2020 was quite a year. Everyone agrees it was a record breaker – the year of a pandemic.

No one at the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association remembers the first pandemic we experienced civically. There wasn’t a museum, archives, art gallery, indoor swimming pool, or recognized public hospital. We did have an indoor, naturally cooled hockey arena, churches, schools, and other places to gather. These were places for the virus to make its presence known, so our health authority and community leaders put a stop to gatherings. They knew enough about the Spanish ‘Flu and how it was spread.

Fast forward to March 18, 2020. We closed. A little later and armed with a COVID-19 Safety Plan, we opened the archives by appointment. We continued to serve researchers remotely who emailed and telephoned for information. Unfortunately, the volunteers who are the backbone of the facility, had to be sent home, but many continued to work from home. With special permission, one volunteer in the Curator’s bubble came to work to stain and paint dioramas.

The stats are in! We:

• Created 3 new permanent exhibits;
• Processed 50 new collections;
• Processed and uploaded 14 fonds (archival collections) to Memory BC;
• Served 177 researchers;
• Accessioned 1,155 new-to-us artefacts and archival records, and
• 11 volunteers donated 1,800.25 hours – a value of $36,005.

We all look forward to a time when we can gather again and all come to “work” together. Lunchtime socials are the time we miss the most!