After closing for a couple months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pouce Coupe Museum has been re-opened to the public since May 28. With new hours and new protocols, the museum is operating a little differently than it usually would, but staff are still working hard to provide customers with the historical experience they’re after.
Staff are ensuring social distancing is in place, allowing only small groups at a time, and disposable masks and hand sanitizer is available for anyone to use. As well, the displays are being sanitized constantly as to ensure the safety of the visitors.
The museum had 1,300 people come through its doors in 2019. Since it re-opened, just 50 have come through, due in large part to nonessential inter-provincial travel being discouraged.
“The bulk of our travel is people coming from Alberta up to Alaska or back down, it’s just not the same,” said manager Les Dayus. “We also had a lot of people come for our garage sale, heritage tea and pancake breakfast and we can’t do those this year.”
Still, Dayus and summer student Moira McRann have been welcoming students and showing those who do come a fun, interactive time. A group that visited on June 23 participated in a scavenger hunt, with items they needed to find and cross off.
Due to the lost months, the museum currently has just two employees instead of its usual three — manager Dayus and summer student McRann — and as a result the building is only open every Tuesday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., instead of seven days a week. Dayus expects traffic to increase once school is officially done for the year.
This is Moira McRann’s first year as a summer student at the museum. Growing up in Alberta near the border, she has volunteered with the museum in the past and said the position was a perfect fit for her this summer.
“It’s definitely been a learning curve so far but it’s been a blast. I’m very fortunate to have this job right now and really enjoying it,” McRann said.
McRann will be entering the second year of her Bachelor of Education at GPRC in the fall.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.