Barkerville is facing a 670 thousand dollar budget shortfall going into this year, but James Douglas, the Public Programming & Global Media Development Lead, says this money would really help.
“With this new fund that was recently announced by the province, we’re very excited about it, we’re very excited to be able to work with the Minister of Tourism and we do, from the looks of things, at least qualify to apply for up to 500 thousand dollars, so we are very definitely putting our application forward.”
Douglas says they’ll have to wait to hopefully get that money however.
“The application for that new provincial money does go in within the next couple of weeks. Everything is actually happening quite quickly and we won’t actually know whether we receive that funding until late July or early August, which of course is half way through our season.”
Barkerville will open its season on time though, thanks to a generous donation from the community.
“We are very excited to be able to announce that we will be opening on June 26th with our full historical interpretation programming and public services. And that is thanks in large part to the generosity of Osisko Development who run Barkerville Gold Mines, who are our neighbours just to the north of us here in Wells. They’ve come forward with a very generous donation to ensure that our public programming and public services will continue throughout the course of this summer.”
Douglas says they are also expecting good news on the visitor front.
“It looks as though the Health Authority is going allow us to double the amount of people that we can have on site at any given time. So last year we were limited to 200 people per day, and this year we will be able to open up to 400 people per day.”
It’s still not up to the 500 to 700 people they would normally get in an average day in a non-COVID year, but he says it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Douglas says they still recommend that people contact them ahead of time in order to book tickets to be able to come in.
“You could just come up to the door, but of course if we’ve reached our capacity you would have to wait until enough people left that we could let some more people in. So if you know that you’re coming on a particular day, you can go to Barkerville.ca and book your tickets directly on-line or phone us to reserve a ticket.”