The Land Conservancy will hand Craigflower Manor and Craigflower Schoolhouse back to the province this year.
The province owns the properties but TLC has operated the facilities since May 1, 2003. The manor is in View Royal and the schoolhouse in Saanich.
The province was contributing $80,000 each year toward upkeep and maintenance of the sites, but TLC was spending donor dollars into the sites as well.
“We simply can’t afford to manage them on behalf of the province anymore,” said Alister Craighead, chair of TLC board. “Our donations are precious and we really want to apply them to lands we own.”
The sites aren’t highly visited and haven’t been tourist destinations, Criaghead said, adding fewer than 1,000 people go to the sites each year.
“Museums don’t make money,” he said. “When I came on the board three years ago I’d say ‘why on Earth are we doing this?’ … There were no plans put in place, this is a big mistake and we recognize the error.”
Instead of putting donor money into the provincially-owned sites, Craighead said TLC will use the money to invest in projects expected to generate money and to help pay off debts.
Craighead said TLC also plans to plans to partner with the Capital Regional District on more projects.
Craighead suggests the sites become community venues for events and functions instead of museums where most areas are roped off.