Sncəwips Heritage Museum is reopening to the public on June 25 after it closed in mid-March due to COVID-19 concerns. (Sncəwips Heritage Museum - Facebook)

Sncəwips Heritage Museum is reopening to the public on June 25 after it closed in mid-March due to COVID-19 concerns. (Sncəwips Heritage Museum - Facebook)

Sncəwips Heritage Museum to reopen later this month

The museum will be open to the public starting on June 25

Westbank First Nation’s Sncəwips Heritage Museum is getting ready to welcome guests back starting on June 25.

The museum, like many businesses, galleries, and organizations throughout the province, had to close its doors in mid-March due to growing COVID-19 concerns, right after opening at its new location on Feb. 1.

Museum assistant Kayt Ell said the decision to reopen came after many conversations and discussions between staff and management.

“In the end, the decision was made because people are stuck at home and we know they’re going a little stir crazy,” she said.

“We’ve always been driven by the community and we’ve always been focused on the community. So reopening is for the community as well.”

To keep staff and the public safe, Ell said they’ve put down floor markers to indicate physical spacing, as well as put up signage throughout the museum to remind people to keep their distance.

She added there are also acrylic barriers on counters to keep staff safe, as well as a number of hand sanitizer stations.

To ensure physical distancing is possible, the museum will only allow 20 people into the building at a time.

“We’re also currently not booking any large tours. For now, it’ll just be self-guided entry by donation,” Ell said.

“We can’t have school groups coming in quite yet, not until things start to clear up and get better and life starts to go back to normal.”

Ell added they had planned to have a grand opening for the museum’s new space, but she said that is now on the back burner as well.

Visit Sncəwips Heritage Museum at its new location at Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre. If you want to stay safe at home, you can watch the museum’s videos to see the collections.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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