Since 1971 the Sidney Museum and Archives has been collecting, preserving and displaying local archival materials and important historical artifacts. The Museum is located on Beacon Avenue and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. With admission being by way of donations, it is an activity and wonderful learning experience that is affordable for the whole family.
More than 7,000 artifacts make up the Museum’s permanent collection and many are regularly displayed at their permanent exhibition galleries. Its focus is to preserve local treasures and ensure that they are available for all to enjoy. Along with permanent exhibits, the Sidney Museum also puts together displays that are changed monthly. These temporary displays include teddy bear and quilting exhibits, Canadian banknotes, calligraphy, and the very popular 3 month LEGO exhibit.
Some of the temporary exhibits at the Museum include:
- Paper Pages & Books – This exhibit features paper making and decoration, binding and box making. It gives the guest a glimpse into what inspired the artist to choose the materials used.
- Celebrating with fibre
- Teddy Bears
You can check out their yearly calendar by scrolling to the bottom of the page for a list of upcoming exhibits.
Take a trip back through time and visit some of the ‘room’ displays such as:
- The Kitchen – Bringing back some fond memories for families that grew up on the Prairies with a wood fired oven, old vacuum cleaner, and some utensils that might be a challenge to identify.
- The School Room – Who will remember those old fashion wooden desks or pens that always seemed to stain your paper?
- Critchley’s Store – A recreation of a vibrant general store that stood on Beacon Avenue. They have even included the original post office wicket from the store. Children visiting on a school trip are always excited when they get to weigh some candy; the old fashion way.
School children from kindergarten to grade four and higher can take part in and learn about the ‘olden days’ through tours designed for their specific age groups. Each tour lasts approximately one hour. All school trips must be booked in advance and cost only $2.00/child with a minimum of 10 students per tour. It’s easy to request a school tour by simply filling out the form located at the bottom of their School Tours page.
In association with the Museum is the Sidney Archives located at the back of the Town Hall on Sidney Avenue. The archives contain fascinating material pertaining to the history of Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula dating back to 1850. Some of the things one will find here include:
- Historic photographs
- Textual records
- Cartographic materials and more
Visitors can also view copies of a local newspaper, “The Review” dating from 1912 to 1989, as well as Sidney Municipal records, and photographs from the Dominion Experimental Farm. The Sidney Archives is available for viewing by appointment only and times can be arranged by contacting them directly by phone at: 250.655.5445 or by email at: [email protected]
The Sidney Museum is a definite must-see for anyone in the Sidney area. For most, one visit is really not enough to take in all that they have to offer. You can also keep abreast of what is going on at the Museum before and between visits by checking out their newsletter.