The expanded Chemainus Valley Museum opened March 1, but the official grand reopening cermony is taking place Saturday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Saturday celebration marks Chemainus Valley Museum expansion

More space for exhibits and audio-visual displays

Chemainus Valley Museum members are thrilled with the completion of the expanded museum in downtown Chemainus and look forward to the ribbon-cutting celebration event Saturday, Aug. 17 at noon.

”The added space – twice its original size – has allowed for more artifacts, improved displays, interactive exhibits and a better audio-visual area,” pointed out Amy Trippe Brophy, current president of the Chemainus Valley Historical Society and Museum.

The most famous recent addition with the expansion is ‘The Door’ that H.R. MacMillan slammed on the way out of the Chemainus Mill in 1916 on the verge of being fired, only to say the next time he passed through the door he’d own the place. And that’s exactly what happened.

MacMillan bought the Victoria Lumber Company in 1948 and the rest, as they say, is history.

The museum has also just acquired a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver aircraft model with an eight-foot span. Known around these parts as the Work Horse of the West Coast, it is now swooping down from the beams at the entrance to the museum.

The original museum opened 28 years ago in 1991.

“We look forward to a bright future with space for new exhibits and events, with the continued help from the community and volunteers,” noted Brophy.

She urged anyone with a few flexible hours to contribute now and then to consider becoming a volunteer.

”You meet lots of interesting visitors from across Canada and around the world, and it’s fun learning history and telling short stories — dare I say it can be downright surprising and stimulating,” Brophy enthused. “And if you are shy there are lots of things to do behind the scenes.”

Everyone is welcome to join the Saturday celebrations from noon to 1 p.m. at the Waterwheel Plaza, with cake and iced tea while it lasts, and also take a museum tour.

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