Four boys doing crafts with the Boys and Girls Club circa 1981. (GVMA #21376)

Okanagan museum prepares to isolate and create

New program being launched amid closure

COVID-19 is failing to curb creativity amid isolation.

The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives and Regional District of North Okanagan are rolling out a project called Isolate and Create.

The web portal will offer virtual arts and cultural experiences to help people learn and be creative from their homes.

“Like the rest of you, the GVMA team is doing its best to adapt to the new world of self-isolation and daily updates with news around the world,” said the museum’s executive director Steve Fleck. “The situation is difficult – but like you, we are determined to make the most of the situation, serve our community, and be ready when it’s time to start up our normal lives.”

Isolate and Create will have an emphasis on local artists, heritage site, stories, performance and more. The website okcreateonline.com is expected to be live next week, in time for the end of spring break when local kids still can’t go back to school and many parents are looking for resources for children.

READ MORE: Vernon school district creates alternative plan amid pandemic

Meanwhile, starting March 30 the museum facility and collection will be cared for by curator Cuyler Page.

“His work is essential to make sure our treasures remain safe, and the building is secure,” said Fleck. “Except for emergencies, no other staff or volunteers will enter the building until further notice.”

This means the archives are not available for research except for online requests for photos, which can be made via email to gwyn.evans@vernonmuseum.ca.

“This closure affects everyone on our team. This includes temporary lay offs and reductions of working duties for the next 12 weeks. We did our best to make sure everyone will be able to manage during the crisis.”

Some staff will continue to work from home to develop programs and use online resources to do research for future exhibits and visitor opportunities.

“Our team sends our best wishes for health, safety and comfort to everyone in our community,” said Fleck. “We also encourage folks to stay in touch with each other. Together we are strong.”

READ MORE: COVID fails to curb creativity at Vernon Art Gallery


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