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In Sooke, museum holds first open house since pandemic

All are welcome to gather on the museum grounds on Sept. 17

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Sooke Region Museum will see its popular open house return later this month.

Sooke Region Historical Society president Doni Eve said all are welcome to gather on the museum grounds on Sept. 17, noon to 3 pm.

“While a few things will be different this year, visitors can expect the same opportunity to mingle with longtime friends, enjoy a meal, and swap stories,” Eve said.

The open house is traditionally held in June.

“We held off planning in the hopes we could offer a salmon barbecue, however, we were unable to get fish and can instead offer a delicious menu of seafood chowder and vegan chili,” said executive director Lee Boyko

Visitors can be among the first to view the Forestry Path outdoor exhibit, which has been several years in the making and tells the story of logging and industry in the region.

In 2017, 4M Bobcat and Trucking Ltd. and Western Island Tree Service cleared the space. A nine-ton steam donkey, which once operated at the Phillips Farm on Phillips Road and had been donated by Ron Fitton in the 1970s, was restored by volunteers and moved by Vic City Crane.

A log arch, dozer, and boom boat were relocated to the site, and the museum acquired a 1950s Ford F800 truck and log loader from the old Shepherd Mill site in 2020 and created interpretive panels mounted on the wall of the workshop building.

The museum’s first summer exhibit since 2020, The Art that Frames Us, is still underway, focusing on the history of art in the Sooke Region. It showcases past and present artists and organizations and examines visual, performing, and literary arts, including paintings, musical instruments, and poetry.

“The museum staff and SRHS board are ready to welcome you,” Eve said.

New board members include Laurie Szadkowski, Trevor Price, and Neil Poirier. They join vice-president Elizabeth Johnson, treasurer Georgia Medwedrich, secretary Sheila Dobie, directors Rob Hill, Linda Gabriel, Tony Bastone, T’Sou-ke Nation rep Rose Dumont, past-president Ray Vowles, and District of Sooke liaison Dana Lajeunesse.

Finally, with Orange Shirt Day, a national day for truth and reconciliation, coming up on Sept. 30, the Sooke Region Museum is selling orange shirts and books about Orange Shirt Day. The museum is located at 2070 Phillips Rd. in Sooke.

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