidance of Shirley McLoughlin, the museum was established in 1998 and opened to the public in 2001.

At that time, it was run in a small space in the downstairs of a Town-owned building at 1729 Comox Avenue.

In 2011, the museum moved to its current location fronting Comox Avenue opposite of the Comox Mall, where the public library was once located.

The museum shares this pace with the Pearl Ellis Gallery.

At this new location, the museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

“Our opening hours reflect the wish to take advantage of our prominent location on Comox Avenue and to provide more service to the Town,” Price said.

The museum currently averages between 7,000 to 8,000 visitors each year, marking a tenfold increase from its previous location, and many more people access the museum’s website.

“We also have a constantly increasing number of requests for information, photos, maps, etc.,” Price told council members.

As well, donations of artifacts and archival items have increased dramatically and the museum has a “huge backlog” of items to add to its collection, according to Price.

Price said an increase in funding “will help us cope with this increasing workload.”

“However, volunteers need to be well supervised,” she said. “We also have an increasing number of projects beyond exhibits and managing our archival collection.”

Price also noted that in the museum world “we are well recognized and respected.”

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