Osisko Development, owner of Barkerville Gold Mines, has donated half a million dollars to Barkerville Historic Town and Park.
James Douglas, Director of Public Programming and Media, says the money ensures that they are able to offer their award winning interpretation program this year.
“Funds have been tight for everyone over the past few years with COVID and what not. It’s been kind of hit and miss to know what our funding levels would be like for the upcoming season, and how much of our educational programming would be able to provide to our visiting public. We just needed to make sure that we would have adequate funding levels, and like the good community partner that they have become, Osisko has stepped up to the plate once again.”
This is the second year that Osisko has donated 500 thousand dollars.
Douglas says they will open on June 4th with no restrictions this year.
“In the first year of the pandemic we had a cap of 400 people per day in Barkerville. That was raised to 800 last year. Although we very rarely hit that target last year, it isn’t uncommon in non-pandemic years to get more than a thousand people a day.”
Douglas says the Theatre Royale is also coming back after going dark for two years, and he says there will be something new this year.
“For the first time the people that you see on stage at the theatre will be the very same towns people that you meet during the rest of our interpretive day and presentation. So Mr. Grimsby on the Waterwheel for example, may in our musical variety show this year playing his harmonica. Miss Wilson will be the host the afternoon, that kind of thing. So all of the various characters that people are quite used to seeing on the streets of Barkerville will also be the people that they see providing them some great 1860’s entertainment on the stage.”
Douglas says he hopes people are feeling more confident about traveling and about going to places like Barkerville, so that the entire tourism industry can get back to the way it was before the pandemic.